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Nevada Historical Marker

The Washo Indians

Nevada State Historical Marker
Carson City
      Long before the coming of the emigrant trains, this site overlooked the lands of the Washo Indians. A valley, a city and a county still bear their name. A nearby trail marks their ancient route from the lowlands to Lake Tahoe and California. Their language is distinctive from both Shoshone and Paiute. For many years they preferred to remain isolated, roaming their native High Sierra. They were a peace-loving people who hunted and fished to provide food for their families. Their pinenut ceremony is still held before harvest time, the women accompanying the men on this expedition. The departure is celebrated by singing and dancing. Their puberty ritual has been in existence for generations, and Washo basketry is justly world famous. The beautiful work of their most celebrated artist, Dat-So-La-Lee, is on exhibition today in the Nevada State Museum, Carson City, and the Nevada Historical Society, Reno. Captain Jim is the most revered of their last great chiefs.