||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.