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Indigenous Peoples

Shoshone or Shoshoni-speaking Native Americans occupy areas of California, Idaho, Montanta, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Among their traditional lands, the area now called Death Valley National Park.




Corbin Harney


From Nevada’s Indian Territory.com


The Western Shoshone:
Like the Paiutes, the Western Shoshone are grounded in the land and their bands are named for the type of food that traditionally was their predominant source of sustenance. In Ruby Valley, Nevada, the Shoshones are called the Mahaguadüka (Mentzelia seed eaters) or the Watatikka (ryegrass seed eaters) and in Railroad Valley they are known as the Tsaiduka (tule eaters).
The Western Shoshone live in colonies and reservations throughout the state including Battle Mountain, Elko, Wells, Fallon and on the Duckwater Indian Reservation. They are keenly aware of the importance of preserving the environment and all its fruits for future generations. For their efforts in restoring critical habitat of the Railroad Valley springfish and reintroducing this endangered fish, the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe earned the 2010 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Program Recovery Champion Award.

Signature Events

  • Elko Te-Moak Powwow
  • The Elko Te-Moak Powwow is held in October by the Te-Moak Bands of Western Shoshone. This event features American Indian drumming, singing, dancing, arts, crafts and games. Hundreds of Indians in colorful regalia dance in the streets of downtown Elko on the first day of this three-day celebration. In addition to open dances, contest dances for a particular style and age group are held and the top winners receive prizes. To compete in a contest, the dancer must be in an outfit appropriate for the competition.

Spring Festival, Duckwater

  • Each June, the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe holds their “Spring Festival.” This event includes a barbecue, powwow, hand games, gambling, horseshoe tournaments and more. The powwow is a great opportunity for the tribe and visitors to get together to join in dancing, visiting, renewing old friendships and making new ones. This is a time to remember and share the old ways and preserve a rich heritage. Through the songs and the spirit of the drum, ancestral values are communicated along with cultural integrity and solidarity.

Places of special interest

  • California Trail Center


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