Traditionally, the Washoe were fishers, hunters of small mammals, and gatherers of pine nuts, acorns, and various roots and berries. They depended on deer and antelope for food, for clothing, and for hides to cover their cone-shaped dwellings. They were especially noted for their superb basketry.
The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California are a federally recognized tribe of Washoe Indians, living in California and Nevada. They are several communities south and east of Lake Tahoe united under a tribal council. The tribe owns over 64,300 acres (26,000 ha) in different parcels.
The Washoe gathered pine nuts and acorns where available, but trade was an important and necessary activity to procure enough acorn. Pine nut soup and acorn biscuits were, and are, prized native foods.
Unlike other Nevada tribes whose native language is a form of Uto-Aztecan, the Washoe’s native tongue is a Hokan -type language. The word Tahoe is a mispronunciation of the Washoe word for “the lake” (Da ow).
The clothes worn by the Great Basin Washoe men traditionally consisted of breechcloths or aprons made from sagebrush bark. In cold weather they wore twined bark leggings and poncho -like shirts. Washoe clothes were made from fibers harvested from sagebrush bark and tule (a type of bulrush).
Wa She Shu means “The People’s Place”.
Though there are variances in beliefs, roles, and duties in Native American tribal life, in general the Native spiritual leader is called a shaman.
~~ An indigenous Native American people, the Washoe originally lived around Lake Tahoe and adjacent areas of the Great Basin. Their tribe name derives from the Washoe word, waashiw (wa·šiw), meaning “people from here.”
The land where the Washoe people lived was a mix of the Sierra Nevada’s high mountains, low valleys and dry meadows. Because of the dry climate, fewer plants and animals populated the area than that of neighboring regions.
The Northern Paiute people are a Numic tribe that has traditionally lived in the Great Basin region of the United States in what is now eastern California, western Nevada, and southeast Oregon. The Northern Paiutes ‘ pre-contact lifestyle was well adapted to the harsh desert environment in which they lived.