Wikiups: The Great Basin Washoe tribe lived in temporary shelters of windbreaks in the summer or flimsy huts covered with rushes or bunches of grass called wikiups. The materials used were sagebrush, willow, branches, leaves, and grass (brush) that were available in their region.
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 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.
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.
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.
Tahoe is a Native American name and literally means ‘big water’. Lake Tahoe in Nevada, United States, gets its name from the mispronunciation of the Washo ( Native American tribe) word, ‘da’aw’, which means ‘lake’.
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.”
Archaeological investigations trace evidence of the Washoe people from approximately two to five thousand years ago (Kings Beach and Martis culture complexes), but native history states that the Washoe people have been here since the beginning, when Old Woman harvested cattail seeds to make people.
As the native inhabitants, they believe that they have the best knowledge of how the land should be maintained, and consider themselves to be the proper caretakers of the Lake Tahoe area, which has been a center Washoe tribes yearly cultural gatherings, where most traditional events took place.
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).
Games like Baloyap, Sugayuk, or Hinoyowgi. These are the games of the Washoe people, a group native to the mountains and valleys straddling the California-Nevada border. And they’re critical for sustaining Washoe culture and language.
Prevailing theories suggest that Native Americans are descended from a group of East Asians who crossed the Bering Sea via a land bridge perhaps 16,500 years ago, though some sites may evidence an earlier arrival. (See “Siberian, Native American Languages Linked—A First .”)
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.