The Washoe are the original inhabitants of Da ow aga (Lake Tahoe) and all the lands surrounding it. Tahoe is a mispronunciation of Da ow, meaning “lake.” Washoe ancestral territory consists of a nuclear area with Lake Tahoe at its heart, and a peripheral area that was frequently shared with neighboring tribes.
The Washoe will re-unite at the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe in July to honor their culture and heritage during their annual Wa She Shu It’ Deh Native American Arts Festival.
Sponsored by the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, the festival will take place at the Valhalla Grand Hall and Lawn from 10am to 5pm and is free to attend.
The Washoe are highly regarded for their master craftsmanship of baskets and had several well known weavers like Dat So La Lee pictured here.
The Washoe basket weavers of today remain committed to keeping their traditions, arts and culture alive by continuing to create some of the most magnificent baskets in the world. We are more than fortunate to see them at Lake Tahoe – their sacred homeland.
In addition to the basket weaving display and competition, there will be dancing and drumming performances, numerous native artists and performers, hand game demonstration and tournament, cultural activities, Native arts and crafts, several food vendors and raffle prizes.
This South Lake Tahoe cultural event is part of the annual Valhalla Arts, Music and Theatre Festival. The festival includes theatrical presentations, the ever popular Summer Jazz in the Park Series, local writer’s series and presentations; visual arts exhibits; an artists-in-residence, Cultural Arts Store, children’s art workshops and youth theatre camps.
Located on the shores of Lake Tahoe at the historic Tallac Site, the Valhalla Arts, Music and Theatre Festival is in its 34th season. The Tahoe Tallac historic 74-acre setting is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was a favorite getaway in the late 1800s for Northern California’s elite members of society.
The Tahoe Tallac Historic Site is located at 1 Valhalla Rd., Hwy 89, South Lake Tahoe, CA.
For more information about this South Lake Tahoe event or the historic site, please call 530-541-4975 or visit www.valhallatahoe.com.
Photos by Jim Grant