Washo People

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The Washoe are a Great Basin tribe of Native Americans, living near Lake Tahoe at the border between California and Nevada. The name "Washoe" is derived from the autonym waashiw (wa·šiw) meaning "people from here" in the Washo language (transliterated in older literature as Wa She Shu (Wašišiw) the plural form of wašiw).


Washoe people have lived in the Great Basin for at least the last 6,000 years. Prior to contact with Europeans, the territory of the Washoe people was roughly bounded by the southern shore of Honey Lake in the north, the west fork of the Walker River in the south, the Sierra Nevada crest in the west, and the first range east of the Sierra Nevada in the east. The Washoe would generally spend the summer in the Sierra Nevada, the fall in the ranges to the east, and the winter and spring in the valleys between them.


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