Deeply grounded in their environment
The Northern Paiutes believe that power (pooha) resides in natural objects such as animals, plants and geographical features. This strong connection to the environment is evident in the names of different bands. For example, Pyramid Lake Paiutes are called Kuyuidokado (Cui-ui eaters), after the Cui-ui fish, found nowhere else in the world.
The Northern Paiute live in areas including Lovelock, McDermitt, Mason Valley, Smith Valley, Pyramid Lake, Reno-Sparks, Stillwater, Fallon, Summit Lake and Walker River. Unlike many Native Americans throughout the country, the Pyramid Lake Paiute and the Walker River Paiute never faced complete relocation. Their ancestors have lived there for millennia. The Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation is home to the only Scenic Byway in the country completely within a tribal reservation.
The Northern Paiute all share the desire to make the present and the future better than their challenging past while teaching younger generations appreciation of their cultural and linguistic heritage.
Pine Nut Festival
Every third weekend of September, several hundred American Indians and visitors gather at the Walker River Paiute Tribe Reservation in Schurz to participate in a spiritual ceremony that celebrates life and the harvest. The festival’s many events include a powwow, hand games and a pine nut blessing and dance. During the pine nut dance, dancers move on sacred ground around the pine tree with Pinenut offerings for what is called the pine nut blessing. The spiritual ceremony dates back more than one hundred years to a time when the pine nut was winter subsistence for Great Basin Indians. Today, the dance is a way to honor the tribe’s ancestors, preserve native traditions and revive spiritual practices. For more information, visit wrpt.org.
Sacred Visions Powwow
Authentic Native American food, dancing, arts and crafts vendors and traditional performing arts will all be on hand for all to enjoy. Admission to the Sacred Visions Powwow is free and everyone is welcome to come and enjoy this cultural experience. Held in Big Bend Ranch, Wadsworth, Nevada. More information at https://www.facebook.com/SacredVisionsPowwow.
Places of special interest
Scenic Byway Visitors Cultural Center
The Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway Visitors Cultural Center is located on the south side of Pyramid Lake, in the town of Nixon. The Cultural Center offers a great display of local American Indian artifacts that show the history of the Kooyooe Tukaddu people. The center is open Monday through Friday during the winter and Monday through Saturday in the summer. More information at https://pyramidlake.us/museum.
- The branding motto, The NUMU Pledge:
- Native American destination planning and marketing authentic indigenous tourism and sustainable eco-cultural tourism
- Useful and meaningful opportunities to be stewards of “Mother Earth” and protect the Great Basin biodiversity
- Meaningful awareness of Numu Culture while improving quality of life and respecting cultural identity
- Understanding indigenous wellness and transformative experiences through responsible and inclusive tourism (healthy land & healthy people)
Agai (Northern Paiute language)
Lahontan Cutthroat Trout
Water is life and Agai (Lahontan Cutthroat Trout) spiritually connects the water of the Great Basin and remnants of ancient Lake Lahontan and ancient Lake Bonneville. The Agai’s eyes contain the wisdom for navigating throughout the Great Basin. The annual return of the white pelican into the Great Basin would signal the annual Agai spring migration into the heart of Great Basin water sources such as Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Mountain tributaries. Agai provides a sacred food source for all Great Basin tribes. The Agai’s tail and fins wash away the carbon footprint from the spiritual and eco-cultural tourism tour of the Numu People.