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Paiute & Washoe of Reno-Sparks - Nevada (U.S.)

Native American

Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: paiute | washoe | reno-sparks | nevada | native american |
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[Paiute & Washoe of Reno-Sparks - Nevada flag] image by Donald Healy, 22 January 2008



See also:


The Band

[Paiute & Washoe of Reno-Sparks map]
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy

Paiute & Washoe of Reno-Sparks - Nevada

The Reno-Sparks Colony is located, appropriately, in the area around the Nevada cities of Reno and Sparks in the westernmost corner of the state. It is home to some 650 members of two Tribes, whose historic areas span much of the central Far West (REAI, 29). The Washoe are mostly found in central California and Nevada while the Paiute stretch from Oregon through California, Nevada and Utah and end their reach in northern Arizona. Both Tribes are known for the small numbers of tribal members found in any one location. Altogether there are twenty-three reservations, colonies and rancherias across the West that are home to the Paiute, while the Washoe have five separate sites.

Donald Healy 2008


The Flag

The Reno-Sparks Colony has a straightforward flag. It is white and bears the colony's name in black letters in the outer half of the flag. Toward the hoist (the inner portion) is a map of Nevada in blue outline, containing a blue star to show the location of the colony within the state. Hanging from the northeastern corner of the map is an impressive headdress with a mass of white and black feathers. The ornate detail of the flag comes from the band of the headdress to which the feathers are attached. The quills of the feathers are shown in red. The band is medium blue, like the map and star, but features beadwork designs in black, blue, yellow and red. Draping from the headdress are more beadwork designs, the one closest to the map is composed of blue, yellow and red beads, while the farther one is shown in yellow and black. The date of adoption is unknown.

Another flag associated with the Paiute Tribe in Nevada is that of Chief Winnemucca or Truckee (which means "all right"). Chief Winnemucca was actually associated with the Pyramid Lake Paiutes, but his memory deserves to be included with the only Nevada Paiute listed in this text. Chief Winnemucca served as Captain John C. Fremont's guide into California in the 1840s and always remained on good terms with the white hordes moving into and through the lands of the Paiute. For his service to the government of the United States, he was awarded a personal flag, one of only two known to have been granted to Indian chiefs (the other is the Crow Chief Plenty Coups). Winnemucca's flag was essentially a United States flag with s special blue corner (called the canton). In the canton was an upright tomahawk with its blade facing the pole. On the tomahawk was a crossed pair of arrows, forming an X'. Chief Winnemucca is known from some old photos to have carried his personal flag in parades in Carson City in the 1880s.

Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 22 January 2008