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Condition of the Nevada Indians in 1890

Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Census,Native American,Nevada | No Comments

The Moapa River reservation has no subagent. It is a small reservation, 1,000 acres, in southeastern Nevada, and is a mere rallying point for wandering Shoshone Indians. It is nominally attached to the Nevada agency.

The civilized (self-supporting) Indians of Nevada, counted in the general census, number 3,599 (1,913 males and 1,686 females), and are distributed as follows:

Churchill County, 230; Douglas County, 117; Elko County, 301; Esmeralda, County, 406; Eureka County, 194; Humboldt County, 425; Lander County, 382; Lincoln County, 355; Nye County, 414; Ormsby County, 134; Storey County, 100; Washoe County, 303; White Pine County, 238.

These Indians have no peculiarities not indicated in the general descriptions following:

Agencies and Reservations Tribe Total Males Females Ration Indians
Total 1,552 701 758 494
   Nevada agency 966 484 482 110
   Western Shoshone agency 586 310 276 294
Nevada agency 966 484 482 110
   Pyramid Lake reservation Piute (Pah Ute) 485 250 235 75
   Walker River reservation Piute (Pah Ute) 181 234 247 35
Western Shoshone agency 586 810 270 294
   Duck Valley reservation (a) Piute (Pah Ute) 203 104 99 102
Western Shoshone 383 206 177 192

Tribe, Stock and Location of the Indians in Nevada

Tribes Stock Reservation Agency
Gosh Ute Shoshonean Duck Valley Western Shoshone
Kaibabit Shoshonean Moapa River
Komahwivi (Tantawait, Chimehneva) Shoshonean Moapa River
Malheur Shoshonean Duck Valley Western Shoshone
Pah Ute Shoshonean Duck Valley Western Shoshone
Pah Ute (Paviotso) Shoshonean Pyramid Lake and Walker River
Pawipit Shoshonean Monpa River
Piute Shoshonean Monpa River
Shiwit Shoshonean Monpa River
Shoshone (Western band) Shoshonean Duck Valley Western Shoshone

Nevada Agency

The Indians of Pyramid Lake and Walker River reservations are Pah Utes pure and simple. They are of the same tribe, and number 966. They are entirely self-sustaining, peaceful, and energetic. Those on the reservations are fishermen, farmers, and some few trappers and hunters. They were born in this region, as were their ancestors before them. There are between 4,000 and 5,000 Pah Utes in Nevada and Utah (not all reservation Indians)., They are peaceable, industrious people, and good workers. They were formerly warlike, but not quarrelsome. They are brave to a fault, resenting a wrong quickly. They were found on their present grounds, now on the reservation, in 1846. They have ranches and raise considerable grain and hay. Their fishing grounds are a large revenue to them. C. C. Warner, United States Indian agent.

Western Shoshone Agency

Some of the Shoshones of Duck Valley reservation came from an abandoned reservation near Carlin, Elko County, Nevada. All the rest were living at some point in Nevada prior to moving to the reservation. George Washington is chief of the Ruby Valley band, Captain George is head of the Carlin band, Captain Bill Hall is chief of the Austin band, and Captain Bob is chief of the Battle Mountain band, all on the Duck Valley reservation. There are several other bands under sub-chiefs scattered over the state of Nevada, but they are not represented on the reservation. The Indian bands here are known by the names of their chiefs, as George Washington Indians or Captain Bob Indians. Several bands have changed their names by reason of the death of the chiefs; in fact, this is occurring constantly. In nearly every case the leadership is established by popular choice, and it often falls on one of the dead chief’s family, but the new chief rarely uses the name of the dead chief. Hence, what is written of a band today has no value tomorrow, for a band that goes under one name today may have a different name tomorrow, and thus the names of many bands of Indians are continually disappearing, passing out of the records.

The Pah Utes

Lake Dwellers or Water Indians (Pluto is incorrect), have conic to this agency from various places: the Paradise band, from Paradise valley, Humboldt County, Nevada; Quinn River band, from Quinn River, Humboldt County, Nevada; Malheur band, from Grant County, Oregon; and Warm Springs band (a mixture of Modocs, Pah Utes, and Shoshones, only 4 families), from the Warm Springs reservation, Oregon. Fort Hall agency, Idaho, furnishes a small band called Bannocks, but they are Pah Utes, speaking the same language and having the same habits and customs. All of these bands of Pah Utes now acknowledge the leadership of Captain Paddy, and have, since the discovery of this country by the white people, covered a large part of southern Idaho, southern Oregon, and western Nevada, Pyramid Lake and Walker River, in this state, being historic ground with them. The main portion of the tribe is now located on the two reservations named after the lake and river, under the Nevada agency.-William J. Plumb, United States Indian agent.


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