Dr. Alicia Barber

A Story of Encounters: Struggles for Control

With the influx of aspiring miners and assorted entrepreneurs to the Comstock in the years after 1859, conflict with the area’s native inhabitants was perhaps inevitable. Tensions ignited the Pyramid Lake War of 1860, followed by the establishment of numerous U.S. Army forts including Fort Churchill.

A Story of Encounters: Artistic and Cultural Encounters

Broader cultural appreciation of native Nevadan art forms took hold in the late nineteenth century, as a widespread fascination with American Indian culture spread throughout the United States. One major influence was the rise of the Arts and Crafts movement in the decorative and fine arts, which placed a high value on work created individually by hand, not mass produced by factories.

A Story of Encounters: Everyday Encounters

With the arrival of statehood and the establishment of permanent towns throughout the state, interactions between Nevada’s natives and non-natives took many forms. Over time, many tribal members moved from informal camps and settlements to the state’s growing number of Indian colonies and reservations, where they eventually elected their own tribal governments and functioned as sovereign nations.

A Story of Encounters: Anthropological and Archeological Encounters

In the decades after 1900, scholars and researchers from across the United States and Europe began traveling to Nevada to study the area’s existing native tribes and those that preceded them. From the ruins of the Lost City in southern Nevada to contemporary Washoe communities of the eastern Sierra, anthropologists, archeologists, and ethnographers dedicated themselves to understanding the lives and cultures of the region’s indigenous populations.

A Story of Encounters: Troubled Encounters

Throughout the United States, many early encounters between native tribes and non-natives were tense—even hostile—and the area that became Nevada was no exception.


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