Experience Native American culture up close and personal at the Elko Band Pow-Wow!

Every year, the Elko band of the Te-Moak tribe invites the community to watch their pow-wow and appreciate the rich history and culture of Native Americans.  Happening October 11th through October 13th, it’s a great opportunity for the whole family to learn about the people who lived in Elko before it was Elko.

The Elko Band is one of four bands – along with the Battle Mountain Band, South Fork Band, and Wells Band – of the Te-Moak tribe of the Shoshone.  The Shoshone lived in the Great Basin since before the 1500s, and as their territory expanded outward, they gave birth to other Native American nations, including the Comanche.  The westward expansion of the United States encroached heavily into their hunting territory, resulting in a great deal of hostility between Native Americans and settlers, culminating in the Bear River Massacre of 1863.  While there were more skirmishes after the event, the massacre had the heaviest death toll for the Shoshone and the advent of railroads made it near impossible for the nation to continue standing their ground.  The Treaty of Ruby Valley in 1863 defined a limited territory for the Western Shoshone, and they began to be driven onto reservations.  The Elko Indian Colony was created in 1918, and has existed as a part of Elko’s community ever since.

The pow-wow is a ceremony of great cultural and religious significance, but the proceedings surrounding it are celebratory.  Expect to see various Native American artisan booths set up, and food and beverages will be readily available, from Native American fry bread to lemonade.  You’ll have the opportunity to see dancers performing traditional ritual dances from Te-Moak history, and drummers playing their cultural music.  The event is moving, considering these traditions have existed for hundreds of years, despite the hardships the tribe has been through.

Make time to attend a part of this living history while you’re visiting Elko!