Veltha Dunnett ran her aged fingers along the willow in the same manner she had learned years ago.
Two young children watched intently. No questions spouted from their mouths. They stood in awe.
It was a traditional basket she was weaving as part of a millennial celebration.
The exhibit at the Stewart Indian School Museum was the first event in Carson City's Countdown to the Millennium Celebration. Events are scheduled to continue throughout the week.
Titled "1800-1864, Prelude to Statehood," the exhibit provided traditional dances, Paiute singing, crafts including basket and fan weaving, beading and cedar work.
"It was absolutely wonderful," said Stewart Indian School Museum Director Sheila Abbe. "We had pine nut soup, bread and story telling. We had a lot of people sign up for willow basket weaving."
She said there were so many visitors to the day's exhibits they filled the parking lot.
"We represent in this millennium what was happening at the beginning of the first part of the century, and it's a whole lot nicer then than it's been at the ending," she said.
She said there were visitors from Japan, Germany and France.
In a VIP reception, local politicians and civic leaders gathered to honor Marshall Fey, a grandson of Charles Fey and owner of Reno's Liberty Belle Restaurant. Fey, whose grandfather developed the three-reel slot, has placed 25 machines on exhibit in the state Legislative building.
Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko was presented a Millennium Community Certificate which is to be displayed in City Hall.
Carson City Convention & Visitor's Bureau Executive Director Candace Duncan said she was pleased with the response. "I the people will take advantage of these special events."
She said the displays and performances at the museum represented what skills were important for Native Americans at the turn of the last century.
Abbe said, "If Y2K does hit, then we can eat. We're prepared to do the same things that we've always known to do."
Where to go:
- Tuesday - 1865-1930s, Welcoming the 20th Century, Brewery Arts Center, 2 p.m.:
- Wednesday - 1940s-1950s, Into Modern Times, Brewery Arts Center, 2 p.m.
- Thursday - 1960s-Present, Reaching for Today, Children's Museum of Northern Nevada, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Friday - The Future - The Next Millennium, Community Center Gym, 8 p.m.-9 a.m.
For information, call 687-7410