550 attend museum exhibit opening of Under One Sky | NevadaAppeal.com

550 attend museum exhibit opening of Under One Sky

by Kurt Hildebrand, staff writer
4-year old Majesta Roach stands with her mother Lavina Roach at the preview reception of the Under One Sky exhibit at the Nevada State Museum Tuesday evening. The exhibit which spotlights Nevada's Native American Heritage was introduced by a number of dignitaries and representitives of the Native American Communities.

More than 500 people turned out Tuesday night for a reception previewing “Under One Sky,” an exhibit at the Nevada State Museum celebrating Nevada’s Native American heritage.

Rich Blaver of Dayton, who is one quarter Paiute, appears in a video taped at Mono Lake telling the Paiute legend about a big fish.

“This is a beautiful exhibit,” he said.

Fallon Paiute tribal council member Eugene Jack said he felt the exhibit brought the tribes together.

“It makes people think of the old days and the old ways,” he said. “They had to go by what they knew to survive.”

Jack, a former Nevada Appeal photographer, was taking pictures of the exhibit for the tribe.

“Back then, if you wanted food, you had to get it, if you wanted water, you had to go get it,” he said. “People had to work together to survive.”

Many of his relatives went to Stewart Indian School before it closed.

“It bring back a lot of memories,” he said. “My uncle said Stewart once beat UNR 112-0 and it never made the paper.”

Curator Bob Nylen estimated 550 people visited the exhibit, which drew scores of Native Americans.

The exhibit was packed as people looked at all the displays, which included ancient native baskets, jewelry and a life-sized cave representing an archaeological site. The traditional lifeways gallery displays the marshy Stillwater area near Fallon, and waters and reeds critical to native life.

The historic section includes artifacts chosen by tribal leaders to show what they think is important.

Artifacts from the closed Stewart Indian School, including a drum and a uniform, along with class photos were on display.

The exhibit cost roughly $300,000, and in December 2004 will be moved to the main museum to update the permanent Native American exhibit. Under One Sky will also evolve to include new exhibits, eventually including a hands-on area where children will be able to make tule ducks and boats.

The exhibit opens to the public on June 22. Major funding for the project was provided by the E.L. Wiegand Foundation. Call 687-4810 for information.

If you go

What: Under One Sky: Nevada’s Native American Heritage

When: Opens June 22, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St.

For information: Call 687-4810