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Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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February 25, 1999     Pahrump Mirror
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February 25, 1999
 

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12 Thursday, February 25, 1999 Pahrump Valley Gazette Foof:00f:ep00. . . by Sands Stark PVG Staff Long ago the Valley was beautiful and fertile. Natural springs abounded and a large lake filled the lowest point. The lake was surrounded by trees, plants and all manner of wildlife and birds. The People who lived there were ruled by a beautiful, but vain, Queen. One time she ordered her people to build a mansion to surpass any ever built by their neighbors to the south, the Aztecs. For years her people worked on a palace to please her. From all over the area they transported marble, quartz and logs from the forests over the mountains. But the Queen was never satisfied; whenever the work seemed to slow down, she would whip and beat the people to work harder. The Queen, fearing the work would not be completed before she died, commanded that all her people work on the palace, even her own family. Her kingdom became a land of slaves. When her daughter fell down in exhaustion, she cursed the Queen and her kingdom. She then died. The Queen lamented and tried to appease the Creator, but in vain. All nature seemed to punish her. The sun grew and came closer-so close that all the plants burned away. The animals disappeared. The beautiful lake, the streams and the wells all went dry. The People, too, suffered, and many died or deserted the kingdom. The Queen died of the heat and all alone. Sometimes the half-completed palace can still be seen in the distance, a mirage along the horizon. With this legend, the Shoshone explain the origins of Death Valley, or, as it is called in their language, Ground Afire. In the beginning the People had no name other than Newe. The name Tumpisa means red rock and their descen- dents are the Tumpisa, or Timbisha Shoshone. There are sacred places on this land. Places that were named in the oral traditions of the People as having been traveled by supernatural brings, hot springs with curative properties, petroglyph sites attributed to the shamans of the old ones, or land sites referred to in the "bird song" chants. KHWK Radio From Pahrump to Bishop has you covered! For the lat0st news, information and the finest music programming, be sure to tune to KHWK, broadcasting from Tonopah. If you're traveling the vast distances ofCentral Nevada's desert terrain, you still can't miss us! Member. Associated Press Great Basin Radio Network 92.7 - Tonopah 93.5 - Beatty 94.3 - Lida and Scotty's Junction 94.3 - Gold Point 95.9 - Pahrump 103.9 - Bishop, Mammoth and Big Pine 104.9 - Round Mountain 105.5 - Hawthorne These oral maps have been closed off in many cases to preserve them for the Timbiska. Vandalism has destroyed much of the his- tory of the People. Like their neighbors the Mojave, Paiutes, Serrano, Chemehuevi and Kawaiisu, the Timbisha were semi-no- madic spending their winters in the valley and summers in the cooler regions of the Panamint Mountains. They were able to survive this harsh land by becoming for the most part vegetarians supplement- Open Your Heart and Home Homes & Services for Abused Children 1400-74,FOSTER to a Child. Loving Family Needed for Abused Children and Teens Free Training Monthly Financial Reimbursement. Professional Support Servi!es Provided. Vtt Working Couples, Singles and Retirees. 1-800-74-FOSTER :1 :! :1 ing their diets with small game, reptiles and insects. During the past 200 years the Native Peoples inhabiting the area have changed their traditional way of life to adapt to the influx of European and, later, American influence. The 1849 gold rush in California changed forever their place in Death Valley. By the late 1800s and early 1900s the Timbisha Shoshone's freedom and lifestyle had become severely re- stricted. Mining districts were established without regard for the Native American uses of the land. The newcomers estab- lished camps and took over the few remaining springs in the area. The Shoshones' invaded wintering grounds and the interruption of their food-gathering activities changed a way of life that had remained unchanged for thousands of years. The basic necessities for human life are still present in the Valley. Water and food, tool making materials, access to summering sites and the sacred places reserved for spiritual rites that continue today. The Timbisha have today a sense of the land and the ancestors who came before. The population shift during the early 1900s resulted in the establishment of more concentrated reservation areas for the NVe American bands inhabiting Death Valley. Four land parcels of 160 acres each were set aside for the groups inhabiting the area. They were the Indian Ranch, Saline Valley Ranch, Warm Springs Ranch and Hungry Bill Ranch. Warm Springs and the Hungry Bill were bought back for inclusion into the Death Valley Monument. The Timbisha Shoshone who had lived within most of Death Valley and the nearby lands in California are now a federally recognized tribe and have approximately 300 mem- bers. In 1933 the National Park Service designated a 40 acre area south of Furnace Creek as a village site. The Service build 12 adobe buildings, a trading post and laundry facility. Eight trailers were added in 1977. In the recent Environmental Impact Statement and Man- agement Plan for Death Valley, the Death Valley Timbisha are listed as foremost under the heading of Cultural Re- sources, worthy of preservation. This is the 16th column is the series. I DEATH VALLEY - A distant view of Bad Water from Dante's Peak. PVG file photo mm mm mmm m m mm n mm m m m u m m m m m m m m : LEGAL,u,,-s.00,cI _l F 0 RM S Paralegal P A H R U M P Hour M.F 1 0-5 I m Single Forms Free with Service m Dlvome Kills 00 + IPrormlrdlKItm II m Hom....d - mankruptcy - orporatllonl m m hilts m'bit Claims Many More 4 N. Hwy 60, I m PalhrMmp. NV 9048 m m ZT-I Fu, (73,m,)-,-7.o4 . It an attorney) /I I L.. C ari.nj al Q.it hfore C.0N N''.m]