Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Great Basin Indian Archives @ VHC


Great Basin Indian Archives title
Horses running through Owyhee, NV

The Great Basin Indian Archives @ VHC is a collaborative digital exhibition of Western Shoshone oral histories, language and cultural resources to help revitalize the Western Shoshone language and preserve the living culture.

Defining Native Americans:
The Blood Quantum Issue

Great Basin College GBC Talks series logoJoin us Wednesday, 15 November 2017 at 7:00 pm for a public presentation and discussion of one of the most pressing issues facing Native American societies today: the continued use of the blood quantum as a measure of identity.

Since the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, Native American tribal membership often has been tied to the blood quantum, a measure of parentage. Yet blood quantums have a very controversial history as a tool of discrimination. Join us for an engaging talk on this important but little-discussed topic as part of Native American Indian Heritage Month.

Panelists include Dr. Scott A. Gavorsky (History Professor, Great Basin College), Jens Camp (Research Associate, Great Basin Institute and California Trail Interpretative Center), and James Hedrick (Cultural Manager, Newe Ghani Cultural Center).

The event is free and open to the public, at the GBC Elko Campus GTA 130 and via IAV at GBC Centers in Battle Mountain (room BM 1), Ely (room GBC 112), Pahrump (PVC 119), and Winnemucca (GBC 124).

KNPR's "State of Nevada" Show Discusses SCLI

2017 Shoshone Community Language Initiative brochure coverThe Great Basin Indian Archives (GBIA) director Norm Cavanaugh recently discussed how the Shoshone Community Language Initiative (SCLI) is helping revitalize the Western Shoshone language on KNPR's "State of Nevada" radio program. Joining Norm was the VHC's Scott Gavorsky to discuss the GBIA Elder Oral History Project.

Listen to "Saving the Western Shoshone Language," courtesy of KNPR [external link]

In addition to students from Western Shoshone communities of Nevada and Idaho, SCLI 2017 welcomed students from New Jersey, Oregon, and California.

Semahte Wahatte man To'ainkanna (Twelve)

If you missed Semahte Wahatte man To'ainkanna (Twelve), a traditional tale of the seasons and months as performed by the 2014 SYLAP students, we are proud to present it here:

Video courtesy of the the University of Utah Shoshoni Language Project.

Event, Live Streaming, and Digital Archiving Made Possible by the Generous Support of

Great Basin College, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Barrick Mining logos
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Barrick Gold North America, or Great Basin College.

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Elkokoak: The Basques of Elko


Elkokoak The Basques of Elko

The Virtual Humanities Center at Great Basin College is proud to present this growing collection of materials representing northeastern Nevada's rich Basque heritage. Originally designed in conjunction with the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival "Innovation by Culture" tribute to Basque-Americans and the Elko National Basque Festival, the Elkokoak exhibit will be a permanent showcase of our local Basque communities.

Fall Basque Dancing at the California Trail Interpretative Center

Elko Arinak DancerThe Elko Ariñak Basque Dancers will perform a variety of folk dances at a Fall Basque Dance at the California Trail Interpretative Center on Saturday, 7 October 2017 at 2:00 pm.

Many of the Basque dances are illustrated stories of traditional lifeways from the Basque Country. When Basque immigrants came to rural Nevada and other parts of the American West, they brought this exuberant expression of their culture with them.

The Elko Ariñak Basque Dancers, first formed in 1967, has performed throughout the United States. The dancers took part in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in July 2016.

The fun starts at 2:00pm, and the event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the California Trail Interpretative Center event page.


Mountain Picassos showcases Basque arborglyphs at GBC Art Gallery

Mountain Picassos exhibit posterMountain Picassos: Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin is a traveling exhibit of the tree-carvings done by Basque sheepherders. Such carvings are common throughout the Great Basin and the American West, and comprise a unique artistic expression of the Basque-American heritage.

The traveling exhibit will be on display at the GBC Art Gallery, located in the Leonard Center for Student Life, through 12 October 2017. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, and admission is free.

The NTI-Traveling Exhibition is co-sponsored by the Nevada Historical Society, Nevada Humanities, the Nevada Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

To learn more about Basque arborglyphs, we recommend Richard Lane's short article "Basque Tree Carvings" [click here] from our Elko Basque Articles collection.


Sandoval Proclamation Honoring Basque HeritageGov. Sandoval Proclaims 29 June 2016
Day in Honor of "Basque Heritage and Culture in Nevada"

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has issued a proclamation naming 29 June 2016 as a day in honor of "Basque Heritage and Culture in Nevada."

The proclamation, issued 24 May 2016, cites the vital roles played by Basque communities and individuals "in shaping the growth and success of the Silver State, with recognition of the remarkable place Basque culture, history, and heritage continues to occupy in the Nevada character." The Basque community's continued celebration of its identity is also praised by Governor Sandoval.

For exhibit information, contact Scott A. Gavorsky (

The "Elkokoak: The Basques of Elko" Exhibit is a joint project of

Great Basin CollegeVirtual Humanities Center at Great Basin CollegeNortheastern Nevada Museum

This exhibit has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor

NEH Logo graphic

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibit do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Howard Hickson's Histories

Howard Hickson
Howard Hickson, 1932-2015

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Howard Hickson on 2 July 2015. The Virtual Humanities Center and the entire Great Basin College community extend our sincerest sympathies to the Hickson family and friends.
Elko Daily Free Press Obituary

Howard Hickson's Histories are true stories about Northeastern Nevada's colorful past, written with wry humor and keen insight into the sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes downright eerie lives of cowboys, miners, and gamblers, villains and saints and men and women of both extremes, who've inhabited or passed through the region.

Writer, photographer, and museologist Howard Hickson was Director Emeritus of the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko. He came to Elko expecting to spend only one year here. Love of the area and its people kept him here, where he spent his time collecting and writing about Northeastern Nevada.

The collection is a cultural treasure that Great Basin College is privileged to make available to the world.

The VHC is currently importing Hickson's stories into our searchable database, and we present here a few of our favorites.

The complete original archive can be viewed online at

Hickson's Histories presented by GBC VHC and NEH
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in Howard Hickson's Histories do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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