While traveling anywhere, but this time west through the state of Nevada, Owen and I like to check out local museums and I’m always on the search for trade bead collections whenever there’s a display about the Indians native to that area. The Shoshone Indians ranged down into eastern Nevada to hunt Elk and trade. The NE Nevada Museum had a pretty good display by the Shoshone Indians but since all of the display was modern material we didn’t see anything historical. There was quite a lot of modern seed beads used in the display. I know that although some tribes preferred small pony or little seed beads there were larger trade beads traded with the Shoshones. There is a wonderful website on Shoshone beadwork with lots of pictures of the old works of art. http://www.windriverhistory.org I didn’t see the dentalium shell “beads” that I thought I would since I do know that they were traded east to the Shoshone from the coast tribes. We’re still on the Trade bead history search and lovin’ it.
Since I come from long-time Cowboy stock I like to hear and read everything I can about Cowboys and one of the best known and famous Cowboy storyteller /artists was Will James (1892-1942). Owen & I learned of a fabulous collection of Will James’ art being shown in a museum in Elko Nevada and took an opportunity to search it out. We found the collection at the Northeastern Nevada Museum in downtown Elko, NV. The collection of drawings and paintings along with sketches from letters he wrote and notes he took was awesome! On display also were a large collection of books and stories he’d written. In my opinion, the guy was prolific as he’s written 24 books and a huge amount of illustrations, drawings and paintings. I love his style of drawing, the incredible single strong lines and the ability to capture the action and posture of both men and animals with the least amount of fuss! On the site www.willjames.org it’s stated, “His words and pictures touched the hearts and minds of youths and adults alike. His life and stories prompted many young men to follow their own dreams in the great American West.” Owen’s step dad was one of them, but that’s another story.