Frances Hooper Oral History

Dublin Core

Title

Frances Hooper Oral History

Description

Frances Hooper Oral History

Creator

Churchill County Museum Association

Publisher

Churchill County Museum Association

Date

May 12, 1999

Format

Analog Cassette Tape, Text File, Mp3 Audio

Language

English

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Marianne Peterson

Interviewee

Frances Pacheco Hooper

Location

2875 Boundary Road, Fallon, NV

Transcription

Churchill County Oral History Project

an interview with

FRANCES PACHECO HOOPER

Fallon, Nevada

conducted by

MARIANNE PETERSON

May 12, 1999

This interview was transcribed by Glenda Price; edited by Norma Morgan; final by Pat Boden; index by Gracie Viera; supervised by Myrl Nygren, Director of the Oral History Project.

Interview with Frances Pacheco Hooper

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Churchill County Museum or any of its employees.

PETERSON: This is Marianne Peterson of the Churchill County Oral History Project interviewing Frances Pacheco Hooper at her home at 2875 Boundary Road in Fallon. The date is May 12, 1999. Good morning, Frances.

HOOPER: Good morning.

PETERSON: Let's begin with your father's lineage. What is your father's full name?

HOOPER: My father's full name is Rosaris Pacheco, and I don't know anything about him. He's Mexican-born and born in Mexico, and I never got a chance to meet him. He died when I was a baby.

PETERSON: Do you know approximately when he was born?

HOOPER: No, I don't.

PETERSON: Then you don't know the name of your father's father?

HOOPER: No, I don't.

PETERSON: Or your father's mother?

HOOPER: No.

PETERSON: Is there anything that you do know about him that maybe your mom told you?

HOOPER: My mother was ill and taken away when we were very small, and I don't remember my mother, but we have acquaintances that have pictures of my father, so we got two pictures. Then there was another man that my father worked with in Tonopah [Nevada]. He was a miner. They were miners. We interviewed him, and he said my father was very short. They called him Shortie. He worked very fast. He was a real good worker, but he had lung consumption while he worked at the silver mines and was very ill. He wound up dying in Mexico. They took him back, and he died two days after he arrived in Mexico, and that's all we know about him.

PETERSON: Do you know where in Mexico he lived?

HOOPER: No, we don't.

PETERSON: Are his parents in Mexico as far as you know?

HOOPER: We don't know anything about him at all.

PETERSON: So, your father was a miner.

HOOPER: He was a miner in Tonopah, Nevada. He had a friend he came with, Mr. Sanchez. They both came up from Mexico, and they only knew a few words. Ham and eggs and apple pie. That's what they feasted on until they learned more English.

PETERSON: Oh, that's funny. Those are good words to know. [laughing] Was he in Tonopah for the sole purpose of working, or did he come across the border for some other reason?

HOOPER: For the sole purpose of working.

PETERSON: Do you know approximately how old he was when he came?

HOOPER: No, I don't.

PETERSON: Do you know where he met your mother?

HOOPER: I don't know that either.

PETERSON: What is your mother's full name?

HOOPER: My mother's full name is Iowa and her nickname, Iwy, Allen, and when she married my dad, she was Pacheco.

PETERSON: I've encountered the name Iowa before. I believe Marge Milazzo's mother's name was Iowa Street.

HOOPER: Iowa or Iola.

PETERSON: Does that name have a meaning?

HOOPER: I have no idea. It was a common name. I do believe Leonard's [Allen' aunt was named Iowa Douglas. I don't really know if it had a meaning.

PETERSON: Do you know where your mother was born?

HOOPER: All she said was near Stillwater on her death certificate.            I would presume Dutch Bill area. It used to be Stillwater was the county seat at that time, and the Indians lived near and around the store by the Freeman ranch.

PETERSON: About what year was she born?

HOOPER: Well, I would presume maybe 1906. Maybe not approximate, but near that. She died at age forty-three.

PETERSON: Was your mother full Paiute?

HOOPER: Yes.

PETERSON: Do you know your mother's father's name?

HOOPER: Charlie Allen.

PETERSON: And where was he born?

HOOPER: He was born here at Stillwater, too.

PETERSON: Do you know approximately when he was born?

HOOPER: Probably around 1885. He died in 1910, and they figured him to be at least age twenty-five, so I figured around 1885.

PETERSON: So he didn't live very long.

HOOPER: No, according to the record I got recently, he and his wife didn't get along or he wanted her back, and she wouldn't come back, and he just decided to end it all.

PETERSON: Oh.

HOOPER: Found him a couple days later near Stillwater.

PETERSON: They think he killed himself?

HOOPER: Yes. According to the newspaper they think he killed himself.

PETERSON: Did it mention how?

HOOPER: Poison.

PETERSON: What was your mother's mother's name?

HOOPER: Topsy Steve.

PETERSON: Is that her maiden name?

HOOPER: Yes.

PETERSON: And where was she born?

HOOPER: Probably Stillwater. That was our clan.

PETERSON: Approximately when was she born?

HOOPER: That I don't know. We tried to get a death certificate, but we were unable to get it, and from what I understand when she left my grandfather she went to Schurz and married again over there, so she probably had another name. We could look again. Maybe we might find something.

PETERSON: Do you know what your grandparents did for a living? On your mother's side?

HOOPER: Probably working for ranchers and farmers in the local area here around Stillwater. According to the clipping he was well respected among the whites as well as the Indians. I imagine he did local work.

PETERSON: Did your mother have a job?

HOOPER: No, she was a homemaker.

PETERSON: How many children did your parents have?

HOOPER: Five. Three girls and two boys. Me being one of the girls.

PETERSON: Is this with your real father?

HOOPER: Yes, with my real father and my real mother.

PETERSON: What are their names?

HOOPER:       My oldest sister is Beatrice Bengocia. She lives in Yerington. Margaret Thomas, Reno, Nevada, Louis Pacheco. He lives in Oregon, and then me, Frances, and my brother, Thomas Pacheco, from here, Fallon.

PETERSON: So, you were the fourth child?

HOOPER: I was the fourth child, yes.

PETERSON: Did your mother remarry after your father died?

HOOPER: No. She came back here to Stillwater after my father . . . he made sure she was on her way first before he went to Mexico. She never remarried.

PETERSON: Did your mother ever talk about that time and how it made her feel?

HOOPER: I don't know. I was too young. Me and my brother were just babies when she became ill.

PETERSON: What is your full name?

HOOPER: Florence Frances Pacheco Hooper.

PETERSON: Do you have a Paiute name?

HOOPER: Well, later on they gave me an Indian name, Magpie, because I talked so much. The Indian name for that would be kwiduhgahgi.

PETERSON: Who gave you that name?

HOOPER: My aunt Lucy's husband. That was my aunt Mary's sister, and we spent a lot of time with them in their home.

PETERSON: What were their last names?

HOOPER: Mike and Lucy Kaiser.

PETERSON: What was Mary's last name?

HOOPER: Mary Dalton.

PETERSON: And they were your aunts from your mother's side?

HOOPER: My mother's side. My grandmother's sisters, probably.

PETERSON: Are you related to Harriet or Leonard Allen?

HOOPER: Yes, I am.

PETERSON: How are you related to them?

HOOPER: We're second cousins.

PETERSON: Can you tell me about your mother's maiden name, Allen, and how it was acquired?

HOOPER: My great-grandparents, Jack and Susan [Allen], they lived here at Stillwater, and as far back as we know, they were Allens. The Indians that lived here they took names after the local ranchers here in Stillwater. From what I understand my family worked for the Lemuel Allen family here in the county, so they took up the name Allen from them.

PETERSON: And how do you feel about that?

HOOPER: I don't mind. I like it.

PETERSON: Do you know any of the Paiute names of some of your elder family members?

HOOPER: My grandmother Topsy's brother which would be just like my grandpa. His name was Tohee Gwipa which means in Indian "hit the spit" because they were named after things that they did or how they had hair maybe. Maybe marks on their face or something like that, but when he spat on the ground, well, he had a stick, and he would hit it. Tohee means spit, and gwipa means hit, so it was "hit the spit."

PETERSON: That's interesting.

HOOPER: My aunt Mary was an English name so they called her Miodin, and my aunt Lucy they called her Tuzie.

PETERSON: And where were you born?

HOOPER: I was born in Tonopah after my parents moved over there. My dad worked there, so four of us children were born there.

PETERSON: And what year were you born?

HOOPER: January 2, 1934.

PETERSON: Do your older siblings remember your father at all?

HOOPER: The three older ones they remember my mother and my father. I vaguely remember my mother when we moved here to this property when I began to remember. I just remember the woman standing over us 'cause me and my brother ate some of the pies she baked, how kids reach over, eat the pie. I remember a lady scolding us, but I don't remember what she looked like. I don't remember at all.

PETERSON: How old were you when she died?

HOOPER: She died in 1948, so I don't remember how old I was at that time. I have to figure it out.

PETERSON: How did she die?

HOOPER: She had a heart attack, and she had that condition for two months, but she had been in the hospital at Reno. The state hospital for eleven years, but a heart condition in the space of three months according to the death certificate, and then she had a heart attack. Also, she had rheumatoid arthritis on top of it.

PETERSON: Wow. Do you know if your father spoke Spanish in the house at all?

HOOPER: Yes, when my brother and sisters moved here, my brother used to speak Spanish or Mexican, whatever the language was, so I imagine they did. I never did hear it.

PETERSON: What about Paiute?

HOOPER: My family spoke Paiute all the time and my foster parents after my mother was taken away. All I remember is Mary and Ida Dalton--that's my foster parents, and they spoke Indian all the time, so I understood and I talked some, but I didn't really acquire talking very good.

PETERSON: Who exactly were Mary and Ida Dalton?

HOOPER: Mary was a sister to my grandmother Topsy, and Ida was Mary's daughter, and her father was Jack Dalton.

PETERSON: So they took care of you when your mother was taken away.

HOOPER: Me and my little brother. They took care of me and my brother, Thomas. Beatrice, Margaret, and Lewis were placed in another foster home in Bishop [California] with a woman by the name of Helen McGee, so they lived in Bishop.

PETERSON: Do you know why they were taken far away?

HOOPER: It was too much for Mary and Ida to take care of that many children. They were going to keep just my little brother, but they decided maybe they'd better keep the two younger ones together, so that's how I stayed with them.

PETERSON: And where did you live when you lived with this family?

HOOPER: We lived here first, and then we moved to the Fallon colony just outside of town by the Rattlesnake Hill. It was an Indian colony at the time, and it still is.

PETERSON: How old were you at that time?

HOOPER: I must have been about maybe four. I was just beginning to remember vaguely. Think I woke up somewhere along the line between here and Stillwater and Fallon. I began to remember.

PETERSON: Can you describe the house to me that you lived in at that time?

HOOPER: Most of the families at the Indian colony had little one-room houses, and some had three rooms. Some had two. It all depended, but we only had one because it wasn't really our home, so we lived in a one-room house.

PETERSON: You said it wasn't really your home. Whose was it?

HOOPER: It belonged to Lucy Kaiser's husband's brother, Frank Kaiser, from Nixon. That was their place, and we just sort of borrowed it.

PETERSON: And who did you spend of your time with at that time?

HOOPER: Mary and Ida Dalton and my brother and the children that lived there at the colony.

PETERSON: How long did you live there?

HOOPER: I lived there all the time as far as I remember till I was maybe sixth grade. Of course at fourth grade I already had gone to boarding school with my two sisters and brother when they came back to visit. They went to school at Stewart, so that's where I went with them. In the summers we'd come till I was about maybe sixth grade, then from that time we moved clear across the reservation south of here. South of the reservation we lived from that time on till my aunt Mary died.

PETERSON: At what age did you start school?

HOOPER: Six.

PETERSON: What school did you go to?

HOOPER: I went to the Cottage Schools on Stillwater Street. At that time it was only first, second, and third grades. Very small town.

PETERSON: Were they mainly white children?

HOOPER: Indians from the colony and the reservation went to school there and mostly white children.

PETERSON: Can you remember any of your teachers back then?

HOOPER: Just Mrs. Sherman. That's the only name that I remember. I think third-grade teacher.

PETERSON: What do you remember about her?

HOOPER: She was short and plump, and her hair was always neat and very nice.

PETERSON: How did you get to school? Did you ride the bus?

HOOPER: We rode the school bus that came from the Fowler ranch down north of Fallon, and it came past the Indian colony and then on to the school in town.

PETERSON: What school did you attend after Cottage Schools?

HOOPER: From there I went to Stewart Indian School starting from fourth grade, and I finished there at [grade] twelve.

PETERSON: Do you know that decision was made that you would go to that school?

HOOPER: It was our own personal decision. My two sisters and my brother when they came in the summer went to school there, and they just said that they thought that I should go there with them because we never were together all them years till I was third grade, and that's the first time I ever saw them, so I went with them to boarding school, and I liked it there I just kept going every year, and I'd come back home in the summers and Christmas.

PETERSON: Can you describe the school to me?

HOOPER: Well, there was about five hundred students that attended there, and they have different cottages from one to six. Same with the boys, and then they had units four and five. We were in unit six and then four and five were seventh and eighth graders. Two and three were ninth and tenth graders, and then they had a special unit for the eleventh and twelfth graders, so they went by units. Same with the boys. We had just the one big school house when I went to school there, and all the kids went to school there. I don't know how they fit five hundred people in that one school house, but we all went to school there.

PETERSON: Did you have to wear uniforms while you were there?

HOOPER: No, we didn't, but when I first went to Stewart in fourth grade we were poor because we didn't have a whole lot of things, but they issued clothes that were uniformly. They were pretty little dresses, and the shoes were all alike because it's a government school, so those of us that didn't have very many clothing we were issued extra clothing to wear. But we never had to go to school with one print dress or anything. We just wore what we wanted to wear.

PETERSON: What kinds of things were you taught at Stewart?

HOOPER: We were mostly taught vocation work, and the academic was very good. We had, just like any other school, we went to reading, writing, and English. Vocations consisted of home economics, and they had a good musical program. We started very young on a little black instrument called tonettes. Those that liked to play a musical instrument. When we got old enough like seventh grade, a music teacher put us in the high school band which I spent six years there. And they had wholesome recreation on weekends. The children got to go to town, maybe go to the movies. Movies was eleven cents at that time, so we went to town with a quarter and went to the movies and had a little extra money to buy extra things to come home. When we got all done there was square dancing, and then there was knitting. We had a glee club. Just a wholesome recreation, and the fellas had sports, basketball, football. Oh, it was really nice. Really enjoyed it.

PETERSON: What instrument did you play when you were in band?

HOOPER: I started with tonettes, the little black horns, and then I went to an alto because being very young we had to just kind of help the ones play the melody and try to fill in the background, and then I went from an alto to a cornet, and then from a cornet to a trumpet which I played first chair when I finished twelfth grade. Worked myself up.

PETERSON: Did you miss the Daltons during your years at Stewart?

HOOPER: Yes, I did beings they were the only parents that I knew. Especially my aunt Mary.

PETERSON: Did they come and visit you at all when you were there?

HOOPER: Yes, they did. Maybe not as often, but they didn't have a car. They were poor, so they came usually with Leonard Allen's mother and dad if they came over to see them. They attended the same school, so sometimes I would catch a ride with them. Most of my rides later on in the years were with Leonard and Leora's family. I guess I was small enough to squeeze in between someone. [laughing]

PETERSON: [laughing] I've heard a lot of different things about Stewart, but you seem to see it as a positive experience. Was there anything that you would change about the school at that time?

HOOPER: Not at the time that I went there when I was a little girl. I wished to change some of the dispositions of the children that went there, but you can't do that. All the girls got bugs, so they made sure our hair was short and trim. It wasn't something that they would wish to do, but we were little girls, first to sixth grade, so they can't take care of their hair very nice, so we had uniform haircuts, and when we got bugs, I mean the whole dormitory got it.

PETERSON: Was it lice?

HOOPER: Yeah. Head lice. They got rid of that, and they kept us clean. We had clean sheets every week. Food was not what we ate at home. We're used to potatoes and meat. We weren't used to eating a lot of vegetables which the school provided. I learned to eat a lot of stuff like sauerkraut and other things. We never drank chocolate milk at home, so that was different, and the food was different, but it was good. No, I wouldn't have changed anything about the school from the time I left. When my second sister was in the tenth grade, they shipped about five bus loads of Navajos from Arizona which started making a change in the school. When I left up to twelfth grade, my brother spent his last two years there at Stewart. Up to before the closing of the school I heard a lot of violence and kids carrying chains. Those were later years before the school shut down in whatever year it shut down. Maybe seventies. [It closed in 1980.] I'm not sure what year it closed. Nothing like that ever took place when I went to school there. I was very thankful. I have no bad memories of Stewart. I have only good memories.

PETERSON: That's good.

HOOPER: And the staff and the teachers as well were very good.

PETERSON: Were the teachers mainly Indian teachers?

HOOPER: Mixed. I'd say they were mostly white, but they had quite a few good Indian teachers. Our superintendent at the time I was older was Albert M. Holly, and he was Indian from Montana. Just recently, maybe a month ago, he died at age ninety-three. I was really saddened to hear that. He lived a long time. He was a good principal.

PETERSON: Can you describe the grounds of the school?

HOOPER: The grounds of the school in the summer and spring was grass, sidewalks. Almost every building there had sidewalks, and the streets were paved. When we marched and practiced in the high school band, it was really nice because we practiced on the pavement. The dormitories were neat and clean inside. They were rock buildings. Every building was rock laid of all sorts, sizes, and it was very beautiful. My oldest sister's husband, Frank Bengocia, he helped build some of the buildings there. He was a carpenter.

PETERSON: Did they encourage the kids there to attend church on Sundays?

HOOPER: They did. They liked for them to all go, but there were some that didn't go. We just went. They had a Baptist church and a Catholic church, so I went to both.

PETERSON: Why did you decided to go to both?

HOOPER: I just liked them. But at the Catholic church they always told us it was a sin if you went to another church, so we had to go back and confess that we'd sinned, but I liked the Baptist church, too, because of their singing, and the preacher was really nice. Reverend Smart was the pastor at the time I went there.

PETERSON: When you were living at home with the Daltons, do you remember specific foods that Mary or Ida might have made?

HOOPER: Yes. The main thing we ate from town were wieners and soup meat. It was good. We never ate steak. We were too poor to eat steaks. Then the wild meats we ate were jack rabbit. Sometimes people would go out hunting, and they'd come around with a truckload of rabbits and sell us rabbits, so we'd always buy. That's how we got some of our wild meat. Then the ground squirrels from the surrounding area, we went out on weekends sometimes when we had more time, we would catch ground squirrels, and my aunt Mary would roast them, and we ate those. Aunt Mary would take us out fishing. We would eat whatever we caught, mostly carp, and ducks. Mostly mud hen because ducks are hard to catch.

PETERSON: Where did you go to fish?

HOOPER: In the canal. When we lived out here, we'd go to the slough south of here. We'd walk a long ways with my aunt Lucy. She'd always wear a red dress and sit on the bank. We always remembered that.

PETERSON: How old were you about that time?

HOOPER: I think I must have been at least nine or ten.

PETERSON: Can you describe to me the process of catching the ground squirrels and what would be done with them?

HOOPER: Yes. We used a bucket and we had little sacks. We walked to town all the time, so we'd see them all the time. There's a little irrigation ditch which we still have today that the people irrigate their fields with. [tape cuts out, end of tape 1 side A] We ate the ground squirrels that lived around the alfalfa fields while we lived there at the colony. We'd start out early in the morning with our little bucket, sticks, sacks, and we'd walk over to the field near one of the Getto ranches. They're still there today. My aunt Mary would tell us to get the water, so that was up to us youngsters to carry the water and pour it down the hole. There'd be several holes, so we'd have to make sure with a stick that we didn't see any getting away from another hole while she caught a ground squirrel from one hole, and she'd grab it by the head and twist the neck like that and throw it off in the distance so it won't get away. We'd catch more and more like that till we get about fifteen, and then we'd take them home. She would clean them real good, take the intestines out down towards the bottom, and she'd put one little foot where it wouldn't get dirty if we were to roast. She'd build a fire and make some hot coals. Singe the hair off the little squirrels first and then roast them for about forty-five minutes to an hour. Then we'd eat them. They were very good. They exterminated them years ago because they became a pest.

PETERSON: Who all went along with you when you went out hunting for the squirrels?

HOOPER:       Mary and Ida Dalton and my brother, Thomas, myself. We were kind of a private family. We just kind of always did things together by ourselves.

PETERSON: Did they have a garden with their house?

HOOPER:       When we moved here to Stillwater, we did. We planted carrots and corn and edible things like beets, so in the summertime we had vegetables.

PETERSON: Were they grown for you to live on or were they sold?

HOOPER: No, they were just for us to eat. My foster parents had a little sustenance from the welfare to help take care of us, and they got this every month to help take care of us. Wish we could of had more money, but they were allowed just so much.

PETERSON: Were you expected to help in the garden?

HOOPER: Yeah, we helped. Sometime we'd get a little lazy, but we did help pull weeds. We carried water from wells at that time, so we did chores like that, getting water.

PETERSON: How big was it?

HOOPER: The garden? Not very big. Maybe twenty by twenty-four feet, maybe a little smaller.

PETERSON: What was the soil like in the garden?

HOOPER: It was good. Things seemed to grow good.

PETERSON: Did Mary or Ida do anything special with the soil, fertilize it or anything like that?

HOOPER: They probably did, but we didn't pay any attention.

 PETERSON: Did they have any pets or livestock at the time?

HOOPER: No, because we couldn't afford hay and things like that. We did have a horse given to us, and we had just one horse and a dog. My uncle Gardner Allen gave us a police dog when he come back from the war, and a cat.

PETERSON: What kind of dog was it?

HOOPER: Police dog. We called him Prince. He lived to be old and kind of lost his hearing and eyesight, but we took good care of him.

PETERSON: Do you remember the horse?

HOOPER: I don't remember much about what its name was or anything.

PETERSON: What kinds of chores were you responsible for during this time?

HOOPER: We did a little 'cause I was away most of the time. In the summertime I'd do dishes and maybe carry water, sweep a little bit. I didn't like to cook, so Aunt Mary did most of the cooking. We'd help her. Most of the time if I cleaned they didn't like it when I cleaned because I'd bother everything.

PETERSON: Where did your aunt go shopping?

HOOPER: When we lived at the colony, we'd walk to town from the Indian colony and we'd shop in Fallon.

PETERSON: Do you remember which store she went to?

HOOPER: At that time we went to the I.H. Kent store which was a real popular store and, also, at the south end of town they had a store called the Kolhoss Cash Store and, also, across from the I.H. Kent store was a meat market called Heck's at that time, and we'd buy meat there. Those are the ones that I remember.

PETERSON: What kinds of things did she buy at the I.H. Kent store?

HOOPER: Probably potatoes and small necessities like lard. We never ate goodies like cold cereal. Maybe they didn't have it at that time. We bought eggs, canned milk. We never got fresh milk. We just bought canned milk that sort of lasted. From the Heck's Meat Market we'd buy soup meat. Usually, my aunt Mary couldn't speak very good English, so she says, "I want boiled meat," and the Heck's Meat Market guy would wrap it up and put it on the counter. Then he learned to say, "Hematuas?" in Paiute which means "What else?" so that's what he'd tell these elders, and so they'd tell him wieners. I can remember the man giving me and my brother a wiener to eat on, and then the Kolhoss Cash Store we shopped there. They were old wood floors at that time.

PETERSON: Your aunt Mary wasn't married at the time?

HOOPER: Her and Jack Dalton separated maybe before my mother ever moved back, I don't really know. I don't remember. All I remember is when I started to remember she was already separated. Jack Dalton had remarried to another woman, and she remained single all her life from what I can remember.

PETERSON: When you were a child living with your aunt, did you spend most of your time indoors or outdoors?

HOOPER: Both. There was hardly much we could do in a one-room house, so on nice days we'd spend outside. Most of the Indians had this little shed. They call it hubva, outside, so they made a shade so we could have extra time out in the shade. We'd go out hiking or swimming in the ditch which we got in trouble for. The canal, that's what we called it. We spent a lot of summers out learning to swim in the canals.

PETERSON: Who taught you how to swim?

HOOPER: We taught ourselves by watching the other kids and holding onto the willows on the side of the bank. We got in trouble for it, but that's where I learned to swim.

PETERSON: Where did you go hiking?

HOOPER: Just around. Up to Rattlesnake Hill. I can remember a time when Leonard and their family would come and visit us with their mom and dad in their little car. Us kids would go up to the mountain and play cops and robbers. I don't know where the Indians were, but we'd play cops and robbers on Rattlesnake Hill. We had a lot of fun.

PETERSON: Do you remember any conversations that some of the adult members of the family had that you were listening in on?

HOOPER: Money. I remember them talking about money because as I understand the Paiutes did have a lot of land here in Churchill County that they weren't compensated for. That was one of the main subjects I would hear them talking. They'd come together and they'd visit. Maybe one person would say, "Eewatsio monee' nah kea kwu" which means we're going to get a lot of money or something to that effect. "Hohnanohkwuzub?" That means, "But when?" so that was one of the main topics that I used to hear. In the last few years that dream came true. We did get that forty-three million that those Indians dreamed about way back there that a lot of them died and never got to see that money.

PETERSON: Who were the people who were talking?

HOOPER: There was Ben Charley. He'd come visit, and my aunt Lucy and my aunt Mary and Ida and sometimes they'd get together with Alice Steve. That's Del Steve's grandmother. They mostly met at the gambling place where they played cards on weekends, and I'd hear them talk about money, of course. We all need money, but it was just something that they knew was coming, so that really was one of the big topics besides the events that happened to different members on the reservation. Maybe who went here. It was always the order of the visitation, "Well, what did you hear?" "Hima uh tu'naka?" So, they began to tell different events that happened to this person or that person or somebody's animal or something like that. They always spoke in Paiute, and that's where I began to learn and understand pretty good. I should have joined in and talked. Maybe I would have talked better. I wouldn't have to go to class now.

PETERSON: Do you have any memories of your mother's parents?

HOOPER: No, I didn't know them. Neither of them.

PETERSON: What's your earliest childhood memory?

HOOPER: The very first was stealing that pie, and we'd go across to the other Allen ranch, Ray Allen and his wife Nina and their children. That would be Leonard, Leora, Viola, Rosie. They were more our age, Rosie and Gerald, and we spent most of our time over there. I always remember Leonard and Gardner were riding horses, and they always chased me and my brother. It seems like they were always riding a horse, and when we had to go over there, they'd chase us no matter where they saw us. We'd run as fast as we could and crawl under the fence. But maybe that was just the silent thing, "Now, you go home, and you stay there." I thought about years later, and I remember spending most of our time at the ranch across the ditch over there to the north, and my cousin Elvina would sing. They were a singing family, Leora and Viola and Elvina. I can remember they were a singing family, so I'd come home and I'd sing. They'd laugh at me and said I sound just like Elvina or trying to. I didn't remember my sisters. I didn't remember my brother while we lived here on this 2875 Boundary Road. But I did remember a house that we lived in here. It was at least a two or three-bedroom house, and I remember them laying a big canvas out on the ground and a truckload of cattails they brought, and they dropped it on the canvas. I remember the Indian ladies sitting on the ground and pulling off the leaves and getting to the root and just having a good feast. Then I remembered the rides to town and some rides to the Stillwater store in the horse and buggy and several rides towards town in the horse and buggy.

PETERSON: Do you recall who the Indian women were that were pulling apart the cattails?

HOOPER: It might have even been my grandmother. I don't know. They were ladies I don't remember. They were just people there eating, men and women. I didn't know who they were 'cause I just vaguely remember that cattail and that truck. Probably my foster parents and maybe even my mother. I don't know.

PETERSON: They were eating the roots?

HOOPER: They were eating the roots of the cattail.

PETERSON: Did you ever try that, also?

HOOPER: Oh, yeah, we ate. It was good. Burnt your tongue a little bit, but it was good. Just like eating a cucumber. Kind of crunchy. We don't eat it now though because of the contamination of the irrigation. New chemicals go in the ditch, so I just pick them for demonstration. That's all.

PETERSON: You mentioned Elvina singing. Do you remember some of the things that she used to sing about?

HOOPER: No. All I know is they were singing. When they got older when we'd ride from Fallon to Stewart, they would sing, Viola and Leora and Elvina would sing. I remember The Three Caballeros. That was real popular at the time. That's the only one I remember, but they kept singing. To Each His Own, that was another one. The Three Caballeros that was one of my favorites.

PETERSON: Did they ever sing in Paiute?

HOOPER: No. I don't even remember hearing them talking Paiute, but they probably did when I wasn't there.

PETERSON: Besides attending Stewart, did you ever travel away from home as a child?

HOOPER: No, not as a child. We just traveled from Fallon to Stewart, and then from Stewart to Fallon for summers and Christmases. Maybe once, my--we call her Aunt Ida, we call them our aunts, but she's really my cousin. She came to get me on the V&T [Virginia and Truckee Railroad]. She went through Reno, and there was a little station just right outside of Stewart, for Christmas, and she'd come get me, and we'd walk to the V&T and we got on. We rode the train to Virginia City and to Reno, and then from Reno we caught the bus back here to Fallon. That's at Christmas. In the summers we always went to Reno for Fourth of July. As a child I remember going to Reno on the, at that time it was called the Hiskey Stage. We went from here to Reno on Fourth of July. I remember us walking from town all the way to the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony which is quite aways for a little kid to walk, me and my brother. Those are the only times that I remember.

PETERSON: What was Ida's last name?

HOOPER: Dalton. Mary and Ida Dalton. Ida was Jack Dalton's daughter.

PETERSON: How old were you when you recall this one Christmas when she came to get you?

HOOPER: I must have been about fifth grade.

PETERSON: Were you at Stewart all year, or did they let you go for the summer?

HOOPER: Three months all summer. All the summers I came home, and at Christmas, they always made sure I was home at Christmas. All the time whether we had money or not. We were always home. We'd get a ride somehow. Summers I was made to come home every summer, and one summer after we were sixth grade, I decided I didn't want to go home. We were just going to spend the time there all summer, but I only stayed there two weeks, and they came and got me.

PETERSON: Do you have any memories of visiting Stillwater Marshes as a child?

HOOPER: No, not till we got older when we went down to fish. As far as I can remember is we went as far as the Stillwater store. At that time it was quite active. Mr. Greenwood was the store attendant at that time.

PETERSON: Did you go to the mountains with your relatives?

HOOPER: Not when I was young, no.

PETERSON: How old were you when you started to go?

HOOPER: I don't ever remember going to the mountains until I was about sixteen or seventeen when we went out to get pine nuts. And that was toward Yerington, but we never went all those years. We didn't have a car.

PETERSON: So, you would go pine nutting up in Yerington?

HOOPER: Yes.

PETERSON: Can you tell me about that?

HOOPER: I'd go with my sister, Beatrice, and her husband, Frank [Bengocia], and they'd have these baskets to carry their pine nuts in. We call it yata. Mostly we put it in gunny sacks if the pine nuts would stick. We'd have to put something on our heads because the pitch gets all over our hair. We'd never cook it out there. Once in awhile they would throw some onto the ground and roast the nuts, and we'd eat some out there, but mostly they brought it home, let dry, clean it out. And, really, I never went that much till after our children were born, then we went out to the mountains more to hunt deer and pick pine nuts, but I was already married and older then. I think mainly because my husband was from the mountains and that's why we went more often.

PETERSON: Did you go rabbit hunting with any of your relatives when you were younger?

HOOPER: No.

PETERSON: When you did go out, either visiting or whatever you did, what kinds of wild animals did you see?

HOOPER: We didn't see anything. Sometimes rabbits. Just hear coyotes, you never see them. They're too fast. And then we walked to the closest place we could fish because not having a car we couldn't get around very good.

PETERSON: Can you remember ever being sick as a child?

HOOPER: Just childhood sicknesses. I remember having chicken pox. I remember having measles. I remember in the Colony when we lived up there in the one-room house, I remember being sick with the measles. They made me wear dark glasses. I can still remember that.

PETERSON: How old were you about that time?

HOOPER: I must have been about second or third grade.

PETERSON: And why the dark glasses?

HOOPER: I don't know. They just said measles will ruin your eyes if you see the light too much.

PETERSON: Who cared for you during that time?

HOOPER: My foster parents, Mary and Ida. They took good care of me. They never did hit me or spank me or anything, but they scolded. But they were never mean.

PETERSON: Did your relatives attend church at all?

HOOPER: Not when I was growing up. Not till I got older. They had a church there at the Indian colony, and I remember Reverend Scott was the pastor. I believe his wife was a member of the tribe out there.

PETERSON: At what age did you start going?

HOOPER: I started when I was first to the third grade because across the street was the United Methodist Church. They had what they called a after-school Bible study. They'd let us out, those that wanted to go, a little ahead of time before the bus schedule came so that we could make it back to catch the bus. Every Wednesday afternoon after school they'd take us over, but I don't remember anything they said, but I do remember singing and them talking, but I don't remember what they said at all till I got older.

PETERSON: You said that was Methodist?

HOOPER: Yes, across . . . That church is still there as far as I know on Stillwater Street [280 East Stillwater]. I don't know if they do that anymore or not, but I was sure glad they did because I was interested in going to church at a very young age.

PETERSON: At that time did you have any Paiute religious beliefs?

HOOPER: Not personally, but my foster parents did. They believed in the old ways. Some of them would never go to the doctor. They'd have the medicine man come in and take care of the sick. Other than that, I have never known of any other practices that they did outside of when one was sick, and a doctor was called in. Mainly Wuzzie George's husband, Jimmy George, he was the medicine man, and his wife, Wuzzie, lived in our clan out at Stillwater. She was part of our family. My aunt Wuzzie.

PETERSON: What sort of spiritual beliefs did your aunt and her family have, some of the older people?

HOOPER: I don't know as they really had anything. I think they have more beliefs today in this modern time than they did way back then. They believed there were evil spirits around if somebody died that they'd come back and haunt them. Mainly superstitions, like they say water babies are along the edges of the irrigation ditches. I think that was more or less to scare us so we wouldn't go to the ditch and swim or drown or whatever. The coyote was a bad luck sign that someone's going to die if they howled nearby, and even up to today they still have beliefs like that. The owl brings news of death. When you hear an owl, that brings news of death, and a lot of other little superstitious things that . . . I wouldn't want to say superstitious. I take that back in that sense. It was their way of belief. If they believed and it was sacred to them, well, then let it be so like that. They loved telling ghost stories. I can remember in the evenings after supper they would tell about ghost stories. Even some of this little road called the Hicks Road, they said somebody was driving along in their little Model car, and they looked in the mirror and then they said there was somebody sitting in the back seat. They were so scared, but they just kept driving anyway. Then they said, "Never whistle along in the night because you're inviting bad spirits to come." People have heard footsteps behind them following them along, but it's for the person that heard it. As long as I've lived here I've never experienced anything like that and growing up with my foster parents I never experienced or heard it. Except maybe the coyotes and the owls. You do hear them.

PETERSON: You mentioned water babies earlier. Can you explain that to me a little bit more?

HOOPER:       I really don't know anything about the water babies except that I hear them talking about it that they bring news of death when you do see them and hear them they cry like babies. I guess more or less to lure people to the ditch, and then they say they pull them in and they drown.

PETERSON: Did your family participate in sweats at all?

HOOPER: No, my family, as far as I can remember, did not participate. My aunt Bessie before she passed away, Bessie Johnny, she said our people didn't do the things that these people are doing now. She said our people didn't do that. And it was a good example for me to be careful, and I appreciated her statement. As far back as I can remember, there was never sweats at the Indian colony nor any that I can remember even here on the reservation. Mainly their Indian practices were if someone were sick because they were really careful when someone got sick to take care of their sick, and a lot of times they'd rather go to the Indian doctor than to a hospital for treatment. I think perhaps many more of them would have lived if they had gone to the hospital. But Mr. Jimmy George was pretty good in his statements that he would make about the sickness. Lots of times if there was a cure, it helped, and then sometimes the people die, too, and there was nothing they could do. My aunt Mary had a stroke. They found her hanging on her doorstep. I was away at the time, and they brought in the medicine man to try to help but she died on the floor, and there was nothing they could for her. She had a stroke.

PETERSON: How old were you when she died?

HOOPER: I think I must have been about seventeen or eighteen.

PETERSON: Do you know who they called in to try to help her?

HOOPER: Probably Mike Kaiser or Jimmy George. They were the only two shamans here in the valley that we knew of. There were no outsiders come in that I remember.

PETERSON: Growing up, who did you admire the most, or who did you most want to be like in your family?

HOOPER: I really can't think of that right now because I went to Stewart most of them years. Just trying to be something good is what I had in mind. There was no particular person that I ever wanted to be like. I admired the Ray Allens because they were really nice. When you say nice, I mean it was never a mean word that they ever spoke when we were children. I thought of them as being nice people, and that's all I wanted in my life is to be a nice person. [End of tape 1]

PETERSON: What year did you graduate from Stewart?

HOOPER:       I didn't graduate. I left about three months before graduation. I wished I would of, but my class they all graduated. Those that I went to school with for nine years, some new ones, but I didn't graduate.

PETERSON: Why did you decide to leave?

HOOPER:       Well, we got a little naughty here and there, and the principal decided he didn't want to put up with us anymore. And I don't blame the school for any of these. Whatever punishment we get, we deserved.

PETERSON: So there was more than one of you that decided to leave?

HOOPER:       Well, there was quite a few of us, yes. When I was in the sixth grade we tried to run away. This one girl had built up a nice story, and we ran away, and the police got us between Carson City and Reno and took us back to school. It was just a wild attempt, so I guess I was one of those kind of persons when I got older and got punished for it. When they get tired of it, they just send you home.

PETERSON: Was your aunt happy to see you, or how did she feel about that?

HOOPER:       I worked out. I started working out in the summers when I was tenth grade, and I was more or less kind of on my own. Then I came home for a while, and then I worked out.

PETERSON: What was your first job?

HOOPER:       Babysitting while the parents worked.

PETERSON: And where was that?

HOOPER:       Lake Tahoe. And then the next summer I worked in Reno babysitting two children. Little ones.

PETERSON: Were they white children?

HOOPER:       White children. They were really nice the people that I worked for.

PETERSON: What were their names?

HOOPER:       I don't remember their names. It's been so long ago.

PETERSON: How old were you at the time?

HOOPER:       I was probably sixteen and seventeen.

PETERSON: What kinds of things did you do in those years following Stewart?

HOOPER:       After I came home then I stayed with my elders. I stayed with my aunt Lucy for a while because my elders got sick. Both Mary and Ida they died of stroke. They were really ill, so I stayed with my elder Lucy, and in between that time I met Ernest, and then we married.

PETERSON: Where did you meet Ernest?

HOOPER:       He came here to Fallon, but I knew him in Stewart. He attended school in Stewart. He attended two years here in Churchill County and then the eleventh and twelfth grade he went to Stewart, but we made our home here most of our life. Not right here on the property, but in town.

PETERSON: What is Ernest's full name?

HOOPER:       Ernest Hooper.

PETERSON: Do you know the approximate year that you met in Stewart?

HOOPER:       1948 and 1949. I was about ninth grade.

PETERSON: Where is he from?

HOOPER:       He's from Reese River. Forty miles outside of Austin south.

PETERSON: What tribe is he from?

HOOPER:       Shoshone.

PETERSON: Both of his parents are Shoshone?

HOOPER: Yes.

PETERSON: How long did you know him before you got married?

HOOPER:       I always knew him before, and like everybody else we stayed together before we got married. We married January 9, 1956.

PETERSON: Where were you married?

HOOPER:       In Reno at the courthouse.

PETERSON: Did any of your family members attend?

HOOPER:       No. Our family growing up the way we did, we weren't very close, and we just never communicated as well as we should have and been as close together. I wish we could have, but we never.

PETERSON: How many children did you have with Ernest?

HOOPER:       Four living children and three died.

PETERSON: Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

HOOPER:       Well, one of them got a severe diarrhea and dehydrated really bad, and the other two were miscarriages.

PETERSON: How old was the child that had died?

HOOPER:       Five months.

PETERSON: I'm sure that was difficult for you.

HOOPER:       Yes, it was. I thought maybe I would never have another girl after that, but then my daughter was born after that. Rebecca. We have one girl and three boys.

PETERSON: What are their names?

HOOPER:       My oldest son is Kenneth Eugene [born September 23, 1952], and second was Clifton David [born June 22, 1956], and my third one was Alphia Susan, the one that died, and Rebecca Jane [born November 7, 1959] and Bryan Richard [born May 29, 1961], my youngest.

PETERSON: Where were they born?

HOOPER: Kenneth and Rebecca were born in Schurz, Nevada, and Clifton David was born here at the hospital in Churchill, and Brian Richard, when my husband went for ministry training in South Dakota, he was born at the Sioux Indian hospital at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. We always called him our Sioux baby. On his birth certificate they didn't question 'cause everybody's Sioux there, so they just took it that I was Sioux so they put Sioux on the birth certificate, and we had to go back and change it. So, I tease him a lot, and say, "How do you know you're not Sioux? They traded." They brought me this big baby. I saw him when he was born. He was just a tiny six one baby, and I looked at that big baby, and I said, "That's not mine." So I tease him every once in a while.

PETERSON: Oh, that's funny.

HOOPER: I said, "That's not my baby. My baby's very small." We got it corrected, and we got the birth certificate changed.

PETERSON: So, you've been married to Ernest throughout all these years.

HOOPER:       Yes. We've been lifelong sweethearts.

PETERSON: And where was your first home?

HOOPER:       We stayed out on the Virginia Street down from the library. No kids were born there, though. Then we moved out to the Connelly ranch out on Pasture Road. We stayed there a couple of years, and Clifton was born there. Kenneth was born in Schurz. I already mentioned that. Then after that we moved to the Allen house over here. They let us stay in this little house across the way here to the south, and we stayed there about a year. Then we moved to town. We just moved, moved, moved here, there, and then, while he worked, he's a land leveler, so we got a little trailer. His job was with the A & K Earth Movers, so they moved from town to town. Battle Mountain, Winnemucca, Elko, so we had this little trailer and that was our home. We just moved it wherever we wanted to.

PETERSON: That's convenient.

HOOPER:       Yes, and then while we were away in ministry training we stayed in South Dakota five years. We came back and stayed in town and then till the first batch of HUD homes they approved, and we were one of them. So we moved out here on the property here on 2875 Boundary Road while we are waiting this home, this home that we're having this tape discussion in, and we've lived here ever since.

PETERSON: What year did you come back here for good?

HOOPER:       1965 after his ministry training, and we moved here to the property about 1968, and we've been here since then.

PETERSON: During the early years of your marriage, did you have a job?

HOOPER:       No, I didn't have a job except for if I wanted extra money I would work for local people doing house cleaning. At that time pay was a dollar an hour, and you know at the end of the day eight dollars seemed like a lot of money at that time. [laughing] Now, it's not like that. But I enjoyed it up till a few years ago, then I quit.

PETERSON: How long were you married before your husband decided that he wanted to be a minister?

HOOPER:       Well, not too long. A few years. He always wanted to be a minister way back there when he was a young man. But he always felt like to be a minister he couldn't be married so he hesitated till God had to show him in his way that he can still be married and be a minister, too. It was in 1956 he had the desire that he wanted to, I mean, really be a minister. I've always felt that because I was going to church all them years that I wouldn't of minded being married to a minister, and that was before Ernest decided he wanted to be a minister, so we were kind of thrown together we felt like for this purpose, and we've been in the ministry work since that time. Slow at first, learning through the years, then 1960 we went to Hot Springs, South Dakota, to get his ministry training till 1965. It hasn't always been a bed of roses, but it's growing. It was the best thing. The best part of our life is growing.

PETERSON: When you lived in South Dakota, what was that like for you being away from your home basically?

HOOPER:       To really tell the truth we didn't really have a home because we rented. We sold our trailer to his sister and her husband which gave them a little start, and they had a little start and a little home of their own. So, we moved on to South Dakota. It was different. We felt closed in because we were in the foot of the Black Hills, and being here in the Lahontan Valley we're kind of wide open and we were used to the wide-open space, so moving to South Dakota wasn't all that good for me, for the children, but it was beautiful. We took trips to the Black Hills on the weekends to see the buffalo and the different animals. We learned to like it. We said we'd never move back to Nevada once we got attached to the place. But when the time came, and he graduated, well, we came home. We was really happy to be home.

PETERSON: Why did you go to South Dakota? Was it only that school?

HOOPER:       It's an Indian school, and it was a private church, and it was a church that we had decided we wanted to be a member of. It's the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and that was the only closest. They did have conferences in Oregon and California, but that closest school would be there close to us so that's where we went. It was different, and it was good.

PETERSON: Were you accepted? Was it a mainly Sioux population?

HOOPER:       All tribes just like Stewart was. We had New York Indians, Mohawks, and Chippewas. They wanted almost every tribe that they could get their hands on, and they said they'd love to have Paiute and a Shoshone going to school there, so we were the Paiute-Shoshone, and it was real nice. We had all white teachers, but the only non-Indians they accepted were the staff children of the white workers and the rest of the students were all Indian. We enjoyed that.

PETERSON: After you left South Dakota, where did you go from there?

HOOPER:       We came here to Nevada. We worked with the Reverend [William] and Mrs. [Hazel] Plants at the Country Church on Crook Road. We worked for them, and we still occasionally take some of the services when they want a wedding or funeral we have it in their church. We're still acquainted with the Plants. Although we are independent now because we're semi-retired.

PETERSON: What were some of your duties during that time?

HOOPER:       At school, I was the assistant cook. Of course, with my little family being as young as they were and Brian being a baby, I was limited, but most of my jobs was assistant cook and taking care of my children.

PETERSON: When you moved here to Fallon, what kinds of duties did you have?

HOOPER:       As a minister's wife I took care of my children, and, being of the local area, I didn't visit homes as much he did, but I learned to play the piano in my spare time, and I helped with the Sunday school taking a class and leading the children in their music.

PETERSON: How do you think having a minister as a father made your children's lives different?

HOOPER:       They were limited, but we tried to give them a wholesome home. We took them to the mountains, and we had outings like cooking out. We always made it a point to go out to the mountains to deer hunt. Their dad taught them all to drive a vehicle and fishing. We'd take them fishing, but they never neglected their church services. We were all made to go. We had blessing on our food every meal. They never seemed to complain like most children do. I suppose they would have liked to, but they respected their father, I think. They weren't always the perfect children when they got older, but today I think what training their father gave to them has been real beneficial for each of them.

PETERSON: You said your husband is Shoshone?

HOOPER: Yes.

PETERSON: Did you speak either Paiute or Shoshone with your children when they were growing up?

HOOPER:       No, we didn't because we wanted to speak good English and being he's Shoshone he didn't speak to them either. We didn't want to confuse them between the two languages. It was either one or the other, so we did neither.

PETERSON: How did your cultures mix together? I know it's of the same area, but being married to a Shoshone, how was that?

HOOPER:       Well, both of us had a good education and being married to a Shoshone was no problem to me, although, even today prejudice among the Paiute and Shoshone still exists. So I just say that as far as our relationship being a different tribe has made no barriers.

PETERSON: In what way does prejudice come about? How does it show itself?

HOOPER:       I think it's a trait from way back and taught down the line. When we went to Stewart we went to school with all tribes. Most western states. A lot of tribes we were acquainted with, and that made me realize that, you know, "Hey, there's a lot of Indians out there that aren't my own tribe, and they're just like me." That helped me. And Ernest, I think he felt the same.

PETERSON: So, you don't believe in perpetuating any prejudices?

HOOPER:       Not with my children, no. I don't say you Shoshone or you Paiute, or I'm going to give you back to the Paiutes or whatever. I've heard people say that. "You be nice, or I'll give you back to the Shoshones." We never taught our kids any kind of barrier, like white, Indian, Negro. When my little boy, David, when he was a little boy, I think he was about three 'cause he could speak good English, and I made the mistake. I said, "You go outside and you play with that little white boy." So, he went out. He was obedient and went out to play. He was back in about three minutes. He asked me, "What's a little white boy?" Well, see, that was my mistake. I really felt bad about it later 'cause I never taught them to be feeling any way about other tribes, even the white race.

PETERSON: Did you ever encounter any prejudice growing up in Fallon?

HOOPER:       No, I haven't. Even up to today. The people are really nice. I've heard people say this town is real prejudiced, or we go to Lovelock and say this town is real prejudiced. In South Dakota we heard it constantly that these white people don't like Indians, but very rarely if we're going out of state stopping somewhere now we would get a little cold treatment, and here locally we have never encountered up to date any prejudice, not willing to wait on us when we go in a store. People are really nice. But as I remember when I was growing up when we'd walk from the colony to town to eat we'd always walk up the alleyway. We would never eat in the front restaurants. There was a little place in the back. I remember this little place on the Maine Street called Barrel House and they had a restaurant there, but we'd always go in the back door. There was a little place where the waiters eat, and we'd sit down in there. I don't know if it was because they didn't want us up front or just because the Indian people were very timid and they felt uncomfortable at that time to be around white people. So we just ate in the back. We came in the back and went out the back. Lots of time if we liked the food we'd tie it up in a little sack. She'd have a little cloth and we'd take whatever we didn't eat home with us.

PETERSON: How has Fallon changed over the years?

HOOPER:       As far as me and my husband, he's always had a job, and they've never hesitated to hire him. He's never had any problem working with the white people here in town. He's a heavy equipment professional now. Worked all his life supporting the children and worked here in the valley and worked for some good white people. Personally, within my own family, I think we have no complaints as far as the town at all.

PETERSON: You're a member of the Methodist church?

HOOPER:       The Wesleyan Methodist Church. At that time, but the church merged several times, so they're Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Church, but it's still Wesleyan Methodist.

PETERSON: Did your husband… the way that he was taught when he was at the school, did anything that he was taught conflict with any Indian beliefs that he may have had or still has?

HOOPER:       His mother was a Christian. She, as a very young girl, being an orphan, her mother wasn't taking care of her as well. Back in those days people drank a lot. In my family they probably did, too, but she was left a lot home alone, and so there was a nice Negro lady, I believe, made a remark that she took her to church, taught her about the Lord Jesus and she become a Christian at her early age and then began to pray, so things worked out for her through the years. She taught religion in their home, so it wasn't hard for Ernie to want to be a Christian. She'd read the Bible and so he'd be curious. "Well, what is she reading?" So, he'd sneak over, careful not to touch the pages, and he would read, and then he would sneak off like he was never there, so he was taught quite well.

PETERSON: What is your husband's mother's name?

HOOPER:       Her name was Alice Kawich Hooper, and she's the granddaughter of Chief Kawich, the old Captain Chief Kawich. Then they called her dad Captain Kawich. His dad was Art Hooper.

PETERSON: Was your husband a member of the local tribe or different?

HOOPER:       He's a member of the tribe in Reese River where he lived with his parents.

PETERSON: What tribe is that?

HOOPER:       The Yomba Shoshone Tribe.

PETERSON: With him not being a member of this tribe here, has it made your life different somehow?

HOOPER:       Not as much. Non-members are allowed to live here with their spouses if their spouses were members, and we haven't had that much difficulty except he's not allowed to vote and different things like that. He's not allowed to participate, but other than that he can live here.

PETERSON: As a minister's wife over the past years, what kinds of things have you been involved with?

HOOPER:       Just helping him with his work and playing for him and singing. We sing together, and I help him sing and doing our reports every year. I do our mission reports and things like that, helping in the church.

PETERSON: Where do you spend most of your time when you're working with him?

HOOPER:       We live here. As far as living we just live here, and we have Sunday morning Bible study, and I help him with that. In the summer when we were quite young from 1956 we held daily vacation Bible school almost every summer, and we helped teaching children and helping in the church work wherever we can. With our ministry now we don't have as much, but we do have special occasions, Easter feast, Christmas feast and more or less keeping the door open now in case there's people out there that don't have a place of worship. We want to have a place where they can come and worship.

PETERSON: What is the name of this church again?

HOOPER: The Wesleyan Methodist.

PETERSON: Where is it located?

HOOPER: In Salem, Ohio. We just call it AWMC, Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Church. We just use initials.

PETERSON: So, you do most of your work here at home, then.

HOOPER: We're independent. We hold our credentials with them. They don't support us in any way. We make our own living.

PETERSON: Do you participate in any ceremonies or things for local Indians, maybe burials or anything like that?

HOOPER:       With my husband, yes, I help him sing and I help him with his instruments and just being there to help, playing the piano for services and helping where I can. I never try to take over a job that he's supposed to have.

PETERSON: Were you here during the eighties when there was the major flood out there by Stillwater?

HOOPER:       Yes, we lived here. It didn't back up over here, though, but it come pretty close to where my son and them lived out at the Kent ranch.

PETERSON: How did you feel about the burials that were exposed out there? The skeletons and the remains.

HOOPER:       I guess it was all right. I didn't even really know about them till after they were really buried. We didn't really get involved, but those things you can't help. If they just gather the bones and re-bury them, we didn't really participate. Maybe had we known about it, maybe we could have.

PETERSON: How would you have helped, or would you?

HOOPER:       Oh, I don't think so unless maybe they ask him to have God's blessing on it. Other than that I don't think we would have.

PETERSON: Do you consider the people buried there to be your ancestors?

HOOPER:       Could be. They lived below the mountains. I believe they were.

PETERSON: Were there any stories passed down from maybe an elder person in your family about your ancestors or people that may have lived in this area a long time ago?

HOOPER:       No, not really. Other than that, each family tended to their own thing, except when that big flood came way back there they had a hard time. But, other than that, I think each family had their own stories. I didn't pay much attention to way, way, way back there to what they had to say.

PETERSON: Are there any practices that you see in recent times or in the past that some of the locals still practice but maybe aren't that well known?

HOOPER:       As far as I'm concerned, Jimmy George and Mike Kaiser-and some of our local shamans they've been dead and buried and I think whatever they practiced was buried with them. We never, and don't intend to recapture what they had. It's just like you're stealing something from their practices. What they have now, we feel like it's been borrowed from almost every other tribe here and there, and they're put together. I don't think it's what our people would want, in my personal view.

PETERSON: That's interesting. Are there any practices involving the dead after somebody dies? [end of tape 2 side A]

HOOPER:       The practices of burying the dead to this date have been more in compliance with the public or the mortuary. They have a decent burial and most request a church service. Sometimes they get my husband to do the burial service for them. I can't see anything different about burying their dead. When I was very young they would bring the body home the day before or even two days before and visit with the body and even then I don't remember anything spectacular that they did except visit and be there with the body. They have what they called a little crying party where people would get together and they'd just help one another cry or help the family cry. Just share their grief with them and maybe perhaps have a feast. Then they'd have the people bury the dead. This modern times most have a decent burial, and they will get a traditional person--by traditional, I mean one that still carries out some of the old ways, to speak over the grave in their own language. Most times the prayer would go like this, "Now you are gone and you're going to a good place and don't come back to haunt your family members and don't be thinking about them or bothering them. We're still here and we're gonna all go down the same path some day." Of course, these are spoken in the Paiute language or the Shoshone language if they so wished as far as I know. Traditionally they used to throw beads in there. always thought if I had my death, it was traditional Paiute, so I see them get a handful of beads, and I'd throw it in the grave, and I have fourteen grandchildren, and I thought I'd prepare a bag and have it ready and have each of them do it just in remembrance of our Paiute ancestors. Not wishing that anything would befall them, because my husband and I don't practice that teaching them that there's anything bad here when they die that they need to be afraid of. But there are some in the California area and Schurz which they have what they call a cry dance, and they would take time out and have a ceremony where they dance around a built fire and each one has clothes that belonged to the deceased, and then they throw it in the fire as they dance around to get rid of some of their belongings. When they're through, perhaps have a feast, and then they bury their dead. Lots of times they have a regular minister come in to do the burial.

PETERSON: Is there any significance behind the throwing of the beads?

HOOPER:       I really don't know. Maybe there was a beader. Maybe they enjoyed making crafts, and maybe they enjoyed doing the beads. I really don't know. But when they threw the dirt in, that was sharing your grief plus the traditional Paiute would say, "Well, when I throw the dirt in your spirit won't come back to haunt me." They pray in their language along those lines. So, traditionally, even if we don't believe the spirits are here, we do it out of respect. We just throw the dirt in because our ancestors did it.

PETERSON: Have you learned anything along the way about the Mexican culture?

HOOPER:       I tried to get video tape to watch to see how they lived, and what I found out was that there are tribes in there of different sorts, different Indians. I've had people approach me, and when I say I'm half Mexican they'll say, "Well, your eyes are curved down in such a manner. Your cheekbones are high. I think your band of people would be Nautuh or they'd name another band of Indians which they think we might belong to 'cause we're very short, and those short people live in this certain area. Other than that I just listen to the music. I don't understand a word of Mexican or Spanish, but I like listening to the music. It just kind of makes me feel that half of me is still Mexican. I can't get away from it. I like it.

PETERSON: You said that you had seen a picture of your father?

HOOPER:       Yes. I have a picture of my father, and he looks Mexican. He's well dressed. To me he looks like he was a very intelligent person.

PETERSON: Do you recognize any features in him?

HOOPER:       Yes, with my brothers, I did. And my oldest son, he sort of looks like my brothers.

PETERSON: Is that comforting to you?

HOOPER:       Yes, it is.

PETERSON: Are you involved in the Paiute language class that's being taught here on the reservation?

HOOPER:       Yes. I started last spring. I didn't do the fall one, but I'm doing this spring one, and I want to try to finish it if I possibly can. Get all the literature I can on the words.

PETERSON: How is that going?

HOOPER:       Very well. I've learned some new words that perhaps along the way I've heard but forgot about like whirlwind, pitumaba. I forgot that. I never knew how to say rainbow, piaguduuhgwunuuh and lighting. Some other familiar words like rain, paoma, I remember those minor words. Some of the harder ones I had all but forgotten or didn't know at all, and it has refreshed a lot, and I've learned to speak a little bit more. If I get with another Paiute, I can speak. Words and sentences do come into my mind.

PETERSON: Must be neat. Is there anyone in particular that you converse with?

HOOPER:       There's Harvey. Like today we went over and had a senior citizen's meal. He wanted to know where my brother was, and I told him, "Well, I haven't seen him," and I said it in the Paiute language. In Indian I told him we were talking into this machine. Tried to. [laughing] Yeah, I talk Paiute sometime to Harvey Harrington. He's a relative, and Marge Milazzo. I try to say words to Marge Milazzo. Other than that there's nobody here that speaks the language. The few of us that are attempting to learn I hope they can revive it.

PETERSON: I know that you do presentations pretty regularly about the Paiute culture and even a lot of things about Shoshone culture. Who taught you most of the things that you know?

HOOPER:       I learned a lot from my foster parents, Ida and Mary Dalton, just from growing up as a child watching the Indian people when they talked and how they dressed when I was a little girl. They wore the long dresses and plaid checkered scarves and shawls. The scarves were bright colors. A lot of knowledge I had of the pine nut gathering baskets. I've seen them and used them. The yata. I've seen them shake their pine nuts in it cleaning their pine nuts, and it's just always been interesting for me being--I always call myself, I'm not a modern traditional person. Like if you say, "Are you traditional or not?" but I consider myself traditional with the knowledge that I have and the desire to just keep my culture alive with my grandchildren. I go in their schools whenever they call me and I talk to their classes about our Paiute people. I try to get as many books as I can to read up on them. And with the Shoshone and Ernie's help I could get some words just to present and some of the roots that were used as medicines, and I learned to say their names. It's because our people used those way back there.

PETERSON: When did you first start gathering your materials and going out and presenting?

HOOPER:       I don't remember or recall the first year, but it must have been at least ten years ago. But I already had some stuff that I had collected before and mostly my stones and my willow baskets I had collected from different people that made them professionally, miniature baskets, like on the wall here, cone baskets and the yata, the baby cradleboard my aunt Essie Allen made. She recently passed away. I collected those. They're turning brown already, so I've had them a while just to keep the memory, and the doll baskets and the drums. I picked up the Bible singing books to sing gospel Bible songs in the Paiute language, so I made two drums that I could present to show how the Paiute language sounds as one sings it. From Judy Trejo, she gave me permission to sing some of the simple songs like Rabbit Guts because our Paiute people ate the rabbit and used the skin for rabbit blankets and they utilized everything out there, the meat, boiling the guts, eating the brain, so she had this little song called Rabbit Guts, and I learned that in the Paiute language and a couple of gospel songs.

PETERSON: What kinds of crafts did you learn to make, and who taught you?

HOOPER:       I've always wanted to do bead work. I never could and more or less just even buying the beads was a little expensive. But quite a few years ago, maybe twenty years or more, maybe 1970, Mrs. Iola Byers--she worked the CHR [community health representative] at that time, thought it would be nice for our Indian ladies to get together and learn crafts whether it be knitting, crocheting, bead work, and we'd gradually kind of come together on things that we like. So they started what we called The Hobby Club, and we all got together, and we did different sorts of knitting and showing our work every week was real nice. Everyone was excited showing their work. Then we got into bead work which I really always desired to do. I've always admired bead work, and that's how I got started. Then in the late 1960s the powwows began to come back for real, and they began to have powwows where before they never had powwows like they have today. When they got together their powwows consisted of gambling, hand game playing, and then they'd do the round dance dancing, but nothing competitive when I was growing that we could see that was in the way of powwows. We called them fandangos them times. They were fun times for adults and children, too. But in the late 1960s the powwows came back and little by little they accepted hobby crafts and selling bead work and materials to buy your beads, and then they had parades. Our first one here was a great success, and through the years they've had it here every summer the second week in July. It just sort of came back.

PETERSON: Can you describe to me the round dance?

HOOPER:       They get into a circle. When I was a little girl, this man came from Owyhee, Nevada. His name was Parker Albright. He had some boots and a big black hat that stood up, and he sat in the middle of the circle with his drum, and he'd sing songs. Indian women and men would form a circle, and it was a tight circle. There was no breaking in the circle, and they'd link their arms together, and they'd shuffle their feet together in a circle and everybody would move to the left as they shuffled along with the beat of the drum until the singer decided he wants a resting stop occasionally, and they'd take a break. It was beautiful to watch because the women still wore their shawls and scarves at that time. The scarves' fringes would shake back and forth, and it was such a beautiful sight, and listening to the hand game playing while they played the games at night. It was soothing. As little children we'd just go to sleep right behind them on the ground, and in the morning we'd wake up and they're still singing to the small beating of the sticks. It was wonderful.

PETERSON: Was there significance behind that particular dance?

HOOPER:       Not the round circle dances. Just sort of like a healing and singing and enjoyment, fellowship. Then the hand game, that's real gambling for money. That was a gamble to win.

PETERSON: How was that played?

HOOPER:       There were two rows of people facing each other on each side with a log in front, and each one had a stick. They'd sing a song and two sets of bones. One with a black strip around it, two sets, and each side would sing till one side would get all the betting sticks. The money is in the middle. If I bet ten dollars and my side won, I would get twenty dollars. The money got bigger in the pot. If I bet fifty dollars, then I would receive a hundred dollars on my side, but if the other side wins, we'd just lose. We don't get anything back. Usually they have betting sticks, maybe ten sticks, maybe more. I don't recall. I think it's ten, and when one side gets all them ten sticks, well, then that's the side that won. But each time they would hide the bones, two sets, well, the other side once they hid them they have to catch which side is the proper bone, and if they don't guess, the game just goes on and on, and probably why they gambled all night. It's an interesting game. I, even today, like to watch. I don't get to watch it very much, but just to hear it just like when I was a little girl is really interesting.

PETERSON: Where do you go to see it today?

HOOPER:       You can go to a powwow like every summer in July where they have a gathering. They like to gamble. It used to be with cards, but more or less now I think it's hand game. Maybe in Battle Mountain or Elko they still have the card game playing, but I think it's kind of dwindled away here.

PETERSON: And you mentioned that you often do your presentations at the grandchildren's schools, and I know that you present at the museum. Where else do you like to take all of your cultural materials?

HOOPER:       I go to the Laura Mills Park. Every year they call me. They have this Indian Days, they call it, and we go in the fall. We spend all day there while certain classes come through all day long till they get out of school. I’m going to the Convention Center this weekend. They're presenting the spring festival [Spring Wings Bird Festival] on peoples from the marsh, and I'm going to display this weekend. I've gone to the Dayton Schools. Before Thanksgiving I gave two presentations there to two elementary schools, and I went to my grandson's school in Reno. They did it different. They saw the display, but they wanted to learn the dance. I really rarely dance, but there wasn't anybody around to see what mistakes I made, so I had all the little boys come in, and they do what they call the sneak-up dance. I had tapes from other tribes that I played for them. This was an all boys' dance, then we did the circle dance, the shuffling. They seemed to enjoy it. Locally here we haven't done any dances, but I've talked with several of my grandchildren's classes. The teachers invited me.

PETERSON: Your knowledge and willingness to share must be similar in a way to what Wuzzie George accomplished in her later years. I know that you met her and that you're related to her, correct?

HOOPER:       Yes, I'm related to Wuzzie. I would be one of her nieces probably.

PETERSON: Can you tell me a little bit more about the memories you have of her?

HOOPER:       She dressed traditionally like the ladies with the long dresses and the shawls. Most of your elder women always wore a scarf. In fact I told my husband I'm getting elder now, I think I'm gonna put one around my neck like the elders used to do their time. But I noticed that Wuzzie through the timing of the changes that her dresses came up a little bit with style, but she was one of the last few people to hold onto the real traditions. They ate traditional food. I believe Jimmy George before my aunt Ida passed away, he came over and did his rituals with her. He was quite interesting in the things that he had to say. Although I couldn't go through it myself, I notice some of the facts that he told were truth. You know, what they believed in. They always had an interpreter. When they finished, they had a ceremony, and we always knew what the interpreter had to say. Healing methods, what to use, what to take, or what to drink. Wuzzie George's husband did those things.

PETERSON: What were some of those things that were said?

HOOPER:       They had this particular white medicine that they used called eabve [ave], and they would make a paste on her back and sometimes they would have them eat that, or they had a red type of clay. The Indian name is pizzapi I need to learn it from Margie [Milazzo], but they would make a paste and then put it on their body. I would think maybe like a vapor rub of some sort. They'd rub it all around their body. Then there was the times I heard them say, "Take a silver dollar and rub that around your body so many times and don't stop." Just rubbing them on their bodies. Some of their healing remedies.

PETERSON: This eabve that you mentioned, the white paste, where did that come from?

HOOPER:       I imagine that they had a special place that they got that along with the red rock, but I never have been able to hear them say where. If I'd known today I'd go get some of that stuff, but I've never heard them say where they got it.

PETERSON: Was it a plant or was it also a rock?

HOOPER:       It's a rock like a clay.

PETERSON: Let's talk about some of the plant materials that you take on your presentations? Did you collect them all yourself?

HOOPER:       I collected some and I had some given to me like the toza is a root commonly used back then and even today. Those that are still going to the medicine man, they recommend the toza to boil and drink for arthritis and sugar diabetes and colds, pneumonia. They grow like a chrysanthemum flower, and I believe the root is what they use. I don't know what the plant looks like if I went to look for it, but I did have a lady give me a root that I carry for demonstrations. The one package that I brought was osha, but I bought that, and it was for an anti-depressant like if a woman lost her husband. It's sort of like you'd make a tea, and you'd drink that.

HOOPER:       But the Paiutes, I think, when they discovered their plants they had maybe a whole lot of different types of roots, maybe over two hundred or so. But what was interesting to me is what locally the Paiutes, besides these other roots, that they used for their remedies like the sagebrush. It's just a common brush and our state flower, they used for their inhalant for their smelling, opening the pores, they'd make a tea out of that. Plus the grandmothers would take and make a paste out of the leaves. When the child had heavy bronchitis, they would put it down their throat, and it would help excrete a lot of the heavy mucus that was plaguing them. The common willow was a very good ingredient for a healing remedy, and I've known from talk about it, it helps cure dandruff and things like that. And as well it was used for the Indian basket work, scraped. Many of the Indian women were gifted, talented in that area. Then they have this other what they call si goo pi is rabbit brush, and that was used also in aids for healing. [Tsudupe is another indian tea (mormon tea)]. Then the little flower blooms bright orange in the fall around September, and that tells the Indians that the pine nuts are ready to harvest. It gets a beautiful orange, and the roots, from what I understand, when there wasn't any combs, the roots they used for combing their hair.

HOOPER:       The sagebrush for the Indian ceremonies like I mentioned before, was an aid and I even saw it used. As they entered into an Indian ceremony they would brush the sagebrush over their body to ward off any evil spirits that would enter in with them according to their belief. They were an aid in keeping the evil spirits away as well as just a good smelling sagebrush. I love the smell of it. They have little buds on it the ancient people used for chewing gum. Modern days we call it the Indian spearmint or Indian bubble gum. But there are little buds on the sagebrush, and they would get that and they'd chew it. Some of them that were braver would take the pitch off the pine trees and use it for chewing gum so even back then they made a use for chewing gum.

PETERSON: And what did the sagebrush gum taste like?

HOOPER:       It's very good. It doesn't taste like the way that sagebrush smells, and when you start chewing it, it's very delicious. This other plant here [referring to a vase of freshly cut shrubs sitting on the table] is what you call tonobe. It's a brush [greasewood]. The ancient people used them for bows and arrows. It's a very strong hardwood, and they used it for burning wood and shelters and making spears for their fish gathering, whatever. It had many uses, so I was amazed just from learning all that that they used just the basic brush that we consider weeds out there for their lifestyle.

PETERSON: You mentioned a woman who had given a sample of one of the roots. Do you remember who that person was?

HOOPER:       Shirley Brady. She lives in Elko. Shirley is married to my daughter-in-law's brother, and they live out in Elko. Then there was another one that was already sliced up that was given to me by my niece, Thelma Karo, my oldest sister's daughter. T think I had a cold one day, and she says, "Auntie, you just take a little bit of this, and you boil it, and you drink it." I tried it, but it wasn't enough to know what it did for me. I just did it because she said to go ahead and use it. I thought, "Well, if she asks me, did you use it, well, then, I didn't have to lie."         [laughing] I keep it for display and to show. They use it all the time today.

PETERSON: Are any of these items things that were passed on to you from an elder? I know you mentioned some of the baskets were.

HOOPER:       I purchased baskets from people because they were replicas of what our traditional people used. No, I have nothing passed on to me because when they died everything was burned. Whatever they possessed, and if they had Indian medicine or their little pouch that they carried their things in it was buried with them, so I was never handed anything to collect. All the things that I have are bought. The buckskin drums, the two that I carry with me for display, I made. I tanned the hide myself and cured the skins.

PETERSON: You mentioned that the items of the deceased were burned. Can you tell me why?

HOOPER:       So that the evil spirits won't come back and haunt the people, and they claim if they got rid of everything then this would help along the line of haunting or I would say maybe, memories. Some people can't take it, and others can.

PETERSON: And you mentioned the drums. How did you cure the hides? Would you please describe that?

HOOPER:       I soaked it. This one here particularly I soaked a little too long. I was dreading it because I thought maybe it would be spoiled, but I soaked it almost all winter in water. Most of the time it was frozen so it didn't have a chance to spoil, but by the time I got to it all I had to do was take a stick or whatever and scrape and the fur just fell right off of it, so it didn't take very long. On the inside I put a little bit of Downey and some Clorox and some Spic and Span and get the fat off on the inside. The outside usually where the hair has been is very smooth, but the inside is where the fat is. On the inside is what has to be scraped. It usually comes out very nice.

PETERSON: How did you stretch the hide over the surface?

HOOPER:       While it's wet I stretched it over the round two-inch loop. [end of tape 2] While stretching it over the round loop you have to be careful not to pull them too tight as it'll make the drum curl up, so it has to be pulled just enough that when it dried because buckskin will pull as it's drying so one needs to be careful when they're drying the buckskin 'cause it gets really hard where it could be played. Sometime when they bury the traditional people they will sing at the grave and using the drum and sing a Paiute going away song or even Shoshones do the same thing. They sing a going away song or a cry song as they call it. Most traditional people here in Fallon when people died they would burn everything and move out of the house, destroying everything so they won't be bothered by the evil spirits. But, now, up-to-date, there are many people that don't do that practice anymore, so we do have a thriving reservation where people live in the homes where before we were getting quite empty down here in Stillwater because that's what they believed in.

PETERSON: The burning of the houses?

HOOPER:       Burning of the houses.

PETERSON: Where did you learn to make the buckskin?

HOOPER:       I learned it from watching other people do it. At this hobby club, like I said we started here a while back, that was one of the things that each of us had tried to do was do a buckskin and maybe each do a necklace or make buckskin moccasins. We each had little projects that we would have liked to see accomplished, and I had never attempted a hide. I did several and used them for the backing of my bead work, but never a drum, so I attempted to make two drums. One curled up too bad, but you could still use it for singing. The second one came out a little bit better. Also, there was other projects I wanted that I could say I made myself which was the cone basket. I made a large one so that I could show and put my pine nuts in and see how they were gathered and, also, I made several small winnowing baskets. Then I made a little bit larger one so I could be able to fill up with nuts and demonstrate the cleaning of the pine nuts. I thought I did very well.

PETERSON: I agree. Definitely. And what about some of the dolls that you have? Did you make them?

HOOPER:       I made four of the dolls. Well, almost five with the traditional Paiute dress that the Indian women learned after the settlers came with the long dress. I think they patterned them after the settler women because they had nice wide little skirts and full skirt dresses, but they had own style. So they got the shawls and the head scarves. The faces on four of the dolls that Bessie Johnny, my aunt Bessie, took us from the hobby club, again we went out towards Soda Lake, and we got this particular clay and she showed us how to mold the faces and to wet some of this buckskin that turns real hard while dry and to put a little dye in it that it could look Indian. We put it over these little clay faces to make little dolls. That's when I had made my first little doll. As I began to give presentations, I thought I'd like to have a sample of several dolls, and I made a cloth doll. I got one Barbie that I wanted in Paiute cattail clothes, but somebody told me that they thought it was a hula skirt. [laughing] But it was made out of tules with a little tule basket tray made. Most Indians wore a weaving basket on their heads. Traditionally I tried to make them as how they would dress before the settlers came. The Paiutes and the Shoshones used the sagebrush bark for their clothing. Of course, it was processed, and the tules, also. They were pounded, made soft, so that as they could be worn without having to have their skin irritated. I dressed some in their rabbit robes which was a traditional item with Paiute and Shoshone. They were similar in their lifestyles. Their language almost very similar. I made a little cone basket for the traditional man to carry for a sample.

PETERSON: The basket on the head of the woman, was that only for decoration, or was it used?

HOOPER:       It was just used for them to wear. They loved ornaments, and they used the fish scales for ornaments, the fish bones for sewing. Men used the coyote skins for the top of their headdress. The porcupine hair and quills. They just loved ornaments, and as their trade became greater, and they traded for real beads as time went on. They decorated their cradle boards, beautiful cradle baskets after they made them. They just loved ornaments. They loved dressing up to go to town wearing their beautiful silk scarves and their plaid shawls.

PETERSON: Are there any areas in Churchill County that you consider special places that you like to go?

HOOPER:       I'd like to sometime just roam the foothills. We've went out there several times just roaming there above Stillwater Marsh. Sometimes just taking a drive just looking. We toured the Grimes Point on down below the mountain there just looking. We found a couple of places there where there's been fire, black smoke like someone had built a fire years ago, and it just stained into the rock. Occasionally we like to stop at Grimes Point, and we visited the inside cave on a tour. Just because my Paiute people lived in the area, I have a drawing to know more about it. Just even looking and visiting it is interesting to me.

PETERSON: Right. How many grandchildren do you have?

HOOPER:       I have fourteen grandchildren.

PETERSON: What sorts of things do you intend to pass on to them, both tangible things and things that are maybe not tangible?

HOOPER:       My tangible things I'm writing me up a will. My oldest son is a minister, Kenneth, and his five children are being brought up in the church. The three oldest are taking an interest in doing missionary work, so they're quite musical. I have three organs and things like that I'd like to pass on to those that are musical. My granddaughter, Shannon, my son Brian's child, I'd like for her to carry on this traditional demonstration, and I'm going to leave her my tapes and my items that she could share along. She's quite young going into the eighth grade next year, and she could be well capable of passing on the traditions. Of course, I'll do it as long as I'm able to, but I want her to learn and to learn what each doll means and what the dresses are, and about the Shoshones and the Paiutes. We include the Washoe as much as we can. We know very little of the Washoe, but I try to include since they were natives here in Nevada, too. And some of my other things as well as my home and different things, I've considered leaving each of my children, and then they can do onto their grandchildren. My grandchildren I try to leave tangible things, but my older children I leave a portion of my little allotments that I got from my grandparent and my mother.

PETERSON: What do you hope to pass onto your family? Maybe more emotional things.

HOOPER:       My Christian living, my life. I owe a lot to the Lord God Almighty, I was healed several times. I want them to be able to trust Him for their needs and to live peacefully with people and to respect others as we have tried to do mainly.

PETERSON: Well, Frances, I think we've come to the end of our interview, and I would like to thank you so very much for taking the time out to do this for us. On behalf of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project, I would like to thank you, and this is the end of the interview.

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2:11:14

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Churchill County Museum Association , “Frances Hooper Oral History,” Churchill County Museum Digital Archive: Fallon, Nevada, accessed January 17, 2021, https://ccmuseum.omeka.net/items/show/605.