Nevada’s Folk Culture Captured in Historic Radio and Video Project
“Home Means Nevada: Folklife in the Silver State” is a 13-part radio series from 1986 presents vignettes of Nevada’s multi-faceted folk culture. The shows were produced from recordings made on location—in the artists’ home, places of work, and at public gatherings.
The series is now made available via digitization and video production, using photos from the original field research deposited in the Nevada Folklife Archive as well as other appropriate images and video clips.
Program 1: Bernardo Yanci, Basque Music. Bernardo moved to Elko from the Basque Country of Spain in the 1950s. He plays traditional Basque music on the piano accordion. Here he speaks eloquently about his native country’s music and performs three traditional dance tunes. https://vimeo.com/132384293
Program 2: Martha Dick, Shoshone Cradleboards. Martha Dick and her son Richard, from the Duck Valley Reservation, talk about how Shoshone cradleboards are made and how they symbolize traditional Shoshone culture. https://vimeo.com/132980075
Program 3: Tom Martinet, the Language of Gambling. Games of chance all have their special in-group language, and Tom Martinet, a box man at the Horseshoe in Las Vegas, describes the use of such language on the craps table. https://vimeo.com/139518793
Program 4: Randy Stowell, Rawhide Braiding. Buckaroo Randy Stowell, who ranched in Currie and Rowland, is a master at making horsehair cinches and mecarties, and braiding many kinds of rawhide horse and cow-working gear, which he discusses here. https://vimeo.com/136531114
Program 5: Larry Schutte, Cowboy Songs. In 1986, Larry and his family ran a ranch near Tuscarora. He recites cowboy poetry, makes horsehair and rawhide gear, and – in this show—talks about cowboy songs and sings “Nighttime in Nevada.” https://vimeo.com/137897806
Program 6: Jack Darland, Old-Time Fiddling. Jack Darland, of Babbitt, expounds about how he learned his music and what old-time style fiddle playing means to him. Jack and Linda Darland play “Little Green Valley,” “Black Velvet Waltz,” and “Cowboy’s Waltz.”
Program 7: Ernie Fanning, Cowboy Poetry. Ernie Fanning, of Sparks, explains how poems come to him in flashes of inspiration and how he feels poetry should be performed. He recites his poems “Alone” and “The Vanishing Valley.” https://vimeo.com/134253769Program 6: Jack Darland, Old-Time Fiddling. Jack Darland, of Babbitt, expounds about how he learned his music and what old-time style fiddle playing means to him. Jack and Linda Darland play “Little Green Valley,” “Black Velvet Waltz,” and “Cowboy’s Waltz.” https://vimeo.com/107828747
Program 8: Mark Dahl, Bit and Spur Making. Mark Dahl, of Deeth, makes silver mounted bits and spurs. In this show, he discusses the decorative elements of his art as well as the practical side of making gear for working cowboys. https://vimeo.com/140699537
Program 9: Stan Forrest, Neon Sign Glass Blower. Stan began bending glass for neon signs in the 1940s. Here he talks about the details of his craft and why it pleases him. https://vimeo.com/141201259
Program 10: Katie Frazier, Paiute Songs. At the time of this recording Katie Frazier, of Nixon, was 94 years old. Here she performs and discusses “The Bear Dance,” “Rabbit Dance,” and a hand-game song. https://vimeo.com/143038719
Program 11: John Weinkauf, Boot Making. In 1986, John Weinkauf’s Desert Leather boot shop in Washoe Valley was filled with custom-made western slop-on and lace-up boots. Here he describes some of the more difficult aspects of his craft. https://vimeo.com/143642678
Program 12: Jack Darland, Prospecting. Jack learned prospecting from his father and grandfather, went to school to learn more, and made his living in Babbitt selling claims to large mining operations. https://vimeo.com/148918808
Program 13: Waddie Mitchell, Cowboy Poetry. A young Waddie Mitchell talks about poetry and buckaroos, and discusses the traditions surrounding them both. He recites two of his poems, “Gone Fishing” and “The Book.” https://vimeo.com/146039721
The original radio series was produced by the Folk Arts Program of the Nevada Arts Council (then Nevada State Council on the Arts), in partnership with KUNR (Reno), KNPR (Las Vegas) and KOLO (Reno), and with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of Nevada. Scripting, editing, photography, and production were by folklorist Blanton Owen. Narration was by Deb Spring, KOLO Radio (Reno). This new online version is produced by the Folklife Program of the Nevada Arts Council in 2015 with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and video production by DP Video LLC, of Henderson, Nevada. Additional images are from a variety of sources including the Nevada Folklife Archives, the Nevada Historical Society, Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada-Reno, Special Collections at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and the Western Folklife Center.