Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Native Sacred Places and Concepts of Power June 28

Posted on May 26, 2012
Filed Under North Tahoe Events

Nevada rock art

People everywhere use cultural means to transform the mundane into something special. Join Pat Barker on June 28th at 6 p.m. for an exploration into how the people living in Nevada and the Great Basin, before EuroAmerican contact, did this in the context of an animistic worldview.

The talk is part of the People & Environments of Nevada lecture series held the last Thursday of each month all summer long at the Galena Visitor Center.


Pat Barker was born in Reno and grew up in Southern California. He earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1982 from the University of California, Riverside. In 1986, he became an archaeologist for the Bureau of Land Management and since 1988 was the archaeologist for the BLM Nevada State Office. Dr. Barker retired from the BLM in 2006. His archaeological research experience includes work in Southern California, the Mojave Desert, Eastern California and the Great Basin and his ethnographic experience includes work in Samoa, Southern California and the Great Basin. Dr. Barker’s long-term archaeological interests in the Great Basin include prehistoric land management; fire and human ecology; political evolution, rock art production, and the nature and use prehistoric sandals and other textiles. He is currently a Research Associate in Anthropology at the Nevada State Museum; President of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Rock Art Foundation; and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Anthropology at UNR.

The People & Environments of Nevada lecture series focus on the history, prehistory, and past and present environments of Nevada. Some of the talks will give participants an overview of the people who have lived in the area from the earliest known archaeological sites to the recent populations living in the Mt. Rose area.

Other talks will provide some important background for understanding the impact people have had, and continue to have, on the diverse, spectacular, and surprisingly fragile environments of western Nevada and the Great Basin. The talks will be presented by local experts in the fields of federal, state and local resources management and specialists in their fields. All talks will present current scientific views in a manner that can be understood by the general public from high school to seniors.

Lectures start at 6 p.m. and will include:

  • June 28: Native Sacred Places and Concepts of Power
    “Rock art” is the collective term for a variety of forms of visual representation made on natural rock surfaces (boulders, cliff faces, cave walls, etc.) and are found throughout the world. Nevada rock art is found in a wide variety of landscapes and locations and provides information about the social and cultural practices of prehistoric communities not available from other archaeological resources.
  • July 26: Fire Effects on Forests Interpretive Walk
  • August 30: Federal, State and Local Agencies Role in Managing Cultural and Natural Resources (Panel Discussion)
  • September 27: Distribution and Interpretation of Archaeological Artifacts and Sites
  • October 25: TBD
  • November 29: History of the Forest Service in Nevada

Lectures are $5/person suggested donation. (Kids 12 and under are free). Advance registration recommended. To guarantee seating, reserve your tickets early at (775) 849-4948. All proceeds directly benefit Great Basin Naturalists environmental education at the Galena Creek Visitor Center.

For more info contact Stefanie Givens, Galena Creek Visitor Center Director at or call (775)849-4948.  The Galena Creek Visitor Center is managed by Washoe County Regional Parks & Open Space under a special use permit from the US Forest Service. Great Basin Institute operates the Visitor Center, provides volunteers and staff, and offers educational programming for visitors of all ages. The mission of the GCVC is to encourage understanding, appreciation and appropriate use of the natural, cultural and historical resources of the Galena Canyon Area and the Mount Rose Scenic Byway. The Galena Creek Visitor Center is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9am – 6pm.

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