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Nevada Cultural Symbols

Kudos to Nevada. Its lean roster of half a dozen official cultural symbols is far better than the competition.

Cultural Symbols  
Colors silver and blue 1983
Artifact Tule duck decoy 1995
Locomotive Engine No49 2009
Fabric denim 2016
Tartan 2001
March Silver State Fanfare 2001
Nevada Cultural SymbolsWhat is now Nevada was much wetter when an early resident made this replica of a canvasback duck. Lovelock Cave is in the background. (Tule decoy: By “Harrington, Mark R.?,” CC BY-SA 3.0 – Credit this photo to: Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; LS.3302. Originally found online here, — link
Note: I modified this image.)

Nevada has half a dozen official “cultural symbols.” The most intriguing is probably its state artifact, the Tule duck decoy.

The decoy was created almost 2,000 years ago. It s formed of bundles of bulrush (tule) stems, bound together and shaped to resemble a canvasback duck.

The decoy was discovered in Lovelock Cave, which is a fascinating symbol in its own right.

Local Paiutes believed that their ancestors were terrorized by a race of red-haired giants. When the Paiutes banded together to fight back, the giants sought refuge in a cave. However, they were destroyed once and forever by the Paiutes.

Today, that cave is known as Lovelock Cave. A pair of miners began harvesting bat guano there in 1911. As rumors of artifacts spread, archaeologists arrived on the scene.

Scientists have removed approximately 10,000 artifacts from Lovelock Cave. They believe the cave was occupied by humans as long ago as 1500 B.C.

Can you imagine a cave occupied by people for 3,000 years? Many people wonder if the United States will last 300 years, one tenth the age of the Lovelock Culture.

Denim is Nevada’s official fabric. Denim was invented by Nevada tailor Jacob Davis. Like sagebrush and ancient bristlecone pines, it is a symbol of toughness.

Nevada is the westernmost state with an official locomotive, Engine No. 40. Built in 1910, it operated daily between Ely and Cobre until 1941. It has been referred to as “The Ghost Train of Old Ely.”

Nevada is also among the states with an official tartan. It is very well designed, with great attention to symbolism. The symbols represented by the colors red, white, blue, silver and yellow are listed in the legal code.

Curiously, Nevada’s official tartan is copyrighted.

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