06 Oct Toquima Cave
Toquima Cave, located on Pete’s Summit in the Toquima mountain range east of Austin, is accessed from a dirt road that leads over the mountains from the Big Smoky Valley to the Monitor Valley. Used for religious purposes by Native Americans for thousands of years, the cave contains numerous abstract paintings (pictographs) unique to the region. These paintings offer a view of the world from the perspective of a group of people living in central Nevada between 3,000 and 1,500 years ago. From the expansive view at the cave’s ledge, it is easy to imagine how native peoples might find their spiritual identity here.
The site is culturally important to the Western Shoshone; in order to gain their permission to enter the cave and make these photographs we made a presentation to the Council of the Yomba Shoshone Tribe at their reservation headquarters in the Reese River Valley. Fencing across the mouth of the cave protects the pictographs, but this was digitally removed from the interior panorama for aesthetic reasons.
Click here to see the location in Google Maps.