Washoe offers sacred name 'Tahnu Leweh' for Lakeview Commons in South Lake Tahoe
With the Washoe Tribe's offering and support of El Dorado County Supervisor Norma Santiago, a move is underway to rename Lakeview Commons Park at South Lake Tahoe in time for an official June 20 dedication.
With its 6,000 year history, the Washoe Tribe has presented the name Tahnu Leweh (Pronounced Tah-New Lay-Way) which, in native language, means "all the people's place." It is a name the Tribe would like to gift to El Dorado County and South Lake Tahoe as a symbol of peace, prosperity and goodness, said Darrel Cruz, Culture and Language Director for the Washoe Tribe."I can't think of a more appropriate name, Tahnu Leweh, because of the meaning behind it. The Washoe have always maintained its ancestoral home at the lake to be a gathering and meeting place. For thousands of years it was a place where our people came together, following where the food and game was, where people united and did things for the benefit of the whole tribe."
The Washoe's voice in Lake Tahoe matters has been relatively quiet over the years and it prefers to remain that way, said Cruz. Because the tribe is offering the name as a gift and blessing, it will be up to elected officials of South Shore to decide. The suggestion shouldn't cause a lot of stir because the name itself is meant to celebrate all people who gather at one place. "I would like to be optimistic about this. I know there are plenty good people at South Tahoe who would want to see this happen and share in the good nature of our offering," he said.
The Washoe Tribal Council met and decided to offer the name, he said, as a gesture. He presented the concept to El Dorado County Supervisor Santiago who embraced it.
"I absolutely support the idea of changing the name of Lakeview Commons to something so meaningful as what Tahnu Leweh represents," Santiago said. "This is a precious historical area where the Washoe people met, it represents a place to gather, the people's place, and a beautiful vision that connects this land to the past, present and future."
Traditionally the tribe has kept a low profile at Tahoe, often using the lake as a backdrop for cultural activities. By offering and allowing the use of the sacred name, the tribe hopes to "bring people together" in a cultural context, which is the way the Washoe people have always wanted things, said Cruz.
Tahnu Leweh brings significance and connectivity to "where we gather as a community with pride; where we can celebrate with special events, at family gatherings, as visitors and residents together; a place to gather and celebrate the beauty and gift that is Tahoe," said Santiago. "And, it provides another wonderful way to ...