A Traditional Washoe Shelter in the Schoolyard By: Mrs. Miles 4th grade class What is a Gadu?
Have you ever seen a gadu? On October 20, 2017, our class built a traditional Washoe shelter called a gadu. We built a gadu for several reasons. One reason is our class was learning about the Washoe tribe. In addition, we wanted other students to know about the Washoe culture. Someone special, Herman Fillmore, a member of the Washoe tribe, guided us in building the structure. While we worked, he also shared many other interesting facts about Washoe life. He even spoke to us in Washoe! To construct the gadu, Herman had us use saws and clippers to cut and gather tall willow poles and smaller willow branches from our Schoolyard Habitat. Next, we peeled the bark off the branches to use later as strings. Then, we dug holes in the ground with a digging bar. We shoved the big willow poles in the holes, covering and packing them with dirt. After that, we bent the willows into a dome shape to form the frame and secured them with string. Finally, we wove willow branches in and out of the frame to make the walls. This experience was amazing! We were not only proud of our work, but also surprised that it could fit six people inside, protecting us from the wind and sun. The gadu is still standing at the north end of the Schoolyard habitat. Come check it out!