Washo (wä´shō), Native North Americans occupying the region around Washo and Tahoe lakes in W Nevada and E California in the mid-19th cent. The Paiute were their inveterate enemies; before the coming of white settlers the Paiute defeated and drove back the Washo, and again in the period of 1860–62 they conquered the Washo. In 1990 there were close to 1,500 Washo in the United States, mainly living on reservations in California and Nevada. Their language belongs to the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages).
See J. F. Downs, The Two Worlds of the Washo (1966); E. M. Dangberg, comp., Washo Tales (tr. 1968).