Deep West Video

The mission of Deep West Video and our earlier Ranch Communications program is to tell first-hand stories from the rural West that are rooted in the values of life on the land. Since 2000, the Western Folklife Center has been working with people from throughout the rural West to produce short videos about their lives on the land.

Using the tools of digital communication, these home-made productions are simple yet elegant; they are not glossy and commercial, but from the heart. Each year, from six to eleven videos are created, a few of which are featured here.

Beginning in 2015, a special focus has been working with the students and teachers at the Owyhee Combined School on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in northern Elko County.
A special feature of the Deep West Videos premiering at the 33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 2017 were Native-language (Paiute or Shoshone) versions of select Deep West Videos from the Owyhee students. The Tribal Film Translation Project harnesses the power of the Deep West Video program to address one of the most critical issues faced by American Indians: the loss of language.

The 2017 filmmakers: Devin Baker, Dilan Bill, Talliah Hanchor, Gage Johnson and Lance Owyee. Owyhee teaching staff: Elena Atkins,  Dave Baker, and Colene Paradise. Carol Dalrymple/Edge of Discovery, mentoring/guiding/advising media producer.

You can purchase Deep West Videos  in the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop. Give us a call toll free 1-800-888-5885 (ext. 234) or775-738-7508x234 to purchase.

Owyhee Stories

Students and teachers from the Owyhee Combined School on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation have created award-winning short films. This selection is from 2017.

Owhyee Middle School student Lance Owyhee shares the beauty of the Duck Valley Reservation through the seasons, its plants, land forms and more in this 2017 Deep West Video. Filmmaking mentorship provided by Edge of Discovery. Produced by the Western Folklife Center.
Owyhee Middle School student and cultural documentary short filmmaker Talliah Hanchor takes us to meet Elizabeth Sam, who shares her craft and family history of bead working. Filmmaking mentorship provided by Edge of Discovery. A 2017 Deep West Video produced by the Western Folklife Center.
Braddon Smith has spent his life fighting wildfires as part of the Sho-Pai Wildland Firefighters. Owyhee Middle School student Devin Baker talks to Smith about his experiences and love of the work of fighting wildfires in this 2017 Deep West Video. Filmmaking mentorship provided by Edge of Discovery.
Middle school student Gage Johnson didn't grow up learning the songs, music, and traditions of his Shoshone culture. In "Our Little Drum Group" the third-time Deep West Video filmmaker shares his experience of forming and performing with a traditional drum group, and reconnecting with his family's history and traditions.

Tribal Translation Project: Shoshone Language Learning

Led by Shoshone Elder Elena Atkins, the Owhyee Combined School Shoshone Language Learning series are part of an effort by the Sho-Pai/Duck Valley Indian Reservation Community to preserve language and stories of the Shoshone-Pauute culture of the Great Basin area. The series is produced by Colene Paradise and the student filmmakers.

More Stories from the Rural West

Rural westerners produce short videos about their lives on the land. This selection premiered at the 2016 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Amir Beardsley talks about the challenges of rejoining the rodeo circuit after suffering a serious accident in the ring this past summer. This is Amir's fourth Deep West Video.

Linda and Carolyn Dufurrena offer this appreciation of the Paiute-Shoshone elders of Fort McDermitt, Nevada. Linda and Carolyn have participated in the Deep West Video program since its inception as Ranch Communications more than a dozen years ago.

"V" ~ The Gypsy Cowbelle relives the stagecoach days by joining a modern-day wagon train that retraces pioneer routes from the 1800's. "V" has worked as a ranch hand and performer since 1995, and now hosts children's workshops and historical presentations.

Kier Atherton profiles a Montana cowboy and private investigator. Jeff Patterson says his horses have helped him solve at least one case, and they also help victims of crime heal from their emotional wounds.

Special thanks to Western Folklife Center Stakeholders, and former and current supporters:

Banner image by Jessica Brandi Lifland.