23 Facts About Ute Tribe


Many Ute bands were culturally influenced by neighboring Native American tribes and Puebloans, whom they traded with regularly.

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Origin of the word Ute Tribe is unknown; it is first attested as Yuta in Spanish documents.

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Ute Tribe people are from the Southern subdivision of the Numic-speaking branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family, which are found almost entirely in the Western United States and Mexico.

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The Ute Tribe occupied much of the present state of Colorado by the 1600s.

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Some Ute Tribe bands stayed near their home domains, while others ranged further away seasonally.

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Old Ute Tribe Pass Trail went eastward from Monument Creek to Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs to the Rocky Mountains.

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Ute Tribe appeared to have hunted and camped in an ancient Ancestral Puebloans and Fremont people campsite in near what is Arches National Park.

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Occasionally members of Ute Tribe bands met up to trade, intermarry, and practice ceremonies, like the annual spring Bear Dance.

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Until the Ute acquired horses, any conflict with other tribes was usually defensive.

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Ute Tribe culture changed dramatically in ways that paralleled the Plains Indian cultures of the Great Plains.

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Some Ute Tribe bands fought against the Spanish and Pueblos with the Jicarilla Apache and the Comanche.

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The Ute Tribe were sometimes friendly but sometimes hostile to the Navajo.

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Ute Tribe people traded with Europeans by the early 19th century including at encampments in the San Luis Valley, Wet Mountains, and the Upper Arkansas Valley and at the annual Rocky Mountain Rendezvous.

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Wars with settlers began about the 1850s when Ute Tribe children were captured in New Mexico and Utah by Anglo-American traders and sold in New Mexico and California.

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The Ute Tribe allied with the United States and Mexico in its war with the Navajo during the same period.

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Southern Ute are the wealthiest of the tribes and claim financial assets approaching $2 billion.

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The Ute Tribe operate KSUT, the major public radio station serving southwestern Colorado and the Four Corners.

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All Ute reservations are involved in oil and gas leases and are members of the Council of Energy Resource Tribes.

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The Southern Ute Tribe is financially successful, having a casino for revenue generation.

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The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe generates revenues through gas and oil, mineral sales, casinos, stock raising, and a pottery industry.

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Each spring the Ute Tribe hold their traditional Bear Dance, which was used to strengthen social ties and for courtship.

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The Ute Tribe constructed special ceremonial rattles made from buffalo rawhide, which they filled with clear quartz crystals collected from the mountains of Colorado and Utah.

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Ute Tribe pipes are thicker and use shorter pipestems than the Plains style, and more closely resemble the pipe styles of their Northern neighbors, the Shoshone.

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