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Historic American Indians in Utah


Native Americans have lived in and around Utah for thousands of years. ... animals such as buffalo, deer, and antelope and gathered nuts and berries for food. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Historic American Indians in Utah

Historic American Indians in Utah
  • Presented by B. Page

Pre-Historic Vs. Historic
  • Pre-Historic peoples have no written history
  • Historic peoples do have a written history

Native History
  • Native Americans have lived in and around Utah
    for thousands of years.
  • Their way of life changed dramatically when other
    groups of people entered Utah.
  • These groups included
  • Spanish explorers
  • Catholic priests
  • Fur trappers
  • Pioneers

Native History Continued
  • These people wrote about the American Indians
    they met in their journals and diaries.
  • Do you think these written accounts by explorers
    or pioneers accurately represent how the Indian
    people lived and how they felt about things?
  • ?

Who Are They?
  • Ute
  • Shoshone
  • Goshute
  • Paiute
  • Navajo

Relationships Between Tribes
  • Tribal boundaries were important and were
    usually respected. If a person from an enemy
    band or tribe came onto their land, the intruder
    might be taken prisoner or killed. Some tribes
    were more friendly to newcomers than other
    tribes, depending on the time and the situation.
  • Utah A Journey of Discovery p. 53.

The Utes
  • The word Utah comes from the Ute word for top
    of the mountains.
  • The Utes were the largest tribe in Utah. Their
    tribal area covered most of the central part of
    the state.
  • The Utes lived in fertile valleys near the
    mountains and lakes.

The Utes Survival
  • Nuche Utes traveled with the seasons. They
    went to high mountains in the summer, living by
    hunting small and big game animals and birds,
    fishing and gathering a variety of berries, nuts,
    seed, and plants . . . Hunting, fishing, and
    gathering sites were not owned . . . they were
    communal shared and granted to all.
  • --Larry Cesspooch, a Ute

The Utes Hunting
  • The Utes used horses for hunting and carrying
    heavy loads.
  • When they hunted buffalo, they used every part of
    the animal. Some uses are
  • Fur for blankets
  • Skin for tepees and clothing
  • Meat for food

The Utes Home Life
  • Utes lived in tepees of buffalo skin and tall
  • Tepees could be taken down and carried easily.
  • A fire was built in the center for cooking and
    warmth. Smoke escaped through an opening in the
    top of the tepee.
  • Bands of as many as 200 people lived in large
    tepee villages near streams, rivers, or lakes.

The Utes Families
  • Finding and preparing food was the most important
    task of all members of a Ute family.
  • When young women reached adulthood, they would
    participate in a Bear Dance where they would find
    their future husbands.

The Utes Children
  • In addition to a formal name, a Ute child was
    given many nicknames during their life.
  • Children were highly valued and everyone shared
    the responsibility of raising them.
  • If twins were born, it was considered bad luck.
    Often, one or both twins were allowed to die.

The Utes Clothing
  • Clothing was often made of animal skins.
    Sometimes the fur was still attached.
  • Other clothing was made from woven grasses and
  • To protect their feet, the Utes wore shoes from
    animal hides or sandals of woven reeds.

The Utes Religion
  • The Utes believed that the earth was created by a
    spirit who lived in the sky.
  • They also believed that every living in the world
    had a spirit.
  • The Ghost Dance represented the return of all who
    had died as a result of contact with non-Indians.
  • Pictured here is a typical Ghost Dance dress.

The Shoshone
  • The Shoshone lived in the mountains and valleys
    of northern Utah.
  • The name Shoshone means valley dwellers.
  • Today, many Shoshone live on the Fort Hall
    Reservation in southeastern Idaho, which they
    share with the Bannock tribe.
  • Perhaps the most famous Shoshone was Sacagawea,
    the woman who led Lewis and Clark through the

The Shoshone Survival
  • In the mountains and valleys where the Shoshone
    lived, food was all around them. However, they
    had to follow the animals, so they were called
  • Like the Ute clans, the Shoshone hunted animals
    such as buffalo, deer, and antelope and gathered
    nuts and berries for food.
  • They also raised horses for hunting and moving

The Shoshone Home Life
  • The Shoshone also constructed tepees from animal
    hide and poles.
  • This picture shows a tepee that has been painted,
    perhaps with a clan or family symbol.
  • Some other Shoshone bands dug shelters out of

The Shoshone Families
  • Men and women had equally important roles. The
    men hunted and served as chiefs, or leaders, of
    the bands. Women raised children and gathered
  • Like other Native Americans, the Shoshone did not
    spank or punish their children.

The Shoshone Children
  • Children did not have formal schooling. They
    learned by working alongside adults and by
    listening to songs and stories.
  • Many children would made balls of hide and rabbit
    hair or dolls to play with.

The Shoshone Clothing
  • The Shoshones clothing was almost identical to
    the Utes. Animal skins and woven grasses made
    most of their clothing.
  • In the winter, women would often wear a special
    robe made of about forty woven rabbit skins.

The Shoshone Clothing Continued
  • Beadwork was also an important part of Shoshone
    clothing and ceremonial items.
  • Pictured here are beaded moccasins and a
    ceremonial peace pipe with beaded bag.

The Shoshone Religion
  • The Shoshone believed in one being called Duma
    Appáh, Our Father, or the Creator.
  • Each morning the Shoshone faced the sun in the
    east and sang a prayer to Appáh.
  • Appáh was said to have created Earth with the
    help of the animal creatures, especially Coyote.

The Goshutes
  • The Goshutes lived in the central Great Basin
    area of Utah.

The Goshutes Survival
  • The Goshutes lived in a very dry land with little
    rain. They were able to find uses for more than
    100 desert plants.
  • The Goshutes were hunter/gatherers. They also
    ate roasted crickets.
  • The Goshute often dug for roots. For this
    reason, white men often called them root

The Goshutes Home Life
  • The Goshutes lived in wiki-ups, small brush
    covered shelters, during the warmer months.
  • However, in the winter, they would often move to
    caves or more sturdy shelter.

The Goshutes Families
  • The Goshutes hunted together in family groups and
    would often cooperate with other family groups
    that usually made up a village.
  • Men usually did the hunting, while women gathered
    plants and seeds.

The Goshutes Children
  • Goshute children helped their mothers gather
    plants, seeds, and insects.

The Goshutes Clothing
  • In the winter months, rabbit skin blankets were
    used for warmth.
  • Because the Goshute lived in the desert, they did
    not need much clothing during the summer months.
  • Men wore breechcloths
  • Women wore aprons or grass skirts
  • Twig sunshades often worn on heads

The Goshutes Religion
  • Like all Indian tribes, the Goshute held a great
    respect for the earth, the spirits, and their
    fellow living beings.

The Paiutes
  • The Paiutes lived in the southwest corner of Utah.

The Paiutes Survival
  • Like the Goshutes, the Paiutes lived in a very
    dry region with little rain.
  • Like all Utah Indian tribes, the Paiute were also
  • Some Paiutes irrigated some crops including corn,
    beans, squash, and wheat.

The Paiutes Home Life
  • The Paiutes also lived in brush wiki-ups in the
    summer and caves during the winter.
  • They lived in large family groups found in small

The Paiutes Families
  • Small family groups would travel separately
    collecting seeds, berries, roots, and hunting
    small animals, deer, mountain sheep, elk, and
  • These groups met and intermarried with other
    Paiutes, as well as other Indian tribes.

The Paiutes Children
  • Children helped their parents gather food goods
    to be stored for the winter.
  • Children learned from their parents and
    grandparents about animals, plants, and

The Paiutes Clothing
  • Similar to the Goshute people, the Paiutes had
    very little use for clothing in warm weather.
    Often during the summer, Paiute children would
    wear no clothes at all.
  • During the colder winter months, everyone wore
    shirts and used blankets made of rabbit skin.

The Paiutes Religion
  • A Paiute man named Wovoka introduced the Ghost
    Dance, a religious movement that spread
    throughout the nation.
  • The Ghost dance represented the return of all
    Indians who had died as a result of contact with

Ghost Dance Continued
The Navajo
  • The Navajo called themselves the Dinè, or the
  • The Navajo lived in the southeastern corner of
    Utah, below the San Juan River.
  • Many Navajo today live on a reservation in that
    same area.

The Navajo Survival
  • The Navajo used horses for hunting and carrying
    heavy loads.
  • They also raised sheep and goats.
  • Some clans closer to the San Juan River practiced
    irrigation and farming.

The Navajo Home Life
  • The Navajo lived in hogans. They considered
    their homes to be a symbol of spiritual
    connection to Mother Earth.
  • Hogan doors always face east to meet the morning
  • Hogans were placed far apart there were no

The Navajo Families
  • The most important person in a Navajo family is
    the mother.
  • Women own the house, the sheep, the goats, and
    any wages earned from weaving.
  • Men own the horses, the wages earned from their
    jobs, and any items or money they brought into
    the marriage.
  • Navajo men and their mothers-in-law are not
    allowed to talk to-or even look at-each other.
    This custom probably reduces the number of family

The Navajo Children
  • Children play an important role in a Navajo
    family. Even when they are very young, Navajo
    children care for some of the familys sheep or
    help with grown-up chores.
  • Each Navajo child is given a secret war name by
    the parents, used only for special religious

The Navajo Clothing
  • The Navajos sheered wool from their sheep and
    made it into yarn.
  • The yarn was then dyed from plants to make
  • The dyed yarn was woven into rugs, blankets, and

The Navajo Religion
  • Navajo religion is sometimes called The Way.
  • It is a code of behavior for everyday life, not
    just weekly worship.
  • Ceremonies are called ways.
  • One of the most important ceremonies is called
    the Nightway.
  • Nightways are nine day healing ceremonies. Sand
    paintings are made as part of the Nightway.

Navajo Sand Paintings
Native Languages
  • American Indian groups spoke many different
  • When trappers and explorers met them, none of the
    tribes had written alphabets. Many Indian
    languages have become extinct because they were
    not written down or passed on.

Native Language Continued
  • Each tribe had legends and myths that were passed
    down through an oral tradition of storytelling.
  • Many myths were about animals
  • Others were called creation myths

End of an Era
  • The coming of white men forever changed the life
    of American Indians in Utah.
  • The new people brought new tools and ideas, as
    well as new diseases.
  • The Indians and settlers worked to get along,
    although they did not always succeed.
  • Today, American Indians, like this Ute Medicine
    Man, strive to keep the traditions of their past
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