The Ute tribe of the Great Basin
The Great Basin with its very hot summers, cold winters and very low levels of rainfall resulted in desolate and difficult living conditions in which the people had to work hard to survive due to limited resources.
Food: The food of the Great Basin Ute tribe consisted of rice, pine nuts, seeds, berries, nuts, roots etc. Fish and small game was also available and Indian rice grass was harvested
Shelter: The temporary shelters of the Great Basin Utes were grass houses or a simple lean-to made of sagebrush and willow called wikiups. Their more permanent form of shelter in the winter were grass houses
Clothes: The Great Basin Utes wore clothes made of twined sagebrush bark with robes typically made of rabbit furs
Weapons: The weapons used by the Great Basin Ute tribe were primitive and included bows and arrows, stone knifes, spears, rabbit sticks and digging sticks
The Ute tribe of the Great Plains
The migration of the Ute Tribe from the harsh conditions in the Great Basin required a totally different lifestyle to suit the climate and natural resources of the area. The lives of the Utes changed from nomadic seed gathers to hunter gatherers who followed the great herds of buffalo. The buffalo was the main source of subsistence on the Plains and the food, weapons, houses and style of clothes worn by the Utes changed accordingly.
Food: The food of the Plains Ute tribe was predominantly buffalo but also they also hunted deer, elk, bear and wild turkey. Their diet was supplemented with roots and wild fruit and vegetables
Shelter: The shelters of the Utes were tepees, tent-like shelters constructed from wooden poles that were covered with buffalo hides
Culture: The Ute tribe adopted a warrior-like culture
Clothes: Breechcloths, fringed buckskin tunics or shirts and leggings with warm buffalo robes to protect against the rain and the cold
Weapons: Their range of weapons were extended to include spears and lances, hatchets and axes together with the use of shields
Who were the most famous leaders and chiefs of the Ute tribe?
The most famous leaders and chiefs of the Ute tribe included Chief Ouray, Chief Quiziachigiat, Antonga, or Black Hawk, Chief Moara, Chief Pinto, Guero, Shavano, Sobita, Tapuche and Chief Mautchick. The most famous wars that involved the Ute tribe were the 1849 Jicarilla War, 1853 Walker War, 1865 Black Hawk's War led by Antonga and the 1879 Meeker Massacre.
Ute History Timeline: What happened to the Ute tribe?
The following history timeline details facts, dates and famous landmarks and battles fought by the Nation. The Ute timeline explains what happened to the people of their tribe.
Ute History Timeline
1000: Woodland Period including the Adena and Hopewell cultures established along rivers in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States which included trade exchange systems
1580: The Spanish make the first white contact with the Ute tribe
1598: The Spanish settle and trade is established with the Ute tribe
1626: Conflicts begin with the Hopi Native Indians
1637: Conflicts between the Ute tribe and the Spanish led by Luis de Rosas (1637-1641)
1637: It was about this time that the Ute tribe acquired their first horses
1692: Alliance between the Hopi, Paiute, Comanche and Apache tribe against the Spanish and the Pueblo and Navajo tribes
1730: The Comanche - Ute alliance collapses starting a 50-year between the tribes
1781: Smallpox epidemic kills many people
1789: Treaty of Peace between the Spanish and Ute tribe
1800's: With the wide spread use of the horse the Ute tribe roamed the Southern area of the Great Plains living a nomadic way of life
1821: Spanish rule is replaced by Mexico and the Santa Fe trail opens
1840s: Constant attacks by the Utes on settlements in the Taos Valley and in New Mexico Several land grants began to erode the Ute land base
1847: Mormons settled in the Great Salt Lake valley
1848: Outbreak of a series of devastating cholera and smallpox epidemic
1849: The Jicarilla War fought between the Jicarilla Apaches and Ute warriors against the United States
1849: First treaty between Ute tribe, signed by Chief Quiziachigiat, and the United States at Abiquiu
1850: Ute agency was opened at Taos
1851: Fort Laramie Treaty with Plains Indian Tribes
1853: The Walker War (1853–1854) with the Ute Indians begins over slavery among the Indians. Wakara (Walker) leads the Utes in Utah in a series of raids on Mormon settlements
1854: The Ute War starts with an attack by Utes led by Chief Tierra Blanca on Fort Pueblo
1860: Ute tribe join U.S. troops in campaigns against the Navajos
1861: The American Civil (1861 - 1865)
1863: Full scale war in the Great Plains by an alliance for Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa and Comanche
1864: The First Battle of Adobe Walls - Kit Carson led a group of cavalry but was overwhelmed by the Comanche and forced to retreat
1865: Ute Wars aka the Black Hawk War, or Black Hawk's War led by Antonga, or Black Hawk, from 1865 to 1872 broke out in Utah due to Mormon settlers taking over their lands
1868: Treaty with the Ute tribe creating a reservationconsisting of approximately the western one-third of Colorado. Ouray selected as principal chief of the tribe
1873: Weminuche, Mouache and Capote bands relocate to Pine River in southwestern Colorado. (today: Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Reservations)
1874: President Grant signs the Brunot Agreement and thousands of miles of Ute lands are appropriated by the U.S. government
1877 Establishment of the Southern Ute Agency at Ignacio to serve the Caputa, Mouache, and Weeminuche Ute bands
1878: Ute Indians of Colorado relinquish their rights to 12 million acres of land
1879: The Meeker Massacre resulted in cries for the removal of all Utes from Colorado
1880: Ouray goes to Washington DC for treaty negotiations and more land is ceded by the Utes
1895: Weminuche band moves to Southern Ute Reservation and become Ute Mountain
1896: Land allotments are distributed to Southern Utes
1905: Buckskin Charley and five other Native Sovereign leaders in Theodore Roosevelt’s Inaugural Parade
The Story of Ute
For additional facts and information about the Ute tribe refer to the legend and the Story of Ute Wars.