The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico

The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico

The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico

The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico

Excerpt

Although numerous archaeological and ethnological papers, historical articles, books, folktales, and fictional accounts about Ute Indians exist, this tribe is less well known than many other North American Indian tribes. Lack of familiarity appears to have been caused, at least in part, by the absence of readily available scholarly studies, as well as by neglect of the Utes in regional histories. What is generally known and retold to the point of redundancy can be found in articles and books—especially in accounts of dramatic episodes, such as the Meeker Massacre and the Posey War, or about renowned individuals such as Chief Ouray and Chipeta or Walkara.

This history has been undertaken in an attempt to provide an overview of the Ute Indians beyond the often repeated and, unfortunately, often incorrect hearsay. I found myself delving into the excellent scholarly literature that does abound, despite its unfamiliarity to general readers, and reading countless imaginative accounts that have contributed to misinformation about Ute Indians. Everything had to be evaluated in terms of its potential contribution to an accurate, balanced history of the Ute people. Perhaps I did not succeed in winnowing out all of the misinformation, and I may well have contributed some of my own, for which I apologize.

This study makes apparent the fact that Ute Indians have been longtime, widespread occupants of Utah, Colorado, and northern New Mexico. They warrant recognition as successful adapters to diverse and sometimes harsh environments—not only the Rocky Mountains and other choice habitats such as the Utah Valley and Colorado's intermontane parks and valleys but also arid and semiarid portions of the Great . . .

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