Ute men wore breechcloths with leather leggings and buckskin shirts. Some Ute people wore buckskin moccasins, but others wore sandals made of yucca fiber or simply went barefoot. A Ute lady’s dress or warrior’s shirt was fringed and often decorated with beadwork, shells, and elk teeth.
Childrens’ Clothing The Ute Indian children in this photo are wearing traditional items of clothing. The dress of the girl in front is made of deer skin fringed at the bottom. The boy at the right is wearing a fringed leather shirt or jacket. The boy with the feathers in his hair is wearing a chest plate made of bones.
In the Ute language, Towaoc, pronounced TOW-ay-ock, translates into English as “thank you.”
Ute, Numic-speaking group of North American Indians originally living in what is now western Colorado and eastern Utah; the latter state is named after them.
The Ute weren’t just all work and no play. They took a lot of time to play games. They played such games as dice, where if someone rolled certain symbols they would win. They also played games that were similar to baseball and kickball.
The Utes also built temporary camp shelters that were called wickiups. These were dome-shaped shelters covered with willows, bark, grass or reeds. They were large enough for about 5 people. They quit using them after they became buffalo hunters and lived in tipis.
Ute Indian flutes are perhaps the most famous craft that Ute artisans designed. Long, traditional flutes carved from wood are decorated with intricate bead designs that hang from many different portions of the flute itself as decoration.
Very few Ute people are left and now primarily live in Utah and Colorado, within three Ute tribal reservations: Uintah-Ouray in northeastern Utah (3,500 members); Southern Ute in Colorado (1,500 members); and Ute Mountain which primarily lies in Colorado, but extends to Utah and New Mexico (2,000 members).
Anthropologists argue that the Utes began using the northern Colorado Plateau between one and two thousand years ago. Historically, the Ute people lived in several family groups, or bands, and inhabited 225,000 square miles covering most of Utah, western Colorado, southern Wyoming, and northern Arizona and New Mexico.
Cultural Utes practice the religion of Shamanism, which is based on a belief of healing and nature. Shamans perform their healing through dance and songs that are learned through dreams. In the Ute culture, both men and women practice Shamanism. The shamans are believed to have supernatural powers.
Two ceremonies have dominated Ute social and religious life: the Bear Dance and the Sun Dance. The former is indigenous to the Ute and aboriginally was held in the spring to coincide with the emergence of the bear from hibernation. The dance was held in a large brush enclosure or dance plaza and lasted about ten days.
The University of Utah and the Utes The Utes were among the first American Indians to acquire the horse as a means of transportation, and in rock writing the Utes are depicted as horses. After several armed conflicts with Mormon settlers in 1861, the Utes were relocated to the Uintah Basin in northeastern Utah.
Most Iroquois clothing was made frm deerskin. In the winter, they wore fringed deerskin shirts. Sometimes men wore kilts and caps that were covered with feathers. Iroquois women wore long deerskin skirts and leggings.
Traditionally, most Native American cultures relied on some combination of leggings; breechclout, or simple short-like coverings; and shirt or jacket for men, and leggings and a full-length dress for women. Leather shoes, known as moccasins were also worn.
Bear Dance is a Native American ceremonial dance that occurs in the spring. For the Utes, it is a ten-day event of dancing, feasting, games, horse racing, and gambling. It is one of the oldest Ute ceremonies. The bear symbolizes leadership, strength, and wisdom. A group of men have played musical rasps for the dance.