|Regions with significant populations|
|United States (Arizona, California,
Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah)
|Northern Paiute language,
Owens Valley Paiute,
Southern Paiute language, English
|Native American Church, Sun Dance, traditional tribal religion, Christianity, Ghost Dance|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Bannock, Mono, Timbisha and Kawaiisu|
- Northern Paiute of California, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon
- Owens Valley Paiute of California and Nevada
- Southern Paiute of Arizona, southeastern California and Nevada, and Utah.
- 1 Origin of name
- 2 Language and culture
- 3 Northern Paiute
- 4 Owens Valley Paiute
- 5 Southern Paiute
- 6 Notable Southern Paiutes
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Origin of name
The origin of the word Paiute is unclear. Some anthropologists have interpreted it as "Water Ute" or "True Ute". The Northern Paiute call themselves Numa (sometimes written Numu); the Southern Paiute call themselves Nuwuvi; both terms mean "the people". The Northern Paiute are sometimes referred to as Paviotso. Early Spanish explorers called the Southern Paiute Payuchi (they did not make contact with the Northern Paiute). Early Euro-American settlers often called both groups of Paiute "Diggers" (presumably because of their practice of digging for roots). As the Paiute consider the term derogatory, they discourage its use.
Language and culture
The Northern and Southern Paiute both speak languages belonging to the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan family of Native American languages. Usage of the terms Paiute, Northern Paiute and Southern Paiute is most correct when referring to groups of people with similar language and culture. It does not imply a political connection or even an especially close genetic relationship. The Northern Paiute speak the Northern Paiute language, while the Southern Paiute speak the Colorado River Numic language. These languages are not as closely related to each other as they are to other Numic languages.
The Bannock, Mono, Coso, Timbisha and Kawaiisu peoples, who also speak Numic languages and live in adjacent areas, are sometimes also referred to as Paiute. The Bannock speak a dialect of Northern Paiute, while the Mono Tribe and other three peoples speak separate Numic languages: Mono language is more closely related to Northern Paiute, as is Coso; the Timbisha language is more closely related to the Shoshoni language, and the Kawaiisu language is more closely related to Colorado River Numic.
The Northern Paiute traditionally have lived in the Great Basin in eastern California, western Nevada, and southeast Oregon. The Northern Paiute's pre-contact lifestyle was well adapted to the harsh desert environment in which they lived. Each tribe or band occupied a specific territory, generally centered on a lake or wetland that supplied fish and water-fowl. Communal drives, which often involved neighboring bands, would take rabbits and pronghorn from surrounding areas. Individuals and families appear to have moved freely between bands. Pinyon nuts gathered in the mountains in the fall provided critical winter food. Grass seeds and roots were also important parts of their diet. The name of each band came from a characteristic food source. For example, the people at Pyramid Lake were known as the Cui Ui Ticutta (meaning "Cui-ui eaters"), the people of the Lovelock area were known as the Koop Ticutta, meaning "ground-squirrel eaters", and the people of the Carson Sink were known as the Toi Ticutta, meaning "tule eaters". The Kucadikadi of Mono County, California are the "brine fly eaters".
Relations among the Northern Paiute bands and their Shoshone neighbors were generally peaceful. There is no sharp distinction between the Northern Paiute and Western Shoshone. Relations with the Washoe people, who were culturally and linguistically very different, were not so peaceful.
Sustained contact between the Northern Paiute and Euro-Americans came in the early 1840s, although the first contact may have occurred as early as the 1820s. Although the Paiute had adopted the use of horses from other Great Plains tribes, their culture was otherwise largely unaffected by European influences at that point. As Euro-American settlement of the area progressed, several violent incidents occurred, including the Pyramid Lake War of 1860, Owens Valley Indian War 1861-1864, Snake War 1864-1868; and the Bannock War of 1878. These incidents generally began with a disagreement between settlers and the Paiute (singly or in a group) regarding property, retaliation by one group against the other, and finally counter-retaliation by the opposite party, frequently culminating in the armed involvement of the U.S. Army. Many more Paiutes died from newly introduced infectious diseases such as smallpox than in warfare. Sarah Winnemucca's book Life Among the Piutes (1883) gives a first-hand account of this period, although it is not considered to be wholly reliable.
The government first established the Malheur Reservation for the Northern Paiute in eastern Oregon. The federal government's intention was to concentrate the Northern Paiute there, but its strategy did not work. Because of the distance of the reservation from the traditional areas of most of the bands, and because of its poor environmental conditions, many Northern Paiute refused to go there. Those that did, soon left. They clung to their traditional lifestyle as long as possible; when environmental degradation made that impossible, they sought jobs on white farms, ranches or in cities. They established small Indian colonies, where they were joined by many Shoshone and, in the Reno area, Washoe people.
Later, the government created larger reservations at Pyramid Lake and Duck Valley, Nevada. By that time the pattern of small de facto reservations near cities or farm districts, often with mixed Northern Paiute and Shoshone populations, had been established. Starting in the early 20th century, the federal government began granting land to these colonies. Under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, several individual colonies gained federal recognition as independent tribes.
Historic Northern Paiute bands
- Hunipuitöka or Walpapi (‘Hunipui-Root-Eaters’, often called Snake Indians, lived along Deschutes River, Crooked River and John Day River in central Oregon, today federally recognized as part of the Burns Paiute Tribe)
- Wadadökadö or Wadatika (Waadadikady) ("Wada Root and Grass-seed Eaters", also known as Harney Valley Paiute, controlled about 52,500 square miles along the shores of Malheur Lake, between the Cascade Range in central Oregon and the Payette Valley north of Boise, Idaho, as well as in the southern parts of the Blue Mountain in the vicinity of the headwaters of the Powder River, north of John Day River, southward to the desertlike surroundings of Steens Mountain, today they are federally recognized as part of the Burns Paiute Tribe and part of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs)
- Goyatöka or Yahuskin (Yahooskin) ("Crayfish eaters"), often called Snake Indians, also known as Upper Sprague River Snakes or even Upper Sprague River Klamath, lived along the shores of the Goose, Silver, Warner and Harney Lake, living along Sprague River in the area now comprising Lake and Harney counties of Oregon, and hunted in the Klamath Basin, today federally recognized as part of the Klamath Tribes)
- Koa'aga'itöka ("Salmon Caught in Traps Eaters", lived in the Snake River Plain, today federally recognized as part of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation)
- Kidütökadö ("Yellow-bellied marmot Eaters" or Gidi'tikadii - "Groundhog Eaters", also called Northern California Paiute or Surprise Valley Paiute, lived around Goose Lake, in Surprise Valley of northern California and Warner Valley in Oregon, and in the valley along the eastern mountains of the Warner Range along the Oregon-Nevada border to the south to Long Valley and the Lower Lake, today federally recognized as the Fort Bidwell Indian Community)
- Atsakudökwa tuviwarai ("Those who live in the Red Mesas") lived in the northwest of Nevada along the Oregon-Nevada border in the Santa Rosa Range, north of the Slumbering Hills, west to the Jackson Mountains, northeast to Disaster Peak and east back to the Santa Rosa Mountains, Quinn River was the most important water resource, today federally recognized as part of the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe)
- Sawawaktödö ("Sagebrush Eaters" or Sawakudökwa tuviwarai - "Sagebrush Eaters who live in the mountains", lived in the Winnemucca area from the Osgood Mountains and the Sonoma Mountains in the east to the Jackson Mountains in the west, from the Slumbering Hills and Santa Rosa Range in the north to Table Mountain Wilderness in the south, federally recognized as part of the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes and the Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada)
- Yamosöpö tuviwarai ("Those who live in Crescent Valley", lived in Paradise Valley, Nevada, which was called by them Crescent Valley, as well as in the Santa Rosa Range and along the Little Humboldt River, southward along the Oregon-Nevada border in the Osgoods Mountains, today federally recognized as part of the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes)
- Makuhadökadö or Pauida tuviwarai (lived around Battle Mountain and Unionville in Nevada, parts of the Humboldt Valleys, in the desert valleys of Buena Vista Valley, Pleasant Valley, Buffalo Valley as in the Sonoma and East Mountains, today federally recognized as Reno-Sparks Indian Colony)
- Moadökadö ("Wild onion Eaters", also known as Agaipaninadökadö or Agai Panina Ticutta —"Lake-fish Eaters", literally "Summit Lake Fish Eaters" or "Trout Lake Fish Eaters", lived around Summit Lake (called Agaipaninadi) in Nevada and along the southern border of Idaho east of the Kidütökadö, today federally recognized as the Summit Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada)
- Kamodökadö ("Hare-Eaters", lived north of Pyramid Lake in the Smoke Creek and Granite Creek deserts, today federally recognized as Yerington Paiute Tribe of the Yerington Colony and Campbell Ranch)
- Tövusidökadö ("Pine nut Eaters", lived in the mountain foothills of Nevada, today federally recognized as Yerington Paiute Tribe of the Yerington Colony and Campbell Ranch)
- Pogidukadu ("Onion Eaters", today federally recognized as Yerington Paiute Tribe of the Yerington Colony and Campbell Ranch)
- Tasiget tuviwarai ("Those who live amidst the mountains", lived in Winnemucca Valley, today federally recognized as part of the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation)
- Kuyuidökadö or Cui-ui Dicutta ('"Cui-ui-Fish-Eaters", lived along the shores of Pyramid Lake and the lower Truckee River, today part of the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation)
- Küpadökadö ("Ground squirrel Eaters", lived along the shores of Lake Humboldt, their territory in the east was limited by the Shoshone people, including the Pahsupp Mountains, Kamma Mountains and Majuba Mountains and the Humboldt River and Sink River, today federally recognized as Lovelock Paiute Tribe of the Lovelock Indian Colony)
- Toedökadö or Toi Dicutta ("Schoenoplectus acutus (Tule) Eaters", lived in the Carson Sink, today federally recognized as part of the Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony)
- Aga'idökadö or Agai Dicutta (Agai Ticutta) ("Cutthroat trout Eater", today residing on the Walker River Indian Reservation)
- Pakwidökadö or Pugwi Ticutta ("Chub carp]] Eaters", today residing on the Walker River Indian Reservation)
- Onabedukadu ("Salt-Eaters", lived in California)
- Tagötöka ("Lomatium dissectum Root Tuber Eaters", lived along the Jordan River and Owyhee River in Oregon and Idaho. Lomatium dissectum is known as "fernleaf biscuitroot" for its use in baking biscuits and as "desert parsley".)
- Tsösö'ödö tuviwarai ("Those who live in the cold", lived in the surroundings of Steens Mountain in Oregon)
- Kutsavidökadö or Kucadikadi ("Ephydridae (Brine fly) Larvae Eaters"), also called Mono Lake Paiute or the Western Mono. The name "Mono" is derived from Monoache or Monache, "Fly larvae Eaters", the designation used by the Yokuts for the Kucadikadi, today federally recognized as Big Sandy Rancheria, Cold Springs Rancheria of Mono Indians of California, Northfork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California, Table Mountain Rancheria and Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation)
Northern Paiute tribes
These are federally recognized tribes with significant Northern Paiute populations:
- Burns Paiute Tribe of the Burns Paiute Indian Colony of Oregon, Burns, Oregon
- Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Oregon
- Fort Bidwell Indian Community of the Fort Bidwell Reservation of California, Fort Bidwell Indian Reservation, California
- Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, Southeastern Idaho—descendants of the Lemhi, Boise Valley, Bruneau, Weiser and other bands of Northern Shoshone and Bannock with the Northern Paiute Koa'aga´itöka band
- Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation, Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation, Nevada and Oregon
- Klamath Tribes, includes the Yahooskin Band of Paiute, Chiloquin, Oregon
- Lovelock Paiute Tribe of the Lovelock Indian Colony, Lovelock, Nevada
- Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony, Fallon, Nevada (The Fallon Indian Reservation is also known as Stillwater)
- Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of the Pyramid Lake Reservation, Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, Nevada
- Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Reno, Nevada
- Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, Duck Valley Indian Reservation, Nevada and Owyhee County, Idaho
- Summit Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada, Summit Lake Indian Reservation, Nevada
- Walker River Paiute Tribe of the Walker River Reservation, Walker River Indian Reservation, Nevada
- Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada, Winnemucca, Nevada
- XL Ranch, Alturas, California
- Yerington Paiute Tribe of the Yerington Colony and Campbell Ranch, Yerington, Nevada
- Cedarville Rancheria Northern Paiute Tribe, Alturas, California
- Susanville Indian Rancheria, Susanville, California
Notable Northern Paiutes
- Nellie Charlie, basketweaver
- Egan, 19th century warrior
- Chief Paulina, war leader, died 1868
- Tau-gu, late 19th century chief
- Lucy Telles, award-winning basketweaver, c. 1885–1955
- Chief Tenaya, leader of the Ahwahnees
- Truckee, 17th/18th century medicine chief
- Wahveveh, war chief, died 1866
- Chief Winnemucca, died 1882
- Sarah Winnemucca, c. 1841—1891
- Wovoka, prophet and founder of the Ghost Dance
Estimates for the pre-contact populations of most native groups in California have varied substantially. Alfred L. Kroeber thought that the 1770 population of the Northern Paiute within California was 500. He estimated their population in 1910 as 300. Others put the total Northern Paiute population in 1859 at about 6,000.
Owens Valley Paiute
Owens Valley Paiute live on the California-Nevada border, near the Owens River on the eastern side of the southern Sierra Nevadas in the Owens Valley and speak the Mono language. Their self-designation is Numa, meaning "People" or Nün‘wa Paya Hup Ca’a‘ Otuu’mu—"Coyote's children living in the water ditch"
In the 1990s, approximately 2,500 Owens Valley Paiutes lived on reservations.
Owens Valley Paiute tribes
- Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley, Big Pine, California
- Bridgeport Paiute Indian Colony of California, Bridgeport, California
- Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians, Independence, California
- Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, Lone Pine, California
- Bishop Paiute Tribe, Bishop, California
- Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute Tribe of the Benton Paiute Reservation, Benton, California
The Southern Paiute traditionally lived in the Colorado River basin and Mojave Desert in northern Arizona and southeastern California including Owens Valley, southern Nevada and southern Utah. Terminated as a tribe in 1954 under federal efforts at assimilation, the Southern Paiute regained federal recognition in 1980. Many of these Paiute traded with coastal tribes; for example, tribes of the Owens Valley have been proven to trade with the Chumash of the Central Coast, based upon archaeological recovery at Morro Creek. A band of Southern Paiute at Willow Springs and Navajo Mountain, south of the Grand Canyon, reside inside the Navajo Indian Reservation. These "San Juan Paiute" were officially recognized as a separate tribe by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1980.
The first European contact with the Southern Paiute occurred in 1776, when fathers Silvestre Vélez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Domínguez encountered them during an attempt to find an overland route to the missions of California. They noted that the some of the Southern Paiute men "had thick beards and were thought to look more in appearance like Spanish men than native Americans". Before this date, the Southern Paiute suffered slave raids by the Navajo and the Ute. The arrival of Spanish and later Euro-American explorers into their territory increased slave raiding by other tribes. In 1851, Mormon settlers strategically occupied Paiute water sources, which created a dependency relationship. But, the presence of Mormon settlers soon ended the slave raids, and relations between the Paiutes and the Mormons were basically peaceful. The Mormon missionary Jacob Hamblin worked at diplomatic efforts. The introduction of European settlers and agricultural practices (most especially large herds of cattle) made it difficult for the Southern Paiute to continue their traditional lifestyle, as it drove away the game and reduced their ability to hunt, as well as to gather natural foods.
Today Southern Paiute communities are located at Las Vegas, Pahrump, and Moapa, in Nevada; Cedar City, Kanosh, Koosharem, Shivwits, and Indian Peaks, in Utah; at Kaibab and Willow Springs, in Arizona; Death Valley and at the Chemehuevi Indian Reservation and on the Colorado River Indian Reservation in California. Some would include the 29 Palms Reservations in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties of California.
Traditional Southern Paiute bands
The Southern Paiute traditionally had 16 to 31 subgroups, bands, or tribes.
- Antarianunts (Yantar
ii), historically from near Henry Mountains, Utah
- Beaver band (Kwi?umpací
ii, Kwiumpus, Quiumputs), "Frasera speciosa people", from near Beaver, Utah
- Cedar band (Ankappanukkic
icim i), Unkapanukuints, "Red-stream people", from near Cedar City, Utah
- Chemehuevi (Camowév, Acimuev), "those who do something with fish", now often viewed as a distinct group
- Howaits (Hokwaits, lived in the Ivanpah Mountains, called Ivanpah Mountain Group)
- Kauyaichits (lived in the area of Ash Meadows, called Ash Meadows Group)
- Mokwats (lived in the Kingston Mountains, called Kingston Mountain Group)
- Moviats (Movweats, lived on Cottonwood Island, called Cottonwood Island Group)
- Palonies ((Spanish) "the bald-headed", traveled to the area north of Los Angeles)
- Shivawach (one group of them lived at Twentynine Palms, the second one in Chemehuevi Valley)
- Tümplsagavatsits (Timpashauwagotsits, lived in the Providence Mountains, therefore called Providence Mountain Group)
- Yagats (lived in the Amargosa Valley and along the Amargosa River, called Amargosa River Group)
- Gunlock band (Matooshats, Matissatï), from near Gunlock, Utah
- Kaibab (Kaipapic
icim i, Kaivavwits, Kaibabits) named for the Kaibab Plateau in northern Arizona
- Indian Peak Band
- Kaiparowits (Escanlante band), named for the Kaiparowits Plateau in Utah
- Las Vegas band (N
ipakant icim i, Nuaguntits), "People of Charleston Peak"
- Moapa (Moapats), "Muddy Creek Paiute"
- Pahranagat (Pata?nikic
i), "Person who sticks his feet in the water, named for the Pahranagat Valley, Nevada
- Panaca (Tsouwaraits, Matisabits), named for Panaca, Nevada
- Panguitch (Pakiucimi), "fish people", named for Panguitch, Utah
- San Juan band (Kwaiantikowkets), "People being over on the opposite side", from the San Juan River in northern Arizona
- Shivwits (Sipicimi, Shebits, Sübüts), "People who live in the East"
- Uinkaret (Yipinkat
it icim i), "People of Mount Trumbull"
- Uainuints (Uenuwunts, also known as Tonaquints, hunted and farmed from Hebron (Shoal Creek Fort), Enterprise and Pinto southward along the Santa Clara River (also called Tonaquint River) to his mouth into the Virgin River south of today's Saint George, Utah, therefore called St. George Band)
Contemporary Southern Paiute federally recognized tribes
- Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians of the Kaibab Indian Reservation, Arizona—Kaibab Indian Reservation, Arizona
- Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians of the Las Vegas Indian Colony, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Moapa Band of Paiute Indians of the Moapa River Indian Reservation, Moapa River Indian Reservation, Moapa, Nevada
- Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, Cedar City, Utah
- San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe of Arizona, Tuba City, Arizona
Notable Southern Paiutes
- Tony Tillohash, linguist and politician
Pah Ute War
The Pah Ute War, also known as the Paiute War, was a minor series of raids and ambushes initiated by the Paiute and which had an effect on the development of the Pony Express. It took place from May through June 1860, though sporadic violence continued for a period afterward.
- Pritzker, 224
- "Northern Paiute - Religion and Expressive Culture". Countries and Their Cultures. (retrieved 8 Dec 2009)
- The California Military Museum; California and the Indian Wars, The Owens Valley Indian War, 1861-1865
- Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, 1883
- The Paiute and Shoshone of Fort McDermitt, Nevada
- Summit Lake Paiute Tribe
- Kroeber, p.883
- Fowler and Liljeblad, p.457
- Liljeblad and Fowler, 412
- Pritzker, 227
- Pritzker, 228
- Liljeblad and Fowler, 413
- Pritzker, 229-230
- W.C. Sturtevant, 1964
- C.M. Hogan, 2008
- "Dominquez and Escalante Expedition, 1776". UintahBasintah.org. Retrieved 2010-11-16. cites: Chavez, T (1995), The Dominguez and Escalante Journal, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press More than one of
- Kelly and Fowler 394
- Kelly and Fowler 395
- Kelly and Fowler 396
- Fowler, Catherine S. and Liljeblad, Sven (1978). Northern Paiute In d'Azevedo, Warren L. (editor) (1978) Great Basin, pp. 435–465, Handbook of North American Indians, William C. Sturtevant, general editor, vol. 11. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
- Hogan, C. Michael (2008). "Morro Creek" at Megalithic Portal edited by A. Burnham electronic copy
- Kelly, Isabel T. and Catherine S. Fowler. "Southern Paiute". D'Azenvedo, Warren L., vol. ed. Handbook of North American Indians: Great Basin, Volume 11. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1986. ISBN 978-0-16-004581-3.
- Kroeber, A. L. (1925). Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 78. Washington, D.C.
- Liljeblad, Sven and Fowler, Catherine S. "Owens Valley Paiute". D'Azenvedo, Warren L., vol. ed. Handbook of North American Indians: Great Basin, Volume 11. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1986. ISBN 978-0-16-004581-3.
- Pritzker, Barry M. (2000). A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1.
- Dutton, Bertha Pauline (1976). The Ranchería, Ute, and Southern Paiute Peoples Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, ISBN 0-13-752923-6
- Hittman, Michael (1996). Corbett Mack: The Life of a Northern Paiute University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska, ISBN 0-8032-2376-5
- Mann, Mary Tyler Peabody (1883). Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims. Cupples, Upham & Company, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, and by the author. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Wheeler-Voegelin, Erminie (1955). "The Northern Paiute of Central Oregon: A Chapter in Treaty-Making, Part 1" Ethnohistory 2(2): pp. 95–132
- Wheeler-Voegelin, Erminie (1955). "The Northern Paiute of Central Oregon: A Chapter in Treaty-Making, Part 2" Ethnohistory 2(3): pp. 241–272
- Wheeler-Voegelin, Erminie (1956). "The Northern Paiute of Central Oregon: A Chapter in Treaty-Making, Part 3" Ethnohistory 3(1): pp. 1–10
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- Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims
- Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah
- Traditional Southern Paiute Territory: Band Divisions, Southern Paiute Tribal Boundary