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History of Native American Indians in Utah

Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)

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Beginning in A.D. 400, the Anasazi, with their Basketmaker Pueblo Culture traditions, moved into southeastern Utah from south of the Colorado River. Like the Fremont to the north the Anasazi (a Navajo word meaning "the ancient ones") were relatively sedentary peoples who had developed a maize-bean-squash-based agriculture. The Anasazi built rectangular masonry dwellings and large apartment complexes that were tucked into cliff faces or situated on valley floors like the structures at Grand Gulch and Hovenweep National Monument. They constructed pithouse granaries, made coiled and twined basketry, clay figurines, and a fine gray-black pottery. The Anasazi prospered until A.D. 1200-1400 when climactic changes, crop failures, and the intrusion of Numic hunter-gatherers forced a southward migration and reintegration with the Pueblo peoples of Arizona and New Mexico.

In Utah, the Numic- (or Shoshonean) speaking peoples of the Uto-Aztecan language family evolved into four distinct groups in the historic period: the Northern Shoshone, Goshute or Western Shoshone, Southern Paiute, and Ute peoples. The Northern Shoshone, including the Bannock, Fort Hall, and Wind River Shoshone (Nimi), were hunter-gatherers who rapidly adopted many Plains Indian traits through trade. They occupied an area mainly north and east of the state, yet periodically utilized subsistence ranges in Utah. The Goshute (Kusiutta) inhabited the inhospitable western deserts of Utah. Derogatorily labeled "Digger Indians" by early white observers, the Goshute were supremely adaptive hunter-gatherers living in small nomadic family bands. They constructed wickiups or brush shelters, gathered seasonal seeds, grasses, and roots, collected insects, larvae, and small reptiles, and hunted antelope, deer, rabbits and other small mammals. The Southern Paiute (Nuwuvi) lived in southwestern Utah, where they combined their hunting-gathering subsistence system with some flood-plain gardening--an adaptation attributable to Anasazi influences. The Southern Paiute were non-warlike and suffered at the hands of their more aggressive Ute neighbors in the historic period.


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