History of Paiute Indians of Utah

Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
*The supernatural world of the Paiutes revolved around the activities of Wolf and Coyote. Wolf was the elder brother and the more responsible god, while Coyote often acted the role of the trickster and troublemaker. Stories of the activities of these and other spirit animals generally were told in the winter.

The first recorded contact between Utah Paiutes and Europeans occurred in 1776 when the Escalante-Dominguez party encountered Paiute women gathering seeds. In 1826-27 Jedediah Smith passed through Paiute country and established an overland route to California. Trappers, traders, and emigrants on their way to California soon followed. The increased presence of Europeans and their animals had serious effects on the Paiutes. The animals of the emigrants ate the grasses and often the corn that served as food for the Paiute. The Paiutes, especially young women and children, became commodities as mounted Utes and Navajos raided for slaves to trade to the Europeans.

Although the Euro-American travelers posed a threat to the Paiutes, it was the arrival of the Mormons in the 1850s that destroyed their sovereignty and traditional lifestyle. The Mormons came to stay, and they settled in places that had traditionally served the Paiutes as foraging and camping areas. As a result, starvation and disease drastically reduced the Paiute population. Between 1854 and 1858 the Mormons conducted a fairly intensive missionary effort among the Paiutes.

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