Early People of Utah

Ute Dwellings: Encampment- Sai-ar’s tipi. Ute Indians.
Photo by Hillers, of the Powell Expedition, 1873 and/or 1874. Credit to Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, Neg. no. 1545®. Used in “The Peoples of Utah,” 1976

The Native people of Utah have lived here since time immemorial.  They learned how to harvest their environment and developed complex trading networks throughout the western region. The archaic tribes of Utah were the Anasazi and Fremont Cultures.   Early native people left behind artwork and artifacts that help social scientists better understand their culture. The historic tribes of Utah are the Goshute, Navajo, Paiute, Shoshone and Ute.  Each tribe continues to provide to Utah’s cultural heritage.

Fremont Petroglyphs – Wayne County

The Fremont culture or Fremont people is a pre-Columbian archaeological culture which received its name from the Fremont River in the state of Utah, where the culture’s sites were discovered by local indigenous peoples like the Navajo and Ute. In Navajo culture, the pictographs are credited to people who lived before the flood.

Ancient Ruins of the Fremont Native Americans

The Pit House was a typical structure used as a shelter or house style that was built  by many tribes of the Plateau cultural group who made them their winter homes, as did a few of the Californian tribes. The Pit House roof was constructed over an underground hole (hence the name Pit House) with … Continue reading Ancient Ruins of the Fremont Native Americans

Anasazi Archaeological Site in 1880-1910

The image depicts what archaeologists believe were fortresses. Although they were able to document these sites, no one knows what these sites were built for. The stone that makes up these archaeological sites were Anasazi Native American sandstones.

Article on Ancient Mound Grains

An article discussing ancient mound grains in Utah, by Dr. Wm. J. Snow. Doctor Snow attended Brigham Young University.

Aboriginal Hunter Gatherers

Description and analysis of artifacts and ecofacts were designed to identify differences and similarities between these particular sites. Such archaeological variations were thenlinked to the structural and organizational features of hunter-gatherers adaptations expected for the region including Zion National Park. These expected adaptations regarding the nature of hunter-gatherer lifeways are derived from current evolutionary ecological, … Continue reading Aboriginal Hunter Gatherers

Petroglyphs – Utah

Gift of John Llewellyn.

Cliff Dwellings

Poncho house–Cliff dwellings in southeastern Utah. Gift of Norman Nevills, Mexican Hat, Utah. Photo by: Phillip W. Tompkins.

Petroglyphs – White Canyon Utah

Petroglyphs – Vernal Utah

Goshute Woman

The photograph shows a Goshute woman weaving a basket in the 1930s.

Goshute School

The photograph shows Goshute children, parents, and teachers at a day school. This photograph was taken in the 1930s.

Goshute Farmer

The photograph shows a Goshute farmer working in a field of crops.

Goshute People

Digital Image © 2008 Utah State Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Goshute House

This photograph of a Goshute home was taken from a thesis by Carling I. Malouf entitled “A Study of the Gosiute Indians of Utah.”

Goshute Man

The image shows a Goshute man riding his horse in 1925.

Map of the Traditional Territory of the Goshute Tribe

The traditional territory of the Goshute tribe consisted of a portion of Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

Mother and Child – Goshute Native Americans

Digital Image (c) 2008 Utah State Historical Society. All Rights Reserved. (1975-1980)

Bill of goods dated May 17, 1860

Bill of goods, specifically guns and ammunition for Goshute and Shoshone Indians

Young Navajo Woman

The photograph shows a young Navajo woman in 1948.

Navajo Village

The photograph shows a Navajo village in the 1930s.

Navajo Hut

The photograph shows a Navajo family’s hut that is made of wood and dirt.

Navajo Home

The photograph shows a Navajo home in the plains of Uintah County, Utah.

Navajo Family

The photograph shows a Navajo family traveling by horse and carriage.

Navajo Indian Reservation

Digital Image © 2008 Utah State Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Navajo Ceremonial Outfit

Digital Image © 2008 Utah State Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Navajo Woman on a Horse

Digital Image © 2008 Utah State Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

The Changing Navajo Reservation

A map depicting the various boundaries of the Navajo Indian Reservations in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico

Paiute Rabbit Skin Blanket

The photograph shows a Paiute woman in a rabbit-skin blanket. This photograph was taken in the 1950s.

Paiute Portrait

The photograph shows a group of Paiute Indians gathered in their traditional clothing. There is also a couple in the picture, the Winnemucca’s, who have the small town in Nevada named after them.

Paiute Gathering

The photograph shows a group of Paiute Indians gathered around an unidentified brush structure; a White woman is standing in front of the group.

Paiute Homes

The photograph shows a neighborhood of Paiute homes in the early 1900s.

Paiute Baskets

The photograph shows three Paiute baskets from the 1950s.

Paiute Mother

The photograph shows a Paiute mother weaving a basket in the early 1900s.

Paiute Arrow Maker

The photograph shows a Paiute man making arrows with his two children standing next to him. This photograph was taken in 1872.

Paiute Family

The photograph shows a Paiute family gathering near their hut.

Paiute People

The photograph shows a Paiute couple in Bluff, Utah.

Shoshone Purse

The photograph shows a blue, circular, tassled Shoshone purse. On the purse is an embroidered image of a beehive with bees flying around it; two sego lily flowers frame it.

Shoshone Tale: Coyote Steals Fire

Utah State University Press

Shoshone Band of the Northwest

This link will take you to a video about the history of the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Nation. The video discusses several important topics such as early relationships between Whites and the Shoshone Nation, the Bear River Massacre, and the general Shoshone history of the previous century.

Shoshone Chief “Little Soldier”

The photograph shows a Chief of the Shoshone tribe, “Little Soldier”, holding a bow and arrows.

Shoshone Dance

The photograph shows the Shoshone tribe at a dancing ceremony, where dancers wear a “Regalia”. Regalias are worn by dancers who can then create music by different items attached to their outfit.

Shoshone Portrait

The photograph shows five Shoshone Native Americans posing with a hunting rifle.

Treaty with the Shoshoni-Goship 1863

Indian Affairs. Laws and Treaties

Bill of goods dated May 17, 1860

Bill of goods, specifically guns and ammunition for Goshute and Shoshone Indians

United State’s Government Treaty with the Northwestern Band of Shoshone, July 13, 1863

Copy of original treaty with amendments added by the U.S. Senate.

Group of Young Ute Men at White Rocks

American Indians pose for a photo; (3) stand, another sits; One man wears braids, mid-tone round, wide-brimmed cowboy hat with beaded hatband, striped Anglo tie, dark shirt and trousers, polished leather shoes, light colored, early 20th century armbands (left); Doubled-up braids, slightly under-sized, mid-tone round-brimmed, cowboy hat with beaded hatband, mid-tone bandana around his neck, … Continue reading Group of Young Ute Men at White Rocks

Ute Reservation Grid (1905)

Department of the Interior General Land Office; William A Richards, Commissioner Part of Uinta Indian Reservation Utah to be disposed of under Act of March 3, 1905. The President Proclamation dated July 14, 1905.

Ute Indians – White Rocks (1909)

Ute Indians pose in an open field; an old woman (far left) sits with her head covered with a kerchief , wraps herself in a dark-toned blanket with tangled tassels and wears a checkered garment beneath the blanket; female child (left)wears her hair down, over the shoulders of a dark top with light-toned teardrop-shaped embellishments … Continue reading Ute Indians – White Rocks (1909)

Ute Warrior

The photograph shows a young Ute warrior holding his dog and bow and arrows. This was taken in the eastern slope of the Wasatch Mountains in 1874.

Ute Man

The photograph shows a Ute man in a traditional head piece.

Ute Dwellings

The photographs show two different Tipis of the Ute tribe. The first image shows a Ute family outside of their dwelling place, and the second image shows a man standing in a tree above his Tipi.

Uintah Indian Reservation and the Three Band Divisions 1903

Map of the Uintah Indian Reservation in 1903. Includes the three seperate Band divisions and the larger tribal lands

Wilbur Cuch, France McKinley and Rudolph Nephi, Ft. Duschene, Utah

Photo showing Wilbur Cuch, France McKinley, and Rudolph Nephi working on land status maps for the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation, Fort Duchesne, Utah

Treaty with the Ute Indians, March 2, 1868

Ute Treaty, 1868