The Paiutes were hunter-gatherers, and moved from place to place frequently as they gathered food for their families. Paiute men hunted deer, elk, buffalo, and small game, and went fishing in the rivers and lakes. Paiute women gathered roots, pine nuts, seeds and fruits.
The Paiute occupied the Great Basin desert areas of Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, and Utah. Modern-day members of the tribe live on more than two dozen reservations located throughout Nevada, California, Oregon, Utah, and Arizona. The largest numbers of Paiute live in California, Nevada, and Utah.
The Paiute people strongly believe in “Puha” or power, a traditional belief that everything in the universe has a life force. The Paiute practice meditation and perform special rituals in an attempt to harness the puha. It is believed that health, wartime victory, weather and fertility were attainable through puha.
The Numu ( Northern Paiute) language is a member of the Uto-Aztecan language family. It is most closely related to the language of the Owens Valley Paiute and to Mono, spoken directly on the other side of the Sierra Nevada.
The Paiutes suffered immensely under termination. Nearly one-half of all tribal members died during the period between 1954 and 1980, largely due to a lack of basic health resources.
The Northern Paiute people are a Numic tribe that has traditionally lived in the Great Basin region of the United States in what is now eastern California, western Nevada, and southeast Oregon. The Northern Paiutes’ pre-contact lifestyle was well adapted to the harsh desert environment in which they lived.
The Southern Paiutes of Utah live in the southwestern corner of the state where the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau meet. The Southern Paiute language is one of the northern Numic branches of the large Uto-Aztecan language family. Most scholars agree that the Paiutes entered Utah about A.D. 1100-1200.
Winnemucca (Paiute leader)
|Other names||Wobitsawahkah, Mubetawaka, and Poito|
|Organization||Tribe: Kuyuidika band, Northern Paiute (born a Shoshone)|
|Known for||Northern Paiute war chief|
The Ute and Southern Paiute Indians are descended from the same group of Numic-speaking hunter-gatherers that began migrating east from southern California around A.D. 1000. Historically, the two groups shared similar, but not identical, hunter-gatherer lifestyles.
1: a member of an American Indian people originally of Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. 2: either of the two Uto-Aztecan languages of the Paiute people.
Pesa U! Pe-sha uh! Thank you!
Tribes like the Comanche and Cheyenne who had horses and knew how to use them first pushed other tribes like the Apache, Wichita and Tonkawa south and west off the plains. The Apache who now live in New Mexico and in Old Mexico used to live way up in the Texas panhandle and north of Texas.
Most Ute people speak English today. More than a thousand Utes, especially older people, also speak their native Ute language. If you’d like to know a few easy Ute words, maiku (pronounced similar to “my-kuh”) is a friendly greeting, and tog’oiak’ means “thank you.”
There are no words for “ goodbye ” or “hell” in Paiute, according to Burns.
The food that the Paiute tribe ate included Indian rice grass, also known as sandgrass, Indian millet, sandrice and silkygrass. Rice grass occurs naturally on coarse, sandy soils in the arid lands throughout the Great Basin. Other common names are sandgrass, sandrice, Indian millet, and silkygrass.