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Native Americans

Walking Colorado: An Introduction to the Origins Section

Added by yongli on 01/20/2017 - 11:41, last changed on 06/01/2017 - 15:57
Hundreds of generations of Native American ancestors are represented in Colorado by scatters of artifacts along with the less portable evidence of shelter, the warmth of hearths, storage needs, and symbolic expression. We learn about them through archaeology and indigenous peoples’ oral traditions...

Ancestral Puebloans of the Four Corners Region

Added by yongli on 05/09/2016 - 14:21, last changed on 08/11/2017 - 11:17
Formerly labeled Anasazi, the Ancestral Puebloan culture is the most widely known of the ancient cultures of Colorado. The people who built the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and the great houses of Chaco Canyon were subsistence farmers of corn, beans, and squash. The ruins of this culture date to...

Apishapa Phase

Added by yongli on 08/20/2015 - 16:22, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:39
The Apishapa phase is the name given to distinctive archaeological sites found primarily in southeastern Colorado that Native Americans occupied between AD 1050 and 1450. The Apishapa phase is related to both contemporaneous and more recent archaeological sites located in the Texas and Oklahoma...

Brunot Agreement

Added by yongli on 05/18/2016 - 14:41, last changed on 06/01/2017 - 11:47
The Brunot Agreement between the Utes and the US government in 1873 opened the San Juan Mountains to mining by removing 3.7 million acres (about 5,780 square miles) from the Ute Reservation in western Colorado. Though it removed a large amount of land from the reservation, the agreement still left...

Buckskin Charley

Added by yongli on 03/01/2016 - 16:41, last changed on 09/08/2016 - 18:41
Chief Buckskin Charley (1840–1936), whose Ute name was Sapiah, was the preeminent chief of the Mouache band of the Southern Ute Tribe beginning around 1870. He was born to a Mouache father and an Apache mother, perhaps in the vicinity of Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico. The name Buckskin Charley may...

Chaco Canyon

Added by yongli on 08/15/2016 - 13:02, last changed on 06/01/2017 - 15:53
In the eleventh century, Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico was the center of a Native American cultural region about the size of the state of Indiana. It encompassed most of southwestern Colorado, from Chimney Rock National Monument on the east to Far View House at Mesa Verde National Park...

Cliff Dwelling

Added by yongli on 11/20/2015 - 14:00, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:35
The cliff dwellings of southwestern Colorado are among the world’s greatest archaeological treasures. The term cliff dwelling can be applied to any archaeological site used as a habitation and located in an alcove or rock overhang; however, the most famous cliff dwellings are those created by...

Colorow

Added by yongli on 01/23/2017 - 15:59, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:37
One of the best-known Ute leaders of the nineteenth century, Colorow (c. 1813–88) was involved in many significant events in Colorado history, from his first contact with white Americans during the Colorado Gold Rush to the Meeker Massacre and his namesake “ Colorow’s War ” of 1887. Colorow’s...

Culturally Modified Trees

Added by yongli on 06/23/2016 - 13:38, last changed on 12/02/2016 - 17:01
Culturally Modified Trees (or CMTs) are trees that exhibit peels, ax cuts, delimbing, wood removal, and other cultural modifications. Numerous CMTs are found in the foothills and mountains of Colorado. Research has shown that these trees are artifacts reflecting cultural utilization of trees by...

Dent Site

Added by yongli on 05/09/2016 - 15:35, last changed on 09/09/2016 - 09:28
Early colonists occupied Colorado’s rich and ecologically diverse landscapes in the waning millennia of our planet’s most recent major Ice Age, the Pleistocene, between 14,000 and 12,000 years. Our best-documented evidence for Colorado’s earliest hunter and gatherer inhabitants, people we call...

Earth Lodge

Added by yongli on 06/23/2016 - 16:33, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
An earth lodge is a distinctive type of timber-frame house built from the early 1400s to the late 1800s by a dozen different Plains Indian tribes. These massive circular structures, often encompassing 1,500 square feet or more, featured four large support posts arranged around a central fireplace...

Fluted Points

Added by yongli on 12/29/2015 - 12:38, last changed on 09/09/2016 - 10:58
Fluted projectile points represent the earliest North American stone tool technology, although they comprise a small portion of the overall stone technology observed in the New World. These easily recognized spear points represent one form of technology used by the earliest human inhabitants of...

Folsom People

Added by yongli on 06/22/2016 - 14:59, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
Folsom groups, also called Folsom peoples or Folsom culture, occupied all of Colorado between about 13,000 and 12,000 years ago. They were not the first people in these areas, although they might have been the first in some newly unglaciated portions of the high Rockies. Nevertheless, Folsom...

Franktown Cave

Added by yongli on 06/22/2016 - 13:17, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
Located two and a half miles southwest of Franktown, Franktown Cave is a prehistoric archaeological site in a large rockshelter that contained artifacts from prehistoric occupations over 8,000 years. Some of the findings include rare perishable artifacts manufactured from hide, wood and fiber, and...

Fremont Culture

Added by yongli on 05/03/2016 - 15:31, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:35
Although it is on the eastern fringe of the area occupied by a people known to archaeology as the Fremont, Colorado is nevertheless important in the Fremont story, since clues to their origins and end are found there. Additionally, the presence of Fremont farmers had a profound influence on the...

George Bent

Added by yongli on 08/11/2016 - 16:23, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:39
George Bent (1843–1918) was a half-white, half-Native American soldier who fought in multiple battles for the Confederacy during the Civil War and for the Cheyenne people in various wars of the late nineteenth century. His life reflects the shifts in alliances and the balance of power in Colorado...

Ghost Dance

Added by yongli on 12/29/2015 - 12:16, last changed on 09/09/2016 - 11:40
Ghost Dances are key ceremonies within a broader Native American religious movement that developed in the late nineteenth century in response to the westward expansion of whites. By that time, most Colorado tribes lived on reservations outside of the state. The dances are performed to activate the...

Hovenweep National Monument

Added by yongli on 04/15/2015 - 17:07, last changed on 06/28/2017 - 13:18
Hovenweep National Monument is known for its prehistoric masonry structures clustered around small canyons along the Utah-Colorado border. To protect these unique archaeological resources, Warren G. Harding issued a Presidential Proclamation to establish the monument on March 2, 1923. The monument...

Impact of Disease on Native Americans

Added by yongli on 05/16/2017 - 11:12, last changed on 05/16/2017 - 11:21
Newly introduced diseases originating in Europe, Africa, and Asia swept what is now Colorado in the aftermath of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage. While sparse historical and archaeological records make the effects of the earliest epidemics hard to determine, evidence is better for the eighteenth...

Indian Annuities

Added by yongli on 04/27/2017 - 16:36, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:37
Annuities were a fixed sum of money or goods that the US government paid to Native Americans on a regular basis for the sale of Indian lands. Treaties with Native Americans typically specified payments to tribes in dollar amounts over a period of years in return for land cessions. The payments were...

Kivas

Added by yongli on 03/04/2016 - 10:39, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:35
Kivas were architecturally unique rooms or structures built by Ancestral Puebloans in southwest Colorado that served important ceremonial and social functions. Architecturally, they are recognized in the archaeological record in southwestern Colorado as far back as AD 500, although there are...

Left Hand (Niwot)

Added by yongli on 03/04/2016 - 09:41, last changed on 01/20/2017 - 12:16
Chief Left Hand (1820s–64) was a prominent Arapaho leader in the mid-1800s, a tumultuous period in Colorado history that followed the 1858 discovery of gold near present-day Denver , on the traditional lands of the Arapaho and Cheyenne . Diplomat, negotiator, linguist, and fluent English speaker,...

Los Piños Indian Agency

Added by yongli on 04/29/2016 - 15:32, last changed on 09/09/2016 - 13:36
After the Treaty of 1868, the Los Piños Indian Agency became the center of governmental authority for the Uncompahgre Utes on the Ute Indian Reservation in western Colorado. While largely forgotten after its abandonment in 1881, the site of the second iteration of the agency is now under...

Mistanta (Owl Woman)

Added by yongli on 11/16/2015 - 13:44, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 06:19
Mistanta (Mis-stan-stur, ca. 1810–47), also known as Owl Woman, was the Southern Cheyenne wife of the American trader William Bent . Born about 1810, she is credited with helping maintain good relations between the white settlers and the Native Americans of the Colorado plains. As the eldest...

Northern Ute People (Uintah and Ouray Reservation)

Added by yongli on 08/20/2015 - 15:20, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 06:19
Although the Ute Indian Tribe (Uintah and Ouray reservation) is the official designation of the tribe today, its members are frequently referred to as Northern Utes to distinguish them from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe . The Ute Indian Tribe’s reservation is located...

Ouray

Added by yongli on 02/03/2017 - 11:37, last changed on 06/01/2017 - 11:52
Ouray (1833–80), whose name means “Arrow” in the Ute language, was a leader of the Tabeguache (Uncompahgre) band of Ute Indians in Colorado during the late nineteenth century. Even though Ouray had no ultimate authority over Colorado’s Utes and spoke little English, the US government assigned him...

Paleo-Indian Period

Added by yongli on 05/02/2016 - 14:08, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
The Paleo-Indian period is the era from the end of the Pleistocene (the last Ice Age) to about 9,000 years ago (7000 BC), during which the first people migrated to North and South America. This period is seen through a glass darkly: Paleo-Indian sites are few and scattered, and the material from...

Plains Woodland

Added by yongli on 02/25/2016 - 14:13, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 06:43
The Plains Woodland period covers approximately a thousand years of Colorado prehistory across a large portion of the state. Plains Woodland describes the groups of people occupying much of the western plains from present-day Nebraska and Kansas, west of the Missouri River, to the eastern plains of...

Pueblo of Santa Ana–Tamaya

Added by yongli on 06/27/2016 - 15:56, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
The Pueblo of Santa Ana is one of the seven Keres-speaking Pueblos that currently inhabit the state of New Mexico. The ruins of the homes of the current inhabitants’ ancestors can be found in what is now Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado. Archaeological data and pueblo oral history...

Rock Art of Colorado

Added by yongli on 10/29/2015 - 14:34, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:35
Colorado is home to a rich variety of prehistoric and historic art carved on cliff sides and boulders. Most rock art is found in river basins. The mountain areas that cut a wide vertical swath through the state are relatively devoid of rock art. There are the two types of rock art: pecked art,...

Saul Halyve

Added by yongli on 08/12/2016 - 16:20, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 07:05
Saul Halyve was a Hopi distance-running champion raised near Grand Junction who exploded onto the athletic scene in the early 1900s. Although Halyve would never compete in an Olympics due to a multitude of factors, his accomplishments match and possibly surpass those of other famous Native American...

Sopris Phase

Added by yongli on 11/03/2015 - 10:35, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:35
Archaeologists use the term Sopris phase to refer to unique Native American sites found only on the Purgatoire River west of Trinidad, Colorado, and on the upper tributaries of the Canadian River west of Raton and Cimarron, New Mexico (Fig. 1). Sopris people were the only indigenous farmers who...

Sweat Lodge

Added by yongli on 10/29/2015 - 14:26, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 20:53
Sweat lodges are structures built to contain steam, and they play an important role in the spiritual practices of Colorado’s Native American peoples. The Arapaho , Cheyenne , Navajo , Shoshone, and Ute are historic Native American groups in Colorado who use sweat lodges as a method for cleansing...

The Archaic Period in Colorado

Added by yongli on 08/21/2015 - 14:07, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 20:53
The Archaic period is an era in the human history of Colorado dating from ca. 6500 BC–AD 200. It is one of the three prehistoric periods used by archaeologists to characterize broad cultural changes that occurred throughout the Americas. It was preceded by the Paleo-Indian period (ca. 11,500–7000...

The Formative Period in Prehistory

Added by yongli on 11/03/2015 - 10:09, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:35
The Formative is the last of several periods in a sequence of cultural development that traces the overall progression from stone-tool-using, hunter- gatherer societies to fully developed agricultural societies. The process that occurred is analogous to the Old World’s “Neolithic Revolution.” It is...

The Gateway Tradition

Added by yongli on 11/13/2015 - 09:32, last changed on 07/20/2017 - 09:53
The Gateway tradition refers to a set of archaeological sites within western Montrose and San Miguel Counties, Colorado, that appear similar to Pueblo II –period (AD 900–1150) sites to the south in the core homeland of the Ancestral Puebloans (Figs. 1 and 2). The sites in Montrose and San Miguel...

Tipi

Added by yongli on 12/28/2015 - 11:20, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
The tipi, or tepee, is an iconic form of Native American housing. It has a long history of use throughout Colorado and the western plains of North America. Sturdy and secure yet portable, the hide-covered tipi has been an ideal shelter for millennia among mobile human groups. The term comes from...

Upper Republican and Itskari Cultures

Added by yongli on 10/22/2015 - 15:03, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 21:06
Upper Republican is a name archaeologists use for a prehistoric cultural group that occupied the upper Republican River area in northeast Colorado, western Nebraska, northern Kansas, and southeast Wyoming from AD 1100–1300. As a phase of a larger cultural tradition, the Central Plains tradition,...

Vision Quest

Added by yongli on 11/02/2015 - 16:36, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 21:06
The vision quest is a rite of passage practiced by Native American tribes of the Plains and Great Basin groups such as the Eastern Shoshone . Vision quests are not well documented for the Ute Native Americans, although a few shamans might have performed the ritual. Archaeologists and...

White River Ute Indian Agency

Added by yongli on 04/29/2016 - 15:38, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 21:06
The White River Ute Agency at Meeker , Colorado was established at the same time as the first Los Piños Agency under provisions of the Treaty of 1868 . The agency was intended to serve the White River Ute band as well as some of the other bands from northwestern Colorado. As the site of the Meeker...

Yucca House National Monument

Added by yongli on 05/02/2016 - 15:29, last changed on 05/02/2017 - 15:35
Yucca House National Monument was established to protect and preserve a large Ancestral Pueblo village south of Cortez in the southwestern corner of Colorado. Yucca House is an important Ancestral Pueblo village based on its size, unique configurations, and prominent, highly visible location in the...

Zia Pueblo

Added by yongli on 05/02/2016 - 15:02, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
The modern pueblo at Zia is one of nineteen in New Mexico that can trace some part of its history to residence in southwestern Colorado. Located on a mesa above the Jemez River about thirty-five miles northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the pueblo of Zia has been the site of farming settlements...
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