Ute - Settlements

The Ute are traditionally described in terms of geographically designated bands. Both the Eastern and Western groups consisted of five such bands. For the Eastern group they were the Muache, Capote, Uncompahgre, White River, and Weeminuche. The Western bands were the Uintah, Timpanogots, Sanpitch, Pahvant, and Moanunts. Throughout Ute territory Settlements tended to consist of a winter and a summer camp. For the Western and other nonequestrian Ute, winter camps were located in the valley bottoms adjacent to lakes, marshes, or streams or, in some cases, in the piñon juniper woodlands of the lower foothills where fuel and shelter were available and close to food caches. Spring in the valleys along the Eastern Great Basin was spawning season and a time for many Western Ute to hold festivities, dances, and games and to fish, especially in Utah Valley. In the summer people dispersed to gather ripening plant seeds and pursue individual hunting. In late summer and fall the Utes moved to the Uplands for hunting, berry picking, and piñon nut gathering. The Eastern Ute spent summers and early fall on the plains hunting bison, and these events were generally the time of greatest aggregation for the year. Winter camps consisted of smaller residential units located in sheltered areas in the foothills or valleys. Modern reservation towns, such as Fort Duchesne and Roosevelt on the Uintah-Ouray Reservation, are centers of modern Ute community and commercial life and are very much in the pattern of western towns. Dispersed Ute communities, however, such as that seen at White Mesa in southeastern Utah, are also fairly typical.

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