Jd Challenger




History traces the Paiute Indians back to around 1200AD where they were thought to inhabit an area in Utah now called Bryce Canyon. Consisting mainly of foragers, gatherers and hunters, their main source of food were rabbits, deer, mountain sheep, berries, bugs and roots. Having also settled very close to some of the local main rivers of Utah such as the Virgin, they were able to practice irrigation and raising wheat, corn and squashes.

The Paiute Indians evolved into a tribe with a very close-knit social foundation with family bands branching off and being named after resources or geographical features. These strong family bonds meant that having a natural leader was very rare, preferring to rely on being led by a chief who was more of a facilitator of consensus rather than a ruler.

Although contact with Europeans could have easily affected the way the Paiute Indians went about their day-to-day lives and changing their religious beliefs, it was thought to be the Mormons in 1850s that really affected them, taking over their living and hunting spaces. The primal effect was population reduction of the Paiutes from starvation and disease.

The Paiutes lived on, however and remained a strong community applying for an official reservation in 1891 near St.George with further reservations being established in 1915, 1928 and 1929 at Indian Peaks, Koosharem and Kanosh respectively. even with the presence of these reservations, the Indian natives were never regarded as true citizens, with little federal help and funding being offered with the women spending their lives as maids and the men as farm labor and railroad workers. By 1935, it was the Paiutes took a stand for their rights and adopted the Wheeler-Howard Act which allowed them to practice tribal self-governance and the protection of their reservations. along with funding from the federal reserve.

The Paiute run of luck was to come to a close in the 50s though, when Utah Senator Arthur Watkins instigated the termination policy from Congress, despite acknowledgement that the tribe would be unable to survive without federal assistance. The clan fought back and applied for rights of ownership to the land that they lost when the Europeans settled in North America and were granted 27 cents in every acre in 1965 – the funds were drip fed 6 years later which launched the construction of housing units for the Paiute people between 1976 and 1989.

It wasn't until Senator Carter re-recognised the existence of the Paiute people in 1980 that they were granted federal inclusion again, some 7 years later after petitions were raised once again by the Indians. In February of 1984, they were granted 4,470 acres of poor land that was scattered across the South West area of Utah along with an incredibly helpful $2.5 million fund for tribal services and development of their economy. The Paiute people put this much-needed grant to excellent use, allocating it to healthcare, educational, housing and industry.




Cycle of the Seasons

Jd Challenger

This graphic represents the Four Seasons within the Four Directions. In Cherokee Mythology each season was a time for specific rituals and ceremonies.

Winter • go-la 
Winter belongs to the North. The color for North is Blue which represents sadness, defeat. It is a season of survival and waiting. The Cherokee word for North means "cold" u-yv-tlv.

Spring • gi-la-go-ge 
The color for East is Red which represents victory, power. Spring is the re-awakening after a long sleep - victory over winter; the power of new life. The Cherokee word for East is ka-lv-gv

Summer • go-ga 
The color for South is White which represents peace, happiness, serenity. Summer is a time of plenty. The Cherokee word for South means "warm" u-ga-no-wa.

Autumn • u-la-go-hv-s-di 
The color for West is Black which represents death. Autumn is the final harvest; the end of Life's Cycle. The Cherokee word for West is wu-de-li-gv.






How the Red Bird Got His Color
retold by Barbara Shining Woman Warren

Cherokee Words:
wolf wa-ya
raccoon gv-li
bird tsi-s-qua
brown u-wo-di-ge
red gi-ga-ge
red bird to-tsu-wa

Gv-li loved to tease wa-ya. One day gv-li teased wa-ya so much that wa-ya became very angry. Wa-ya began to chase gv-li through the woods. Gv-li, being the clever animal that he is, kept ahead of wa-ya.
Gv-li came to a river. Instead of jumping in the river, he quickly climbed a tall tree and peered over a branch to see what wa-ya would do next.

When wa-ya came to the river, he saw the reflection of gv-li in the water. Thinking that it was gv-li, wa-ya jumped in and tried to catch him. Wa-ya continued to search for gv-li for such a long time that he became so tired he nearly drowned. Finally, tired and exhausted, wa-ya climbed up the river bank and fell fast asleep. After a while, gv-li quietly climbed down the tree and slipped over to the sleeping wa-ya. While wa-ya slept, gv-li began to plaster the eyes of wa-ya with mud. Then when he had finished, gv-li ran off through the woods laughing to himself thinking of the clever trick he had played.

Later, wa-ya woke up. He began to whine, "Oh, someone please help me. I can't see. I can't open my eyes." But no one came to help him.

At long last, u-wo-di-ge tsi-s-qua heard the cries of wa-ya. He flew over to wa-ya and landed on his shoulder. He said, "What's the matter Brother Wolf? Can I help you?" wa-ya cried, "I can't open my eyes. Oh, please help me to see again." U-wo-di-ge tsi-s-qua said, "I'm just a little brown bird but I will help you if I can." Wa-ya said, " u-wo-di-ge tsi-s-qua, if you can help me to see again, I will take you to a magic rock that oozes red paint. We will paint your feathers gi-ga-ge."

U-wo-di-ge tsi-s-qua began pecking away at the dried mud on the eyes of wa-ya. Soon wa-ya could open his eyes again. True to his promise wa-ya said, "Thank you, my brother; now jump up onto my shoulder." Away they ran through the woods to the rock that oozed red paint.

When they came to the rock, wa-ya reached up and plucked a twig from a tree branch. He chewed the end of the twig until it was soft and pliable like the end of a paint brush. Then he dipped the end of the twig into the red paint and began to paint the feathers of u-wo-di-ge tsi-s-qua.

When all of his feathers were gi-ga-ge, tsi-s-qua flew off to show his family and friends how beautiful he was. That is why, from that day to this, you can see to-tsu-wa flying around the woods in Cherokee country.





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