Paiute Indian Culture

Cultural Resources Contact Information:
Paiute Tribe Cultural Resources
440 North Paiute Drive
Cedar City, UT 84721

Phone: (435)-586-1112 x107
Fax: (435)-586-7388

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Traditionally, the Southern Paiute consisted of 15 bands or groups of people currently living on the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau in southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, and northeastern Arizona. Their lifestyle historically involved hunting, gathering, and farming according to seasons. It is thought that their ways of living protected them from severe climate changes and allowed them to support larger populations. Most often bands of people lived as families together near springs or other important resources. Most Southern Paiute bands were peaceful, as they were not competing for each other’s land or resources. However, Navajo, Ute, and New Mexico slave traders stole women and children from the Southern Paiutes. Records show that in 1851 a Southern Paiute boy could be sold for $100. Around the mid-1800s Jacob Hamblin estimated that there were approximately 800 Paiute living in the Santa Clara Valley, near where St George, UT is today. According to the 2000 Paiute census, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah has approximately 900 members, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe has 65, Moapa Band of Paiutes has 315, Kaibab Band of Paiutes has 335 members, and San Juan Southern Paiute has 265 members.

Northern Paiute are relatives to Southern Paiute. They live in the Great Basin region in California, Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon. They speak a different language (Northern Paiute) and practice different traditions.