Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Field Trip of the Year

The Blue Sky people have lived in the Southwest for over a thousand years.

They lived mostly in Colorado, Utah, and northern New Mexico. But their hunting trips took them as far away as Wyoming, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the Texas panhandle.

Once the Utes had horses, they were able to travel farther, and they had more contact with other tribes. They were known as excellent horsemen, and enjoyed riding competitions, as well as foot races and other games.

The Ute people lived in brush shelters called wikiups, until they learned to make tipis from the Plains Indians. Ute women were very talented; they were known for tanning soft, beautiful buckskin, and for intricate beadwork.

Ouray and Chipeta tried hard to save the traditional Ute territories, but settlers, ranchers and miners wanted that land!

Other Utes fought to save the land as well, but the U.S. Government eventually moved them to tiny reservations.

The Bear Dance is an important part of Ute culture. Musicians play a rumbly instrument called a "bear growler." It sounds like a cranky bear waking up from a long hibernation!

Women choose their dance partners and line up for the dance. Singers sing, drummers drum, and dancers dance until they are exhausted! Then there is a big feast!

Chipeta outlived her husband by 44 years. She saw the lives of the Utes change forever during her lifetime.

What did you like best about the museum, kids?

Super: The bear dance! I liked the bear growler. I also found it interesting that the dance ends whenever someone falls down!

Dude: I liked just about everything. My favorite thing was how they actually had a shirt that belonged to Chief Ouray. And I loved the arrows, that was awesome.


Karen said...

What a great 1st field trip! We are supposed to go to an Indian Festival soon. This looks awesome.

Tiger's Mum said...

WOW! What a field trip! My son would have been over the moon to be able to see Native Indian artefacts and exhibition.