|After many days traveling, a Ute war party would find a
Cheyenne, Comanche, or other tribal village with a lot of horsed. The Utes would rush in
and chase off as many horses as they could. When the Indians of the village came after
them, they would try to get away as fast as they could, but sometimes they would have to
stop and fight with their bows and arrows. If the Utes killed an enemy, they would scalp
him take his bow and arrows and his clothes.
|Sometimes they would return from a raid with many things
they could use besides horses. When they arrived back in camp after a big raid, many
people would dome to meet them. After a raid or hunt, the Utes would give away what they
did not need. They gave horses and clothing to the Indians who were poor.
|After a hunt, anyone could send a child over when fresh
meat was brought in. He would sit down to wait and not say a word. Everyone knew what the
child had come for. A Ute hunter always gave meat to those who need it. Someday that
hunter might need something, too. If a man gave away many horses and much meat, he might
be asked to be Chief someday. It meant that he could take care of his people.
|As the Utes got more and more horses, their way of life
began to change. They hunted buffalo on the plains and had plenty to eat. With more food
they could live with their other families of their band in a big camp all year long.
Sometimes these camps spread out for half a mile along a river or stream. Life was no
longer so lonesome during the long winters. They also had warm buffalo robes to wear and
strong buffalo hides for covering their teepees.
|The Utes also found a better way to get horses. With
fast horses of their own, they could raid other Indian tribes and steal horses from them.
They no longer had to let their children work for the Spaniards. The Comanche Indians to
the south were very rich in horses. So many of their horses were stolen by the Utes that
two tribes became bitter enemies. The Arapahos and the Cheyenne Indians of the plains were
also victims of Ute raids.
|Life in a big camp was very exciting. In the morning,
one of the leaders of the band would announce what was to be done that day. Each band now
had a chief or camp leader. Only the leaders wore bonnets made from eagle feathers that
streamed down the back. One chief might announce a buffalo hunt. Another time, the war
chief might decide to lead a raid. All the men who wanted to join the raid would get the
fastest horses and join him. Sometimes the Ute women went along to tend the camp.
|When they lived in the big camps, the Utes learned many
new dances. They did not have to wait until spring; they could dance together any time of
the year. After a raid, the women would perform the Lame Dance. In the dance, they would
drag their right foot to show how heavy the load was that they carried home from a raid.
They would also do a Scalp Dance or a War Dance after a raid.