The Utes have always been here in Western Colorado. Always. Ask them and they will tell you. The hunting and gathering lifestyle of they and their ancestors remained basically unchanged for thousands of years, with several milestone technological advancements along the way such as the invention of the bow-and-arrow. Yet nothing came close to the cultural revolution brought on, almost overnight, by the invasion of Europeans to the area in the 17th through 19th centuries. The acquisition of horses suddenly made the mobility demanded by a life of hunting, gathering, and raiding easier; the results more predictable. The designs on moccasins made possible by the new glass beads were more intricate and colorful than what had ever been feasible using dyed porcupine quills. Metal arrowheads and cookware didn't break as easily as those made of stone and clay. A golden era had come to the People. Life was good, it seemed. But at what price did this bounty of gifts from another world come?
Local archeologist Curtis Martin will be presenting his talk and slide show about the last decades of the free-roaming, off-reservation Ute Indians in Colorado. He will be reading from his book Ephemeral Bounty: Wickiups, Trade Goods, and the Final Years of the Autonomous Ute.