Published on July 12, 2011 by Amy
The oldest continuous residents of Colorado are the Ute Indians. It is not known exactly when the Utes came from the north and west and inhabited the mountainous areas of the present-day states of Colorado , Utah (which name comes from the Ute people), and New Mexico. We do know that the earliest Utes came into the present day United States along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. It is possible that the coming of the Utes was the reason for the Anasazis to move into sandstone caves of the area. Possibly, too, the Utes displaced or replaced those earlier peoples who had developed in the region from the early Basketmaker stage through the Developmental Pueblo stage and into the classic Mesa Verde period. Ruins of the ancient culture of the Anasazi are to be found throughout the present reservation of the Southern Utes. If the Utes tried to leave their mountainous area and go other places to get food, they found other Indian groups already there who would fight them to drive them out. To the east and northeast of the Utes were the Arapaho, Cheyennes, Kiowa, Apaches, Comanches, Sioux, and Pawnees. To the south were the Navajos and Apaches and only the Jicarilla band of Apaches were generally friendly to the Utes. To the west and northwest were the Shoshones, Snakes, Bannocks, Paiutes, and Goshutes.
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