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Paiute Tribe

Paiute Indians. A term involved in great confusion. In common usage it has been applied at one time or another to most of the Shoshonean tribes of west Utah, northern Arizona, southern Idaho, eastern Oregon, Nevada, and eastern and southern California. The generally accepted idea is that the term originated from the word pah, ‘water,’ and Ute, hence ‘water Ute’ ; or from pai, ‘true,’ and Ute – ‘true Ute’; but neither of these interpretations is satisfactory. Powell states that the name properly belongs exclusively to the Corn Creek tribe of south west Utah, but has been extended to include many other tribes. In the present case the term is employed as a convenient divisional name for the tribes occupying south west Utah from about the locality of Beaver, the south west part of Nevada, and the north west part of Arizona, excluding the Chemehuevi. With regard to the Indians of Walker River and Pyramid Lake reservations, who constitute the main body of those commonly known as Paiute, Powell claims that they are not Paiute at all, but another tribe which he calls Paviotso. He says: “The names by which the tribes are known to white men and the department give no clue to the relationship of the Indians. For example, the Indians in the vicinity of the reservation on the Muddy and the Indians on the Walker River and Pyramid Lake reservations are called Pai or Pair Utes, but the Indians know only those on the Muddy by that name, while those on the other two reservations are known as Paviotsoes, and speak a very different language, but...

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