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Tribes of the Pike’s Peak Region

It would be interesting to know who were the occupants of the Pike’s Peak region during prehistoric times. Were its inhabitants always nomadic Indians? We know that semi-civilized peoples inhabited southwestern Colorado and New Mexico in prehistoric times, who undoubtedly had lived there ages before they were driven into cliff dwellings and communal houses by savage invaders. Did their frontier settlements of that period ever extend into the Pike’s Peak region? The facts concerning these matters, we may never know. As it is, the earliest definite information we have concerning the occupants of this region dates from the Spanish exploring expeditions, but even that is very meager. From this and other sources, we know that a succession of Indian tribes moved southward along the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains during the two hundred years before the coming of the white settler, and that during this period, the principal tribes occupying this region were the Ute, Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Sioux; and, further, that there were other tribes such as the Pawnees and Jicarilla Apache, who frequently visited and hunted in this region. Jicarilla Apache Indians of Colorado The Jicarilla Apaches are of the Athapascan stock, a widely distributed linguistic family, which includes among its branches the Navajos, the Mescalaro of New Mexico, and the Apaches of Arizona. Notwithstanding the fact that they were kindred people, the Jicarilla considered the latter tribes their enemies. However, they always maintained friendly relations with the Ute, and the Pueblos of northern New Mexico, and inter-marriages between members of these tribes were of frequent occurrence. The mother of Ouray, the noted Ute...

Taos Pueblo

Taos, the most northern of the New Mexican pueblos, lies between the Rio Lucero and Rio Taos. Both streams furnish never failing supplies of water, As a consequence, the crops raised by the Indians are remarkably fine. Corn and wheat are produced in about equal quantities. Fruit and vegetables are rarely seen. The farms range in extent from 9 to 13 acres, though’ some members of the community having large families manage as many as 35 acres, and others variously 30, 24, 18, 16, 10, 8, 6, and 3. These farms yield, when well managed, 30 bushels to the acre. At the Ranchos do Taos, a Mexican village 8 miles distant; a large mill affords ready sale for all they can produce. Many Indians are able to store and hold their grain until prices have advanced, sometimes to 85 cents per bushel. This is the most independent of the Pueblo tribes both in material condition and in its attitude toward strangers, It would be difficult to find in the west, where farming is dependent upon irrigation, a more desirable treat of land than that owned by these Indians. The water, carried in sub-waterways, or acequias, commands a large portion of the reservation. Cottonwood trees line the main watercourses and larger streams of artificial construction. The fields behind the town toward the mountain are divided by scrub willow, wild plum, and blackberry bushes, and seldom contain more than 3 or acres, One member of the pueblo often owns several plots of ground. If he finds that he can care for more land, he makes application to the authorities of the...

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