Word of the Day – Tuesday, November 6th



Word of the Day


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UTE (yoot)

1. A Native American people of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico
2. Name of The University of Utah's Athletic teams
Common clues: Bear Dance performer; Western Indian; Beehive State native; Shoshonean; University of Utah team; Salt Lake City student
Crossword puzzle frequency: 8 times a year
Ute Bear Dance

The Utes are an ethnically related group of American Indians now living primarily in Utah and Colorado. There are three Ute tribal reservations: (1) Uintah-Ouray in northeastern Utah (3,500 members), (2) Southern Ute (1,300 members) and (3) Ute Mountain (2,000 members) — both in southwestern Colorado. The name of the state of Utah was derived from the word Ute.

Ute, 1878

The native Ute language belongs to the Uto-Aztecan (Shoshone) family of languages and is a dialect of Southern Numic. However, most current Utes speak only English. Other American Indian groups with native Shoshonean dialects include the Bannocks, Comanches, Chemehuevi, Goshutes, Paiutes and Shoshones.

Prior to the arrival of white settlers, the Utes occupied significant portions of what are today eastern Utah, western Colorado and parts of New Mexico and Wyoming. The Utes were never a unified group; instead, the Utes consisted of numerous nomadic bands that maintained close associations with other neighboring groups. Some of the larger groups included the Moache, Capote, Uncompahgre, White River, Uintah, Pahvant, Timanogots, San Pitch, Moanumts, Sheberetch and Weeminuche. Unlike many other tribal groups in this region, there is no tradition or evidence of migration to the areas now known as Colorado and Utah — ancestors of the Ute appear to have occupied this area for at least a thousand years.


The University of Utah’s sports teams are called the Utes. There are many "nicknames" for the teams too, as for instance the basketball team is known as the "Runnin' Utes", the football team before the days of political correctness was known as "Runnin' Redskins", and the gymnastics team is known as "the Red Rocks". Utah participates in the NCAA's Division I (Division I-A for football) as part of the Mountain West Conference. The Utes have two major rivalries, both of which are in-state. They meet their primary rivals, the BYU Cougars, in a game called the "Holy War". Utah also battles Utah State University for the Beehive Boot, a traveling trophy. The football program with the best record in the state of Utah among in-state games keeps the Beehive Boot. BYU has won the boot the most times, with Utah second, and Utah State third.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ute Tribe” and “University of Utah”.