The Paiutes, or Piutes (pronounced PIE-oot), included many different bands, spread out over a vast region. They are recognized as some of the North American Indian tribes. They are usually organized into two groups for study: the Northern Paiutes and the Southern Paiutes. The northern branch occupied territory that is now northwestern Nevada, southeastern Oregon, southwestern Idaho, and northeastern California. The southern branch lived in territory now part of western Utah, southern Nevada, northwestern Arizona, and southeastern California.
The Northern and Southern Paiutes spoke varying dialects of the Uto-Aztecan language family, related to the Shoshone dialect. The name Paiute is thought to mean “true Ute” or “Water Ute,” also indicating and ancestral relationship with the Ute Indians of Utah. The Paiute, are one of the best-known peoples of the Intermountain Great Basin area.
Some Paiutes were nomadic, moving from place to place in search of game and...