Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Willard H. Rollings

Number of Pages



The equestrian adaptations of the Western Utes of the Eastern Great Basin were distinct from the stereotypical Plains Indian adaptation to the horse. The range and mobility of the Western Utes was enhanced by their acquisition of horses, but the Utes did not abandon their diversified subsistence system to specialize in buffalo hunting as did many Plains equestrian groups. Western Ute equestrian adaptations changed and evolved throughout the nineteenth century in response to environmental, cultural, economic, and political issues. Waccara's Western Utes represented the most conspicuous stage of Native American equestrianism in the Eastern Great Basin, and the success of their diversified and far-ranging annual migratory subsistence cycle resulted in their becoming one of the most prosperous and powerful equestrian bands in the nineteenth century Southwest. The entry of the Mormons into the Eastern Great Basin initially complemented the annual cycle of Waccara's Utes but eventually caused such extreme environmental changes and cultural conflict that most Western Utes were forced to abandon equestrianism and leave the Eastern Great Basin.


Adaptations; American; Basin; Eastern; Equestrian; Great; Native; Utah; Waccara

Controlled Subject

Ethnology--Study and teaching; Ethnology

File Format


File Size

3143.68 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas


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