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Collins English Dictionary

1. plural -utes or -ute a member of either of two North American Indian peoples (Northern Paiute and Southern Paiute) of the Southwestern U.S., related to the Aztecs.
2. the language of either of these peoples, belonging to the Shoshonean subfamily of the Uto-Aztecan family.
Member of an American Indian people living in the Great Basin region of Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. They are divided into two branches of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic family, a language family of Central America and western North America: the Northern Paiute speak a Western Numic dialect, and the Southern Paiute of the Colorado Plateau, Utah, share Southern Numic origins with the Ute. The Paiute did not use horses, and had a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle until they were placed on reservations in the 19th century. The majority now live on reservations scattered throughout the Great Basin, where agriculture, ranching, and tourism provide their main income. They number about 9,700 (2000). The Northern Paiute migrated over a wide area, gathering wild plant foods such as mesquite, and hunting small game. Mescal, a small spineless cactus, was collected in the mountains during spring, and roasted to...    Continue Reading

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