Friday, June 10, 2011

Additions and activities at the Ute Learning Garden

Members of the Ute Indian Nation and Bureau of Land Management are building the ramada (shade structure) in anticipation of tomorrow’s powwow at the Ute Learning Garden at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. The ramada will eventually be covered with willow branches and seating will be built against the back side for those attending programs and workshops.

Ute Indian dancers, singers and drummers will perform at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. June 11. Clifford Duncan, Ute Indian Spiritual Elder is planning on being present and wearing his regalia for the 11 a.m. performance. Students in their regalia will perform a series of dances during both times accompanied by Ute Indian singers and drummers.

Ute students and elders put up the Nugan (the Ute name for teepee) this morning. You can see the frame of a small willow sweat lodge in the background.

Wickiups are temporary shelters used by hunting parties and Native Americans moving through this area. Hundreds of these shelter structures have been recorded by archaeologists in Colorado. They were covered with brush, mats, or hides, probably depending on the season or how long they were going to be used.

Alyssa Leavitt-Reynolds, archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management and a number of Ute students discuss one of the cooking hearths. A number of different hearths have been built throughout the Learning Garden.

Meghan, seasonal archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management, talks to a group of Ute students about the importance of plants in the ponderosa/aspen life zone.

Signs have been placed throughout the gardens to acquaint visitors to the various plants and activities of every day Ute Indian life.

These items and more will be discussed at the Ute Indian mini-powwow on Saturday, June 11, 2011. We are calling this a mini-powwow as Ute Indian students will be providing the entertainment. There is no charge to attend.

For information on a guided tour for a group, contact Susan Rose at 244-1841.

This project is a cooperative effort of the Ute Indian Nation, the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado State University, and Mesa County.

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