What Did the Ute Indians Eat?

The Ute Indians ate large game animals, such as elk, deer, buffalo and antelope, that were hunted by the men of the tribe. The Ute Indians also ate small game animals that were trapped by the women. The women also gathered wild plants to feed the tribe.

Some of the wild edible plants that were gathered by the women included berries, various fruits, amaranth, wild onions, rice grass and dandelions. They also gathered pine nuts, various seeds and roots. Some of the roots gathered by the tribe included sego lily, yellow pond lily, yampa and Indian carrot.

When amaranth was gathered, the seeds were removed from the plant using a special tool called a seed beater and eaten raw. Plants such as Indian potatoes and wild onions were either eaten raw or used in soups. The plants were also dried for later use or ground into flour that was used to thicken soups.

Prickly pear cactus was also eaten by the tribe. The flowers and fruit of the cactus were eaten raw, boiled or roasted. Some tribes of Ute also planted domesticated plants for food, and others gathered plants for medicinal purposes. They also ate grasshoppers and other insects as part of their diet.