Ute Tales

Ethnologist Anne Smith lived and worked among the Utes in the 1930’s. During her work, she recorded Uinta, White River, and Uncompahgre tales from members of the last generation born in the preservation era.

These distinctive animal and human tales offer a rich source of Ute culture for anyone interested in the peoples of the Great Basin. The 102 stories here are ribald, sometimes violent, yet delicately balanced and full of humor. In addition to Smith’s transcriptions from Ute storytellers, Ute Tales contains photographs made in 1909 by Edward Sapir and in 1936 by Alden Hayes.

Anne M. Smith (1900–1981) was the first woman to receive a doctorate degree from Yale. Author of Ethnography of the Northern Utes (1974), she is also the author of Shoshone Tales (1993).

Table of Contents:
Editor's Note

Uinta Tales:
The Mock Hunter
The Council of the Bears
Eye Juggler
Ghost Robs Dove
Porcupine Tricks Coyote
The Man Who Visited Bear
Water Boy
Water Boy Wrestles with Tiger
The Rescue of the Captured Child
Corn Lover

Uncompahgre Tales:
Coyote's Adventures
Rabbit Tames Wood And Water
Toad and Frog
Frog and Coyote Race
Ghost Robs Dove
Coyote Learns to Fly
Coyote Breaks a Bird's Leg
Coyote Mistakes Louse for Buffalo
The Lost Sisters
Coyote and Skunk
Coyote Tricked Bug and Lizard
Bear Elopes with Mountain Lion's Wife
Council on the Seasons
The Corralled Buffalo
Bald Eagle
Coyote Imitates a Woman
The Dog's Council
Water Babies
Why Mules Are Sterile
The Cannibal Bird
The Boy Who Visited His Grandfather
The Fool
Siants (1)
Siants (2)

White River Tales:
Origin of Death
Rabbit and Moon
Cottontail Shoots the Sun
Tricking an Enemy
The Crows That Went Visiting
The False Friend
Frog and Eagle
Coyote and the Berries
The Hoodwinked Dancers
The Buffalo
Coyote and the Women
Coyote Seeks a Name
Trickster Marries His Daughter
The Bungling Host
Coyote's Brother Cured
The Curious Man
Winter's Wife
Coyote's Adventures
Bear Elopes with Mountain Lion's Wife
Bear and Fly
Porcupine's Adventures
Council on the Seasons
Frog and Toad
Theft of Fire
Coyote Learns to Fly
Coyote Becomes a Mother
The Dog Whose Wife Left Him
Crow and His Wife, Dog
Owl Woman and Skunk
Owl's Widow Seeks a Husband
Coyote Imitates Mountain Lion
Water Babies (1)
Water Babies (2)
Water Babies (3)
Water Babies (4)
Water Babies (5)
Water Babies (6)
Historical Tale
Siants (1)
Siants (2)
Siants (3)
Siants (4)
Siants (5)
The Man Who Married a Cannibal
The Cannibals
The Supernatural Wife
The Origin of Agriculture
The Ragged Man
Badger and Fly
A Complicated Tale
The Woman and the Dog
Coyote's Wife
Lizard Hand
Mythical Times
True Story
Another True Story
The Captured Boy
War Story
Archup's Aunt
History of the Utes
How the Utes Got Land

Praise and Reviews:
"A rich, fascinating selection of American Indian narratives."— Choice Magazine

“Both entertaining and educational. The publication of Ute Tales has filled an obvious void in Ute ethnographic literature.”—Utah Historical Quarterly 

“Worthwhile for student and interested novice alike.”—Publishers Weekly

“A handsome volume, well-illustrated with twenty period photographs, which serves its purpose by making Smith’s Ute tales available to the general public.”—Western Folklore