noun \ˈpī-ˌyüt\

Definition of PAIUTE

:  a member of an American Indian people originally of Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California
:  either of the two Uto-Aztecan languages of the Paiute people

Variants of PAIUTE

Pai·ute also Pi·ute \ˈpī-ˌyüt\

Origin of PAIUTE

alteration of Pie-Utaw, alteration of Paiuches, plural, from American Spanish Payuchis Southern Paiutes
First Known Use: 1827


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Either of two distinct American Indian groups living mostly in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, U.S. Their languages belong to the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan family. Their name for themselves is Numa. The Southern Paiute occupied southern Utah, northwestern Arizona, southern Nevada, and southeastern California. The Northern Paiute occupied east-central California, western Nevada, and eastern Oregon. Both groups were primarily food collectors who subsisted on wild plant foods supplemented by small game. They occupied temporary brush shelters, used rabbit-skin clothing, and made baskets for food gathering. Most Paiute were organized in loosely knit bands with fluid membership; those in areas with plentiful water organized more formally. Most Paiute were directed onto reservations in the 19th century. Early 21st-century population estimates indicated approximately 17,000 individuals of Paiute descent. See also Ute; Wovoka.


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