The Native People known as the Utes lived in central and western Colorado for centuries before their contact with the white man. They were a nomadic people who, at first, lived in bark covered dwellings called wikiups, and followed the buffalo herds. A wikiup was rather hard to move so the Ute eventually adopted the teepee as a temporary shelter while on the hunt.
One story tells of a time when animals ruled the earth, and a buffalo tracking porcupine.
The porcupine had been following the buffalo by their manure chips, asking each and every one in which direction the buffalo were headed. One answered it was "fresh", and the porcupine followed its directions to a river which the buffalo had just crossed.
A while later, the buffalo grew tired of carrying the porcupine inside him, and ordered it to come out. The porcupine came out, but his heavy tail, full of quills punctured the buffalo's heart on the way, causing it to charge and die suddenly. This angered the other buffalo, who tried to kill the porcupine, but he stayed beneath the buffalo's ribs, safe from their horned attacks.
After the buffalo got tired and abandoned their efforts, the porcupine emerged, and looking at the buffalo carcass said, "I wish I had something with which to butcher this buffalo."
The coyote issued a challenge: "Let he who can leap over the beast butcher it." The porcupine got a good start, ran, and jumped, but he fell short of the mark. Of course, the coyote achieved the jump in a single bound, not even grazing the dead buffalo, so he got to carve up the beast.
After a while, he removed the paunch, and gave it to the porcupine for him to go and clean in the river, asking him to wait before eating any of it. The porcupine, hungry from all the excitement, tore off a little piece and ate it, but not so little a piece, and not eaten fast enough that the coyote didn't see, and the latter howled with anger at the disobedient porcupine whom he chased and killed with a club, then stuffed inside the buffalo's carcass.
When he later joined his family, the coyote told them he had killed both the porcupine and the buffalo, and he asked them to help carry them home.
When the coyote and his family returned to get the meat, they were surprised to find it had gone missing, and he asked his family to search the area, hoping to pick up a scent.
Porcupine, sitting atop the tall red pine, wished the coyotes would look up and see him there. Then it happened: the smallest coyote looked up and saw the porcupine, sitting up at the top of the branches on a small hill of meat.
Coyote asked the porcupine to throw them a piece, for they were starving, but the porcupine had one request: "Place the smallest of your children a little farther away." The coyotes did as they were asked, placing their youngest off to the side. "Now make a circle and hold your hands upward to the heavens," so they did, and porcupine began throwing down the huge chunks of meat which ended up knocking the coyote and his family dead, with the exception of the little one.
the hunt for buffalo.