At one time, this area of Colorado was populated by the Ute Indian tribe who told stories and legends to explain things that might not be explainable. Here are a few legends and stories from the Ute tribes.

One such legend, or curse, as they say, was put on this area by the Utes, as they believed the land that now makes up Palisade, Grand Junction, and Fruita was sacred. Once the white man moved in, they put the so-called Grand Valley curse on the land.

After doing some digging, we found a few other interesting stories and legends that these people once --maybe still do-- believed.

January's Warm Spell

One such belief is the warm spell we typically see in January. The Ute believed this was the bear rolling in its cave. If during this spell there was thunder, that was the bear stretching in preparation to awake from its hibernation.

Magical Sex Change

The Utes believed a medicine man could change the sex of a baby after birth. It was an "easy" conversion by pulling down or pushing up the genitals.

Ute women used to believe if they wanted a boy, they'd bury the placenta with a bow and arrow. If they wanted a girl, they'd bury the placenta with a root stick.

Protection Against Evil Spirits

Mothers would place the umbilical cord on an ant hill so evil spirits couldn't enter the babies body through the cord.

Babies First Year

The Ute believed it was bad luck to buy a baby jewelry in the first year because it may die.

They also believed if they cut a babies fingernails in the first year, it would grow up to be a thief.

Cutting of a Woman's Hair

If a Ute woman were jealous of another, they would catch the one they were jealous of and cut her hair.

A woman might also cut her hair if she as a sign of grief.

Birds of Evil

If a bird cries at night and lands on your house or shed, it's a sign of evil. If you were able to kill the bird, it would ward off the evil spirits.

[The University of Utah]