The Moache and Capote Ute bands of the 1800s once lived freely in the San Luis Valley of present day Central Colorado. In the late 1840s, Mexican territory and the US bordered each other on the divide which was the homeland of the Utes.
In 1849 talks began with the US government about establishing peace in the land. Ute delegates were sent from the Moache and Capote bands. A delegate's job was to think of the people first; old folks, women and children. Despite agreements, the Utes continued warfare among the encroaching numbers of white settlers.
In 1850 the Taos agency was established. This is where Kit Carson interpreted treaties between the Utes and US.
The treaty of 1868 between the Utes and US stabilized lands where the Utes could maintain their lives.
Many Native leaders since have traveled to Washington to speak on behalf of their people.
I depicted this delegate as a Ute Man speaking for his people. It was a custom back then for a man to own a hat and tie a scarf around his neck. My great-great grandfather, who was age 84, still dressed this way in the early 1970s.