Greetings again, my fellow Wolverines! Last week, I was able to drop the first official wallpaper of the season in my vintage schedule wallpaper based on a schedule card from 1969. This week, I’m happy to bring you the wallpaper for our first opponent of the season, the Utah Utes.
In preparing to do this wallpaper, I did a good amount of research on the Ute people, for whom the team is named. The Ute people are also the namesake of the state of Utah, itself. The word “Ute,” in the native tongue of the Ute people, Shoshonean, means “land of the sun” or “ the high place.” The Ute people were a highly-artistic people, making all sorts of beaded jewelry for use in battle and for trade. The Ute were also some of the earliest adopters of the horse in America (reports state as early as 1580). They were fierce warriors and with the addition of horses, became excellent big game hunters, as well. They were also highly spiritual, and are credited as being the first documented (by approx. 200 years) peoples to make use of a process called “mechanoluminescence” in their ceremonies. It’s said that they would use clear quartz crystals inside of translucent buffalo hide rattles. When rattled, the friction and mechanical stress of the crystals impacting each other would create a light that would be visible through the hide rattles. They believed this was evidence that the spirits were being called to their ceremonies.
I had a lot of fun researching the Ute people and it reminded me of the excellent time I had when doing research for the CMU wallpaper. I loved learning about the Chippewa and the Ute were the same experience. That being said, I hope that we stomp them on the football field. Respect gained for their history or not, I want them crying in defeat.
The image I used for the wallpaper below is of an actual Ute Tipi (or Teepee) on file at the Library of Congress. I hope I did a job that is both respectful and artistically-sound. Let me know! As always, I appreciate constructive criticism and/or suggestions for future works. Have a wonderful day and GO BLUE!
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