Culturally Insensitive Utah Pendant

What is the general consensus as to what I should do with this? It’s a felt pendant that I’ve owned for decades, some relative saved it at a garage sale and gave it to me. I’ve been offered hundreds of dollars for it in the past by fellow workers when I had it displayed on the wall of my office/cubicle. It’s been sitting in storage for several years, and now I’m tempted to just toss it in the garbage. Any ideas???

I’m not certain the problem with it. Displaying a proud Ute is a problem?

It’s pretty damned cool. Remember our school has the sanction of the Ute tribe. If you’re concerned, find someone from the tribe, and ask them. At the same time selling it would net you something.

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You could give it to a museum—it is a historical relic. There are photos of people waving it. Or just toss it. If I had it, before getting rid of it I’d be curious to know what the Ute tribe thinks of it. That would be educational.

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I don’t see it as culterally offensive. There’s a pridefull and respectful vibe to it.
I would keep it; discuss it with your friends, family and guests. Learn more about Ute culture, while exploring your own history and story.


You’ve got a point. It’s not a caricature ala Chief Wahoo. (Sadly, we’ve had those in the past at Utah, too.). This one seems dignified.

Uh, actually it’s not. I think autocorrect got you. Regarding the pennant, I like it for its historical value and would keep it. How many Redskins pennants, jerseys, hats, etc. are out there? One could say that they are much more offensive.

Several years ago I was at a Utah-UCLA game with one of my sons, and we sat next to a Stanford player from the late 60s. He said he had a program from a Utah-Stanford hoops game from that era, billed as the “Indians vs the Running Redskins”.

I’d keep it - a relic of how things were different, but not better.


Thanks for all the input. As part native American, maybe I’m just overly sensitive to these sorts of things. I definitely won’t be discarding it, not sure if I’ll be taking it to work though.


Hey @Dugway - I think a lot of us here would love to hear your perspective on things.

The past was unspeakably horrific, unquestionably, in many ways. The more I read, the tougher it is to reconcile, hard to imagine the things that happened here. (Colonel Patrick Connor was a real SOB.)

Everything was way different. (For example, the stuff my Irish grandmother used to say about Italians was ridiculous, but apparently not uncommon.)

The big question is what’s the right thing to do - or not do - today? I personally think the Guardians and the Commanders are good changes. As long as the Ute tribe is OK with us using their name and we do it with respect, happy to be associated with our state’s namesake.

What’s your take?


My native blood comes from way back and on the east coast. It was rarely discussed by the family, even though we were from southern Nevada in close proximity to the res. I don’t think my take on this issue is particularly relevant.

As a student at the U, I remember having a skinny white kid ride a horse in front of the players as they came out on the field before football games, early Jim Fassel years I believe. I could never understand why they didn’t find an actual Ute, maybe none of them were interested.

I now plan on dusting off the pendant and displaying in on the wall of my cube. If any coworkers have an issue with it, at least I can attempt to educate them on how it came to be there.


I remember the Crimson Warrior days in the 80s, throwing the spear in the bale of hay.

Glad that’s gone. When they have the Ute tribe dancers come on the Ute Proud game it is a far better, more respectful and interesting celebration.

As long as the Ute tribe is OK with us being associated with their name, awesome (IMO). If that changes, we’ll adapt. I’m sure the directional school in Oklahoma (?) that was the “Fighting Savages” has moved on. Sheesh.

Good on you for keeping the pennant and using it as an introduction to dialog, if people ask. There is so much that is so close to us, and close historically, but not widely known.

There’s not much we can do about the past, but knowing about it helps in understanding. Like with a lot of things in life, context is everything.