1. Where did the Utes live before they went onto a reservation? What tribes were their neighbors? Which were friends? Which were enemies?
2. Why did the Utes go onto a reservation? When did they go? How much of the reservation was part of their traditional territory? How much of their traditional territory was outside the reservation? Who owns that territory now?
3. Tom has many chants for events in his life. Some are old and were passed to him by his parents, but a few he has made up himself. What role did chanting play in Ute society? Why would it be an important part of their tradition? Provide a few examples of Ute chants and explain what they were for.
4. When the Legends Die has many references to Tom's clothing, with his changes in style of dress indicating his changes in status in society. What clothes did the Utes wear when they lived the "old ways"? What were they made from? How were they made? What was their function? Why would the clothing of the old ways be important to Tom?
5. Borland mentions that Utes would scatter for the winter and then gather in March, with the end of the frost. What was Ute society like? How was it organized? Were there leaders?
6. How was an "old way" Ute lodge constructed? What did it look like from the outside? What did it look like from the inside? How were belongings organized inside? How many people did it hold? Is Borland's description of one accurate?
7. Borland seems to admire the old ways of the Utes. What specifically appealed to him? Where in his writings do you find the answer?
8. In what places in the novel do people misunderstand how his Ute culture has affected Tom? Why do they fail to understand? How do these misunderstandings help shape Tom's image of himself?
9. Characters near the end of the novel declare that all the grizzly bears in the area of Bald Mountain have been killed. What is the status today of grizzly bears in that region of Colorado? Why would people kill all of them?
10. Describe a rodeo like one of those Tom competes in. What are the events? What are the jobs people do at the rodeo? When would Tom's specialty, bronc riding, occur in the rodeo's schedule? What are the rules for his event?
11. How are the horses for bronc-riding events cared for? Where do they come from? How often do they die while being ridden in a rodeo?
12. What is "wage slavery" or "indentured servitude"? What were the laws regarding these in George Black Bull's era? What are the laws regarding them now?
13. Tom puts great store in names. What were the customs for taking names for the Utes? Why was choosing the names important?
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