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 Post subject: Re: Ute Prophecy Tree at Meyer Ranch OSP+Other Ute CMTs
Post Posted: Apr 17, 2017 3:05 pm 
Oh my, Big Time poster!
Oh my, Big Time poster!
Joined: Mar 2, 2004 4:16 pm
Posts: 2820
I did my research. I'll try to keep this as factual as I can. First, my sources, of which I won't name names, just credentials. I already mentioned the first distant friend. Another, a renowned historian who currently works for the government as a private investigator of sorts tracking down and repatriating Native American artifacts that were stolen and sold either on the black market or "laundered" through legitimate collectors and retail brokers. He's also 1/2 Native American (a member of a federally recognized western Indian tribe I won't mention) and actively travels the southwest - including Colorado - visiting tribes, reservations, etc. for his work. This guy knows his stuff. Finally, another long time respected Native American collector/retail broker and historian. This guy has uncovered some truly one-of-a-kind and historically significant artifacts over his 40+ years of work. He continues close relationships with many of the tribal nations across the mid west and is still an active broker/collector. There were also a few other knowledgeable folks I asked along the way.

How did I come across these folks? My father was a collector of Native American artifacts. He knew alot of people including collectors, historians, and Native Americans who became his dear friends. Others were by happenstance. Friends of friends. They traveled in similar social circles and had similar interests in history and culture. Pretty simple really. Onto my findings...

In a nutshell, these so-called Ute Prophecy trees, CMTs, or whatever else they are called are purely fiction. They don't exist. They never did. It was never a practice by the Utes or any other Native American tribe to create these trees. To the best of all my sources' knowledge, no tribe practiced modifying trees for any reason other than maybe to mark a trail or collect wood for shelter, tools, or fires. As one of them stated, "They were simply too busy just trying to survive!" The "Plains Indians" were nomadic in nature. Unlike pueblo Indians, Plains Indians didn't stay put for very long. They wouldn't have much of a reason for modifying trees.

So why is the myth of Ute CMTs growing like weeds? Hard to say. Personal gain? Maybe. Both fame and fortune? Possibly. Maybe it was just an idea or rumor that gathered momentum. Now there's a whole new "previously unknown" world of cultural rituals that has grown from nothing. So-called scholars, institutions and "experts" spring forth out of the madness. No wonder the Ute Nation had no comment. These days some folks attribute a much more enlightened and spiritual essence to Native American cultures than what actually existed years ago. I wish they would stop making stuff up.

I see this phenomena as people just wanting to believe. They find order in the chaos of evidence presented. They make sense of it, organize it, and put forward an idea without any experimentation, research, or verification. But like any scientific method, cause and effect may be independent of each other. Maybe someone at some point modified a tree. Maybe several. No doubt it makes you wonder and some are just pretty darn cool to look at. However, based on the information (or lack thereof) I've gathered, the whole myth of CMTs has been busted. Mother Nature, take a bow.

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