July 11, 2012

Moapa Band of Paiute Indians of the Moapa River Indian Reservation


The Moapa Band of Paiute Indians are Southern Paiutes. They were relocated to to the Moapa area in 1869. Originally the entire Moapa River watershed and lands along the Colorado River (some of which area is now under Lake Mead) was assigned to the Moapa; however, in 1875 their reservation was reduced to 1,000 acres (4.0 km2).

Official Tribal Name: Moapa Band of Paiute Indians of the Moapa River Indian Reservation

Address: P.O. Box 340, Moapa, Nevada 89025
Phone: (702) 865-2787
Fax: (702) 865-2875

Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

They were in the past called the Moapats and the Nuwuvi.

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:

Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Mispellings:

Name in other languages:

Region: Great Basin

State(s) Today: Nevada

Traditional Territory:

The upper Muddy Valley in northeast Clark County, Nevada is the ancestral home of the Moapa Band of Paiutes. Moapa Valley is the prehistoric flood plain of the Muddy River, which flows through the valley and drains into Lake Mead. The region surrounding the reservation is famous for its sandstone rock formations.

Confederacy: Paiute


Reservation: Moapa River Indian Reservation

The tribal lands originally set aside in 1874 consisted of two million acres, but in 1876 it was reduced to a thousand acres. In December 1980, under the Carter Administration, an additional 70,000 acres were provided

Established: 12 March, 1873 – approx. 2 million acres by Executive Order
12 February, 1874 – 1,000 acres added by Executive Order
03 March, 1875 – by the Authority of the Act of 03 March, 1875 (18 Stat. 445) reduced acreage to 1,000 acres
02 December, 1980 – By Legistlation 70,565.46 acres added P.L. 96-491
Location: Approximately 8 miles West of Glendale, Nevada, junction of State Route 168 and Interstate 15 – approximately 55 miles Northeast of Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada.
Land Area: 71,954.19 acres of Tribal Land (revised acreage coutesy of the B.I.A.)
Tribal Headquarters:
Time Zone:

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today:

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Enrollment Eligibility Clerk — Rebecca Grassrope

Genealogy Resources:


Charter: Organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 18 June 1934 (48 Stat. 984) as amended. Constitution and By-Laws of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians approved 17 April, 1942.
Name of Governing Body: Moapa Business Council
Number of Council members: 5 plus executive officer
Dates of Constitutional amendments:
Number of Executive Officers: Chairman, Vice-Chair


B.I.A. Agency:

Southern Paiute Field Station
Cedar City, Utah 84727
Phone:(801) 586-1121

Language Classification:

Language Dialects:

Number of fluent Speakers:



Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:
Duck Valley Paiute
| Pyramid Lake Paiute | Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe | Fort Independence Paiute | Ft. McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe | Goshute Confederated Tribes | Kaibab Band of Paiute | Las Vegas Paiute Tribe | Lovelock Paiute Tribe | Reno/Sparks Indian Colony | Summit Lake Paiute Tribe | Winnemucca Colony | Walker River Paiute Tribe | Yerington Paiute Tribe

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Spanish slave raiders in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Annual Southern Paiute Veterans Pow-Wow – First weekend in November, Open to the Public

Valley of Fire’s numerous petroglyph sites offer insight into the daily lives of the Southern Paiute people who once inhabited the area.

Lost City Museum in Overton houses artifacts rescued from the ancient Anasazi site of Pueblo Grande de Nevada before it was flooded by Lake Mead in the 1930s. Although not related to the Southern Paiute of the Moapa Reservation, the Anasazi artifacts are a popular draw. Southern Paiute relics are also on display at the museum.

Paiute Legends / Oral Stories

Art & Crafts:

Intricately designed basketry included water jars, winnowing and parching trays, cradle boards, cooking baskets and seed beaters.



The Moapa Paiutes traditionally wore clothing made of leather, yucca, and cliff-rose bark.



Prior to the 1800s, the Moapa People were a culturally well adapted people who combined farming with hunting and gathering. Their knowledge of nutritional and medicinal uses of plants was extensive.They utilized nearly every plant in their territory for food, medicine, or fibers. They grew irrigated corn and beans along the Muddy River.

Economy Today:

The tribe’s primary business enterprise centers on the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza, which includes a casino, convenience store, cafe, gas station, and firework store.

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Valley of Fire is a sacred area.

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs:



Famous Paiute Chiefs and Leaders

Catastrophic Events:

The population diminished rapidly as new diseases were contracted, especially tuberculosis and measles.
Additional decimation by disease in the 1920s and 1930s.

Tribe History:

In the News:

Further Reading:

US Tribes K to M
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