The Nuwuvi, or Southern Paiute peoples (the people), are also known as Nuwu. The Southern Paiute language originates from the uto-aztecan family of languages. Many different dialects are spoken, but there are many similarities between each language.
UNLV, and the wider Las Vegas area, stands on Southern Paiute land. Historically, Southern Paiutes were hunter-gatherers and lived in small family units. Prior to colonial influence, their territory spanned across what is today Southeastern California, Southern Nevada, Northern Arizona, and Southern Utah. Within this territory, many of the Paiutes would roam the land moving from place to place. Often there was never really a significant homebase. The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe (LVPT) mentions that, “Outsiders who came to the Paiutes' territory often described the land as harsh, arid and barren; however, the Paiutes developed a culture suited to the diverse land and its resources.”
Throughout the history of the Southern Paiute people, there was often peace and calm times. Other than occasional conflicts with nearby tribes, the Southern Paiutes now had to endure conflict from White settlers in the 1800s. Their way of life was now changed with the onset of construction for the Transcontinental railroad and its completion. Among other changes to the land, the LVPT also said, “In 1826, trappers and traders began crossing Paiute land, and these crossings became known in 1829 as the Old Spanish Trail (a trade route from New Mexico to California). In 1848, the United States government assumed control over the area.”