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Paiute resort's golf courses honor tribe's culture

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort is 54 holes of history seated just north of Centennial Hills.

But beneath the blades of grass and behind the courses' names are much deeper roots.

The courses, owned and operated by the Las Vegas Paiute Indian Tribe, bear the names Snow Mountain, Sun Mountain and Wolf. The resort is the first master-planned, multi-course facility ever built on Native American land.

The tribe, of the Southern Paiutes, speaks Nu-wav, or "the people," which also is what Paiute means, said Tonia Means, tribal chair woman.

The golf courses were named with the tribe's culture in mind, she said.

Snow Mountain, or "nu-wav kaiv," was named to honor Mount Charleston. Means said that the Southern Paiutes were a nomadic people who called upon the nearby mountain range for survival.

"They would get water there, they would hunt there and do their pine nut-picking there," she said. "There is significance to us. That is why we took on Snow Mountain the way we did."

The street off U.S. Highway 95 that leads to the resort and housing on the land is named Nu Wav Kaiv Boulevard.

Sun Mountain, or "tav-Ai kaiv," was the second golf course executed in the master plan in 1995.

"That signifies the sun that we all need," Means said. "Early in the morning times just before when the sun comes up over the mountain is when prayer was usually given."

The third course, Wolf, or "Kwetoo-Unuv," strays from the pack a bit, she said.

The animal isn't native to the area but its traits of mystique and strength were attractive, Means said.

"(We chose Wolf) because of the mystique-type strongness and the way that the wolf would run in a pack, in a family," she said.

The tribe hosts language classes for tribe members and those interested in learning more about Nu-wav.

"We're trying to keep our language alive because we are so few," she said.

There are about 75 to 80 people in the Las Vegas Paiute Indian Tribe.

"We want to instill (language) in our children with song," Means said. "Our words have a lot of meaning, especially when it comes to even celebration or death."

The Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort is at 10325 Nu Wav Kaiv Blvd.

For more resort information, call 800-711-2833 or 658-1400. For more information on the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, visit

Contact Centennial and Paradise/Downtown View reporter Maggie Lillis at or 477-3839.