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What do you think about adding the Northern Paiute people as a Civ?

Queen Theophania

Dec 15, 2021
Hey everyone, I've recently been reading a lot about the history of Native American peoples and read up a bit on the Northern Paiute, who I think might work fairly well in a game such as Civ.

Here's their Wikipedia article if you want to read up on them a bit

In short, the Northern Paiute are a Numic people living in the Great Basin in the western US, their traditional lifestyle was extremely well adapted to enduring the harsh conditions of their desert homes, and like for many other indigenous peoples spirituality was an integral part of their lives.

What I think makes them a good option for a Civ is the very strong leader choices they have. The primary one is Wovoka, a Northern Paiute prophet and religious leader who popularized the Ghost Dance religious movement, a movement that mixed Christian theological concepts and Paiute traditional symbolism and spread to the entirety of the US, particularly impacting the Lakota people and enduring today as one of the most widespread and prevalent aspects of modern Native American religious practices.

The secondary leader choice for them would be Sarah Winnemucca, a Northern Paiute author and activist who wrote Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims, a book considered the first known autobiography by a Native American woman and still widely used. On top of writing her book she also worked as a teacher for imprisoned Native Americans and traveled around the US to inform white Americans about the plight of her people. The reason why she's a secondary choice is that her actions are fairly controversial particularly between Paiute people and the fact that Wovoka fits the role of leader much better than her, though she could still be included as a Great Writer to still feature her in the game.

I think the Northern Paiute people could be easily envisaged to have an isolationist playstyle centered about Religion, with Wovoka improving upon those attributes and Sarah Winnemucca giving it a cultural spin. I'm nowhere near an expert on the Northern Paiute but from my very brief reading of them a unique Holy Site replacement and religious unique unit seem pretty fitting from them.

Including them would also mean the representation of a geographic area very unexplored by the Civ games, having only been represented by the Shoshone in Civ V, though the fact that the Northern Paiute lived mostly nomadic lives until colonization might complicate their inclusion, along with their relatively low influence on the modern world which might disincentivize their inclusion as a Civ.

So, what d'ya guys think?
I've thought several times that a Wovoka-led Paiute civ would be interesting, not least of all because many people are unaware of how Sitting Bull and the Sioux perverted his movement, which was fundamentally not only peaceful but pacifist (Wovoka himself having been influenced by Quakers and Mormons). I wouldn't consider them a high priority, but I think they'd be interesting.
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