Like most California Indians, the Kutzadikaa people in the Mono Basin on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains were dispossessed of their land in the second half of the nineteenth century. However, they were not then removed to a reservation. They were left landless with no rights to reclaim their land until the Dawes Act (1887) made land allotments to non-reservation Indians possible. This article explores the history of land allotments in the Mono Basin, and places that story into the broader context of U.S. assimilationist policies but more importantly into the context of local history. Kutzadikaa (later called Piute or Paiute) had to maneuver the land and water bureaucracies of the U. S. federal and California state governments, as well as the larger winds of capitalist development in an arid environment that commercialized land and water rights. Those Paiuteswho received allotments worked hard to farm and ranch them, but within a decade of receiving their allotment they faced pressures to sell their them to Euro-American landowners who had come to monopolize land and water rights in the Mono Basin