Middle Sky, Cocapah, photo by Frank A. Rinehart, 1899
|1,009 in the United States (2010)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Cocopah, English, Spanish|
|Traditional tribal religion|
|Related ethnic groups|
|other Yuman peoples|
The Cocopah, also Cucapá (in Cocopa: Kwapa or Kwii Capáy - "Cloud People" referring to the fog along the Colorado River), are Native Americans who live in Baja California and Sonora, Mexico, and in Arizona in the United States.
Cocopah is a Delta language of the Yuman language family spoken by the Cocopah. Cocopah is believed to have derived from the Hokan language, and it is related to the other Native American languages of Mojave and Kumeyaay. Cocopah is considered an endangered language, with fewer than 400 speakers at the turn of the 21st century. However, in an effort to keep the language alive, Yuma County's Cocopah Museum began offering classes teaching Cocopah to children in 1998.
Fog is a visible aerosol consisting of tiny water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. Fog can be considered a type of low-lying cloud, usually resembling stratus, and is heavily influenced by nearby bodies of water, topography, and wind conditions. In turn, fog has affected many human activities, such as shipping, travel, and warfare.
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.
The Cocopah language belongs to the Delta–California branch of the Yuman family. The Spanish term for Cocopah is Cucapá. Their self-designation is Xawiƚƚ kwñchawaay, translating to “Those Who Live on the Cloudy River” (from Xawíƚƚy - "river", kwii - "cloud", (ny)way - "to live", llyay/nyaam - "many"). According to the US Census, there were 1,009 Cocopah in 2010.
Ancestors of the Cocopah inhabited parts of present day Arizona, California, and Baja California and are known by western academics as belonging to the Patayan culture. Patayan is a term used by archaeologists to describe prehistoric Native American cultures who inhabited parts of modern-day Arizona, west to Lake Cahuilla in California, and in Baja California, between 700–1550 A.D. This included areas along the Gila River, Colorado River and in the Lower Colorado River Valley, the nearby uplands, and north to the vicinity of the Grand Canyon.They are mostly likely ancestors of the Cocopah and other Yuman-speaking tribes in the region. The Patayan peoples practiced floodplain agriculture where possible and relied heavily on hunting and gathering.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
Baja California, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California, is a state in Mexico. It is the northernmost and westernmost of the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1952, the area was known as the North Territory of Baja California. It has an area of 70,113 km2 (27,071 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico and comprises the northern half of the Baja California Peninsula, north of the 28th parallel, plus oceanic Guadalupe Island. The mainland portion of the state is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by Sonora, the U.S. state of Arizona, and the Gulf of California, and on the south by Baja California Sur. Its northern limit is the U.S. state of California.
The first significant contact of the Cocopah with Europeans and Africans probably occurred in 1540, when the Spanish explorer Hernando de Alarcón sailed into the Colorado River delta. The Cocopah were specifically mentioned by name by the expedition of Juan de Oñate in 1605.
The European colonization of the Americas describes the history of the settlement and establishment of control of the continents of the Americas by most of the naval powers of Western Europe.
The overseas expansion under the Crown of Castile was initiated under the royal authority and first accomplished by the Spanish conquistadors. The Americas were incorporated into the Spanish Empire, with the exception of Brazil, Canada, the eastern United States and several other small countries in South America and The Caribbean. The crown created civil and religious structures to administer the region. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Catholic faith through indigenous conversions.
Hernando de Alarcón was a Spanish explorer and navigator of the 16th century, noted for having led an early expedition to the Baja California Peninsula, during which he became one of the first Europeans to ascend the Colorado River from its mouth and perhaps the first to reach Alta California.
Cocopah peoples in the United States are enrolled in the Cocopah Tribe of Arizona. As of the 2000 United States Census, the Cocopah Tribe of Arizona numbered 891 people.There is a casino, speedway, resort, family entertainment center and bingo hall on the reservation as well as a Museum and Cultural Center. Another Yuman group, the Quechan, lives in the adjacent Fort Yuma Indian Reservation. On important occasions, Cocopah people wear their customary ribbon shirts and ribbon dresses.
The Quechan are a Native American tribe who live on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation on the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California just north of the Mexican border. Members are enrolled into the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation. The federally recognized Quechan tribe's main office is located in Fort Yuma, Arizona. Its operations and the majority of its reservation land are located in California, United States.
The Fort Yuma Indian Reservation is a part of the traditional lands of the Quechan people. Established in 1884 from the former Fort Yuma, the reservation, at, has a land area of 178.197 km2 (68.802 sq mi) in southeastern Imperial County, California, and western Yuma County, Arizona, near the city of Yuma, Arizona. Both the county and city are named for the tribe. As of the 2010 Census the population was 2,189. In 1910, the community of Bard, California was created after the eastern part of the reservation was declared surplus under the Dawes Act.
Mohave or Mojave (Mojave: 'Aha Makhav) are a Native American people indigenous to the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert. The Fort Mojave Indian Reservation includes territory within the borders of California, Arizona, and Nevada. The Colorado River Indian Reservation includes parts of California and Arizona and is shared by members of the Chemehuevi, Hopi, and Navajo peoples.
Native Americans have inhabited what is now Arizona for thousands of years. It remains a state with one of the largest percentages of Native Americans in the United States, and has the second largest total Native American population of any state. In addition, the majority of the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American reservation in the US, and the entire Tohono O'odham Nation, the second largest, are located in Arizona. Over a quarter of the area of the state is reservation land.
The Kumeyaay, also known as Tipai-Ipai, formerly Kamia or Diegueño, are Native American people of the extreme southwestern United States and northwest Mexico. They live in the states of California in the US and Baja California in Mexico. In Spanish, the name is commonly spelled Kumiai.
Yuman music is the music of Yumans, a group of Native American tribes from what is now Southern California and Baja California. They include Paipai, Havasupai, Yavapai, Walapai, Mohave, Quechan. Maricopa, Tipai-Ipai, Cocopa, and Kiliwa people. Folk songs in Yuma culture are said to be given to a person while dreaming. Many individuals who are in emotional distress go to a secluded area for a few weeks, there to receive new songs.
The Hualapai is a federally recognized Indian tribe in Arizona with over 2300 enrolled members. Approximately 1353 enrolled members reside on the Hualapai Indian reservation, which spans over three counties in Northern Arizona.
The Yuman–Cochimí languages are a family of languages spoken in Baja California, northern Sonora, southern California, and western Arizona. Although only Cochimí is no longer spoken, going extinct in the late 18th century, all other Yuman languages are nearly extinct.
Patayan is a term used by archaeologists to describe prehistoric and historic Native American cultures who inhabited parts of modern-day Arizona, west to Lake Cahuilla in California, and in Baja California, between 700–1550 A.D. This included areas along the Gila River, Colorado River and in the Lower Colorado River Valley, the nearby uplands, and north to the vicinity of the Grand Canyon.
The Colorado River Indian Tribes is a federally recognized tribe consisting of the four distinct ethnic groups associated with the Colorado River Indian Reservation: Chemehuevi, the Mohave, Hopi, and Navajo. The tribe has about 4,277 enrolled members. A total population of 9,485 currently resides within the tribal reservation according to the 2012-2016 American Community Survey data.
The Halchidhoma are an Indian tribe now living mostly on the Salt River reservation, but formerly native to the area along the lower Colorado River in California and Arizona when first contacted by Europeans. In the early nineteenth century, under pressure from their hostile Mohave and Quechan neighbors, they moved to the middle Gila River, where some merged with the Maricopa, and others went on to Salt River and maintained an independent identity.
Cerveceria de Baja California, is located in the City of Mexicali, and is one of a handful of Mexican microbrews. The product they brew is Cucapá Beer. This name comes from the Cocopah, one of the five Indian tribes that live in the Mexicali Valley. The Cucapá tribe was the first settlers of the region and their love for water and nature took them to live in the Colorado River delta.
Cervecería de Baja California, is a Mexican brewery, located in the city of Mexicali, and is one of a handful of Mexican microbrews. The product they brew is Cucapá Beer. This name comes from one of the five Indian tribes that live in the Mexicali Valley. The Cucapá tribe was the first settlers of the region and their love for water and nature took them to live in the Colorado River delta.
Southwestern archaeology is a branch of archaeology concerned with the Southwestern United States and [[Northwestern Mexico. This region has long been occupied by hunter-gatherers and agricultural peoples.
The Cocopah Indian Reservation is the reservation of the federally recognized Cocopah Indian Tribe, which represents Cocopah peoples in the United States. As of the 2000 census a resident population of 1,025 persons, of whom 519 were solely of Native American heritage, lived on the 25.948 km2 (10.019 sq mi) Cocopah Indian Reservation, which is composed of three non-contiguous sections in Yuma County, Arizona, lying northwest, southwest and south of the city of Yuma, Arizona. The larger section, bordering the Colorado River, lies west of the Yuma suburb of Somerton, while the other section lies just east of Somerton.
The Lower Colorado River Valley ("LCRV") is the river region of the lower Colorado River of the southwestern United States in North America that rises in the Rocky Mountains and has its outlet at the Colorado River Delta in the northern Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico, between the states of Baja California and Sonora. This north–south stretch of the Colorado River forms the border between the U.S. states of California/Arizona and Nevada/Arizona, and between the Mexican states of Baja California/Sonora.
The Inaja Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of the Inaja and Cosmit Reservation is a federally recognized tribe of Kumeyaay Indians, who are sometimes known as Mission Indians.
The Yuma War was the name given to a series of United States military operations conducted in southern California and what is today southwestern Arizona from 1850 to 1853. The Yumans were the primary opponent of the United States Army, though engagements were fought between the Americans and other native groups in the region. Conflict generally took the form of guerrilla warfare, and, over the course of three years, the army engaged in pursuing unfriendly natives, protecting American settlers crossing the Colorado River and preventing conflict between the native tribes. A peace treaty in summer of 1853 was signed, ending hostilities between the Yuma and the United States, but it sparked a short war between the Yuma and the Cocopah. During the conflict, the historic Fort Yuma was constructed and became an important outpost on the frontier.
El Vallecito is an archaeological site located in the city of La Rumorosa, in the Tecate Municipality, Baja California, Mexico.
Indigenous peoples of the North American Southwest refers to the area identified with the current states of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada in the western United States, and the states of Sonora and Chihuahua in northern Mexico. An often quoted statement from Erik Reed (1964) defined the Greater Southwest culture area as extending north to south from Durango, Mexico to Durango, Colorado and east to west from Las Vegas, Nevada to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Other names sometimes used to define the region include "American Southwest", "North Mexico", "Chichimeca", and "Oasisamerica/Aridoamerica".This region has long been occupied by hunter-gatherers and agricultural people.
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