Cocopah

Last updated
Cocopah
Xawiƚƚ kwñchawaay
Middle Sky, Cocapah.jpg
Middle Sky, Cocapah, photo by Frank A. Rinehart, 1899
Total population
1,009 in the United States (2010) [1]
Regions with significant populations
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
(Flag of Baja California.svg  Baja California and Flag of Sonora.svg  Sonora)
Flag of the United States.svg  United States (Flag of Arizona.svg  Arizona)
Languages
Cocopah, English, Spanish
Religion
Traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
other Yuman peoples
Cocopah man American Indian Mongoloid.png
Cocopah woman American Indian Mongoloid.png
A Cocopah man and a Cocopah woman

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 atmospheric phenomenon

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.

Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pre-Columbian inhabitants of North, Central, and South America and their descendants

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.

Contents

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. [1]

History

Cocopah traditional territory on the Colorado River and the Gulf of California Wohngebiet Cocopa.png
Cocopah traditional territory on the Colorado River and the Gulf of California

Pre-Contact

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 state of the United States of America

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 State of the United States of America

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 Federal entity in Mexico

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.

Post Contact

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.

European colonization of the Americas settlement and establishment of control of the continents of the Americas by most of the naval powers of Europe

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.

Spanish colonization of the Americas Overseas expansion under the Crown of Castile

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 Tribe of Arizona

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. [1] 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.

Quechan ethnic group and federally-recognized tribe in Arizona, United States

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.

Fort Yuma Indian Reservation a part of the traditional lands of the Quechan people

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 32°47′04″N114°38′43″W, 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.

Notable Cocopah people

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2010 Census 2010 American Indian and Alaska Native Summary File (AIANSF) - Sample Data, Cocopah Tribe of Arizona alone or in Combination, M22
  2. "Bravie Soto", Wall of Faces.

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References

Further reading