|19,921 +/−4,574 (2010)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|O'odham, English, Spanish|
|Roman Catholicism, traditional tribal religion|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Pima // (or Akimel O'odham, also spelled Akimel Oʼotham, "River People", formerly known as Pima) are a group of Native Americans living in an area consisting of what is now central and southern Arizona. The majority population of the surviving two bands of the Akimel O'odham are based in two reservations: the Keli Akimel Oʼotham on the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) and the On'k Akimel O'odham on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC).
They are closely related to other river people, the Ak-Chin O'odham, now forming the Ak-Chin Indian Community. They are also related to the Sobaipuri, whose descendants reside on the San Xavier Indian Reservation or Wa꞉k (together with the Tohono O'odham), and in the Salt River Indian Community. Together with the kindred Tohono O'odham ("Desert People", formerly known as the Papago) of Eastern Papagueria, and the Hia C-ed O'odham ("Sand Dune People", formerly known as Sand Papago) of the Western Papagueria, the Akimel O'odham form the Upper Oʼotham or Upper Pima (also known as Pima Alto).
The short name, "Pima". is believed to have come from the phrase pi 'añi mac or pi mac, meaning "I don't know," which they used repeatedly in their initial meetings with Spanish colonists. The latter referred to them as the Pima.This term was adopted by later English speakers: traders, explorers and settlers.
The Pima Indians called themselves Othama until the first account of interaction with non-Native Americans was recorded. Spanish missionaries recorded Pima villages known as Kina, Equituni and Uturituc. European Americans later corrupted the miscommunication into Pimos, which was adapted to Pima river people. The Akimel Oʼotham people today call their villages District #1-U's kehk (Blackwater), District #2-Hashan Kehk (Saguaro Stand), District #3-Gu꞉U Ki (Sacaton), District #4-Santan, District #5-Vah Ki (Casa Blanca), District #6-Komatke (Sierra Estrella Mountains), and District #7-Maricopa Colony.
The Akimel Oʼotham (known as the Pima to anthropologists) are a subgroup of the Upper Oʼotham or Upper Pima (also known as Pima Alto), whose lands were known in Spanish as Pimería Alta. These groups are culturally related. They are thought to be culturally descended from the group classified in archaeology as the Hohokam.The term Hohokam is a derivative of the Oʼotham word Huhugam (pronounced hoo-hoo-gahm), which is literally translated as "those who have gone before," meaning "The Ancestors."
The Pima Alto or Upper Pima groups were subdivided by scholars on the basis of cultural, economic and linguistic differences into two main groupings:
One was known commonly as the Pima or River Pima. Since the late 20th century, they have been called by their own name, or autonym: Akimel Oʼotham
The other people was known commonly as the Papago or Desert Pima. The people are now known by their own name or autonym, as the Tohono O'odham Nation.
The Akimel Oʼotham lived along the Gila, Salt, Yaqui, and Sonora rivers in ranchería-style villages. The villages were set up as a loose group of houses with familial groups sharing a central ramada and kitchen area. Brush olaski's (round houses) were built around this central area. The Oʼotham are matrilocal, with daughters and their husbands living with and near the daughter's mother. Familial groups tended to consist of extended families. The Akimel Oʼotham also lived seasonally in temporary field houses in order to tend their crops.
The O'odham language, variously called O'odham ñeʼokĭ, O'odham ñiʼokĭ or Oʼotham ñiok, is spoken by all O'odham groups. There are certain dialectal differences, but they are mutually intelligible and all O'odham groups can understand one another. Lexicographical differences have arisen among the different groups, especially in reference to newer technologies and innovations.
The ancient economy of the Akimel Oʼotham was primarily subsistence, based on farming, hunting and gathering. They also conducted extensive trading. The prehistoric peoples built an extensive irrigation system to compensate for arid conditions.It remains in use today. Over time the communities built and altered canal systems according to their changing needs.
The Akimel Oʼotham were experts in the area of textiles and produced intricate baskets as well as woven cloth. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, their primary military rivals were the Apache and Yavapai, who raided their villages at times due to competition for resources. The latter tribes were more nomadic, depending primarily on hunting and gathering, and would raid the more settled groups who cultivated foods. They established some friendly relations with the Apache.
Initially, the Akimel OʼOtham experienced little intensive colonial contact. Early encounters were limited to parties traveling through the territory or community members visiting settlements to the south. The Hispanic era (A.D.1694–1853) of the Historic period began with the first visit by Father Kino to their villages in 1694. Contact was infrequent with the Mexicans during their rule of southern Arizona between 1821 and 1853. The Akimel OʼOtham were affected by introduced European elements, such as infectious diseases to which they had no immunity, new crops (cultigens, e.g., wheat), livestock, and use of tools and goods made of metal.
Euroamerican contacts with the Akimel OʼOtham in the middle Gila Valley increased after 1846 as a result of the Mexican–American War. The Akimel OʼOtham traded and gave aid to the expeditions of Stephen Watts Kearny and Philip St. George Cooke on their way to California. After Mexico's defeat, it ceded the territory of what is now Arizona to the United States, with the exception of the land south of the Gila River. Soon thereafter the California Gold Rush began, drawing Americans to travel to California through the Mexican territory between Mesilla and the Colorado River crossings near Yuma, on what became known as the Southern Emigrant Trail. Travelers used the villages of the Akimel OʼOtham as oases to recover from the crossing of unfamiliar deserts. They also bought new supplies and livestock to support the journey across the remaining deserts to the west.
The American era (A.D. 1853–1950), began in 1853 with the Gadsden Purchase, when the US acquired southern Arizona. New markets were developed, initially to supply immigrants heading for California. Grain was needed for horses of the Butterfield Overland Mail and for the military during the American Civil War. As a result, the Akimel OʼOtham experienced a period of prosperity. The Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) was established in 1859. The 1860 census records the Pima Villages as Agua Raiz, Arenal, Casa Blanca, Cachanillo, Cerrito, Cerro Chiquito, El Llano, and Hormiguero.
After the American Civil War, numerous Euroamerican migrants came to settle upstream locations along the Gila, as well as along the lower Salt River. Due to their encroachment and competition for scarce resources, interaction between Native American groups and the Euro-American settlers became increasingly tense. The U.S. government adopted a policy of pacification and confinement of Native Americans to reservations. Uncertainty and variable crop yields led to major settlement reorganizations. The establishment of agency headquarters, churches and schools, and trading posts at Vahki (Casa Blanca) and Gu U ki (Sacaton) during the 1870s and 1880s led to the growth of these towns as administrative and commercial centers, at the expense of others.
By 1898 agriculture had nearly ceased within the GRIC. Although some Akimel OʼOtham drew rations, their principal means of livelihood was woodcutting. The first allotments of land within Gila River were established in 1914, in an attempt to break up communal land. Each individual was assigned a 10-acre (40,000 m2) parcel of irrigable land located within districts irrigated by the Santan, Agency, Blackwater, and Casa Blanca projects on the eastern half of the reservation. In 1917, the allotment size was doubled to include a primary lot of irrigable land and a secondary, usually non-contiguous 10-acre (40,000 m2) tract of grazing land.
The most ambitious effort to rectify the economic plight of the Akimel OʼOtham was the San Carlos Project Act of 1924, which authorized the construction of a water storage dam on the Gila River. It provided for the irrigation of 50,000 acres (200 km2) of Indian and 50,000 acres (200 km2) of non-Indian land. For a variety of reasons, the San Carlos Project failed to revitalize the OʼOtham farming economy. In effect the project halted the Gila river waters, and the Akimel O'odham no longer had a source of water for farming. This began the famine years. Many Oʼotham have believed these mistaken government policies were an attempt of mass genocide.
Over the decades, the U.S. government promoted assimilation, forcing changes on to the Akimel OʼOtham in nearly every aspect of their lives. Since World War II, however, the Akimel OʼOtham have experienced a resurgence of interest in tribal sovereignty and economic development. The community has regained its self-government and are recognized as a tribe. In addition, they have developed several profitable enterprises in fields such as agriculture and telecommunications, and built several gaming casinos to generate revenues. They have begun to construct a water delivery system across the reservation in order to revive their farming economy.
The Akimel O'odham ("River People") have lived on the banks of the Gila and Salt Rivers since long before European contact.
Their way of life (himdagĭ, sometimes rendered in English as Him-dag) was and is centered on the river, which is considered holy. The term Him-dag should be clarified, as it does not have a direct translation into the English language, and is not limited to reverence of the river. It encompasses a great deal because O'odham him-dag intertwines religion, morals, values, philosophy, and general world view which are all interconnected. Their world view/religious beliefs are centered on the natural world, and this is pervasive throughout their culture.
The Gila and Salt Rivers are currently dry, due to the (San carlos Irrigation project) upstream dams that block the flow and the diversion of water by non-native farmers. This has been a cause of great upset among all of the Oʼotham. The upstream diversion in combination with periods of drought, led to lengthy periods of famine that were a devastating change from the documented prosperity the people had experienced until non-native settlers engaged in more aggressive farming in areas that were traditionally used by the Akimel Oʼotham and Apache in Eastern Arizona. This abuse of water rights was the impetus for a nearly century long legal battle between the Gila River Indian Community and the United States government, which was settled in favor of the Akimel Oʼotham and signed into law by George W. Bush in December 2005. As a side note, at times during the monsoon season the Salt River runs, albeit at low levels. In the weeks after December 29, 2004, when an unexpected winter rainstorm flooded areas much further upstream (in Northern Arizona), water was released through dams on the river at rates higher than at any time since the filling of Tempe Town Lake in 1998, and was a cause for minor celebration in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The diversion of the water and the introduction of non-native diet is said to have been the leading contributing factor in the high rate of diabetes among the Akimel Oʼotham tribe.
As of 2014, the majority of the population lives in the federally recognized Gila River Indian Community (GRIC). In historic times a large number of Akimel O'odham migrated north to occupy the banks of the Salt River, where they formed the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC). Both tribes are confederations of two distinct ethnicities, which include the Maricopa.
Within the O'odham people, four federally recognized tribes in the Southwest speak the same language: they are called the Gila River Indian Community (Keli Akimel O'odham – "Gila River People"); the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (Onk Akimel O'odham – "Salt River People"); the Ak-Chin Indian Community (Ak-Chin O'odham); and the Tohono O'odham Nation (Tohono O'odham – "Desert People"). The remaining band, the Hia C-ed O'odham ("Sand Dune People"), are not federally recognized, but reside throughout southwestern Arizona.
Today the GRIC is a sovereign tribe residing on more than 550,000 acres (2,200 km2) of land in central Arizona. The community is divided into seven districts (similar to states) with a council representing individual subgovernments. It is self-governed by an elected Governor (currently Gregory Mendoza), Lieutenant Governor (currently Stephen Roe-Lewis) and 18-member Tribal Council. The council is elected by district with the number of electees determined by district population. There are more than 19,000 enrolled members overall.
The Gila River Indian Community is involved in various economic development enterprises that provide entertainment and recreation: three gaming casinos, associated golf courses, a luxury resort, and a western-themed amusement park. In addition, they manage various industrial parks, landfills, and construction supply. The GRIC is also involved in agriculture and runs its own farms and other agricultural projects. The Gila River Indian Reservation is home of Maricopa (Piipaa, Piipaash or Pee-Posh – "People") and Keli Akimel O'odham (also Keli Akimel Au-Authm – "Gila River People", a division of the Akimel O'odham – "River People").
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is smaller in size. It also has a government of an elected President and tribal council. They operate tribal gaming, industrial projects, landfills and construction supply. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) is home of the Onk Akimel O'odham (also On'k Akimel Au-Authm – "Salt River People", a division of the Akimel O'odham – "River People"), the Maricopa of Lehi (call themselves Xalychidom Piipaa or Xalychidom Piipaash – "People who live toward the water", descendants of the refugee Halchidhoma), the Tohono O'odham ("Desert People") and some Keli Akimel O'odham (also Keli Akimel Au-Authm – "Gila River People", another division of the Akimel O'odham – "River People").
The Ak-Chin Indian Community is located in the Santa Cruz Valley in Arizona. The community is composed mainly of Ak-Chin O'odham (Ak-Chin Au-Authm, also called Pima, another division of the Akimel O'odham – "River People") and Tohono O'odham, as well as some Yoeme. As of 2000, the population living in the community was 742. Ak-Chin is an O'odham word that means the "mouth of the arroyo" or "place where the wash loses itself in the sand or ground."
The Keli Akimel O'odham and the Onk Akimel O'odham have various environmentally based health issues related to the decline of their traditional economy and farming. They have the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the world, much more than is observed in other U.S. populations. While they do not have a greater risk than other tribes, the Pima people have been the subject of intensive study of diabetes, in part because they form a homogeneous group.
The general increased diabetes prevalence among Native Americans has been hypothesized as the result of the interaction of genetic predisposition (the thrifty phenotype or thrifty genotype), as suggested by anthropologist Robert Ferrell in 1984and a sudden shift in diet during the last century from traditional agricultural crops to processed foods, together with a decline in physical activity. For comparison, genetically similar O'odham in Mexico have only a slighter higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes than non-O'odham Mexicans.
The Akimel O'odham associate great importance to the names of individuals. From age ten until the time of marriage, neither boys nor girls were allowed to speak their own names out loud. The Pima Indians believed such an act would bring bad luck to the children and their future. Similarly, people in the tribe do not say aloud the names of deceased people, in order to avoid bad luck by calling their spirits back among the living. But the word or words in the name are not dropped from the language.[ citation needed ]
The people gave their children careful oral instruction in moral, religious and other matters. Their ceremonies often included set speeches, in which the speaker would recite portions of their cosmic myth. Such a recounting was especially important in the preparation for war. These speeches were adapted for each occasion but the general context was the same.[ citation needed ]
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The Tohono O'odham are a Native American people of the Sonoran Desert, residing primarily in the U.S. state of Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora. Tohono O'odham means "Desert People". The federally recognized tribe is known as the Tohono O'odham Nation.
The Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) is an Indian reservation in the U.S. state of Arizona, lying adjacent to the south side of the city of Phoenix, within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area in Pinal and Maricopa counties. Gila River Indian Reservation was established in 1859, and the Gila River Indian Community formally established by Congress in 1939. The community is home for members of both the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Pee-Posh (Maricopa) tribes.
The San Xavier Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation of the Tohono O’odham Nation located near Tucson, Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert.The San Xavier Reservation lies in the southwestern part of the Tucson metropolitan area and consists of 111.543 sq mi (288.895 km²) of land area, about 2.5 percent of the Tohono O’odham Nation. It had a 2000 census resident population of 2,053 persons, or 19 percent of the Tohono O’odham population.
The Gila River is a 649-mile (1,044 km)-long tributary of the Colorado River flowing through New Mexico and Arizona in the United States. The river drains an arid watershed of nearly 60,000 square miles (160,000 km2) that lies mainly within the U.S., but also extends into northern Sonora, Mexico. Indigenous peoples have lived along the river for at least 2,000 years, establishing complex agricultural societies before European exploration of the region began in the 16th century. However, European Americans did not permanently settle the Gila River watershed until the mid-19th century.
Oʼodham or Papago-Pima is a Uto-Aztecan language of southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico, where the Tohono Oʼodham and Akimel Oʼodham reside. In 2000 there were estimated to be approximately 9,750 speakers in the United States and Mexico combined, although there may be more due to underreporting.
The Maricopa or Piipaash are a Native American tribe, who live in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Gila River Indian Community along with the Pima, a tribe with whom the Maricopa have long held a positive relationship. The Maricopa at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community consist mostly of Xalychidom Piipaash members and are concentrated in Lehi. The Maricopa at the Gila River Indian Community are concentrated in Maricopa Colony. The Maricopa are a River Yuman group, formerly living along the banks of the Colorado River.
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.
Gila River Indian Reservation was a reservation established in 1859 by the United States government in New Mexico Territory, to set aside the lands of the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Piipaash (Maricopa) people along the Gila River, in what is now Pinal County, Arizona. The self-government of the reservation as the Gila River Indian Community was established by Congress in 1939.
Chicken scratch is a kind of dance music developed by the Tohono O'odham people. The genre evolved out of acoustic fiddle bands in southern Arizona, in the Sonoran desert. These bands began playing European and Mexican tunes, in styles that include the polka, schottisch and mazurka.
The Sierra Estrella is a mountain range located southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. Much of the range falls within the Gila River Indian Reservation, but 14,400 acres (5,800 ha) of BLM land is protected as the Sierra Estrella Wilderness.
The Ak Chin Indian Community of the Maricopa (Ak-Chin) Indian Reservation is a federally recognized tribe and Native American community located in the Santa Cruz Valley in Pinal County, Arizona, 37 miles south of Phoenix and near the City of Maricopa. The Community is composed mainly of Akimel Oʼodham and Tohono Oʼodham, as well as some ethnic Hia-Ced Oʼodham members.
The O'odham peoples, including the Tohono O'odham, the Pima or Akimel O'odham, and the Hia C-ed O'odham, are an indigenous Uto-Aztecan peoples of the Sonoran desert in southern and central Arizona and northern Sonora, united by a common heritage language, the O'odham language. Today, many O'odham live in the Tohono O'odham Nation, the San Xavier Indian Reservation, the Gila River Indian Community, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Ak-Chin Indian Community or off-reservation in one of the cities or towns of Arizona.
The Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community comprises two distinct Native American tribes—the Pima and the Maricopa (Piipaash)—many of whom were originally of the Halchidhoma (Xalchidom) tribe. The community was officially created by an Executive Order of US President Rutherford B. Hayes on June 14, 1879. The community area includes 53,600 acres (217 km2), of which 19,000 remain a natural preserve. The community is a federally recognized tribe located in Arizona.
Iʼitoi or Iʼithi is, in the cosmology of the O'odham peoples of Arizona, the mischievous creator god who resides in a cave below the peak of Baboquivari Mountain, a sacred place within the territory of the Tohono O'odham Nation. O'odham oral history describes I'itoi bringing Hohokam people to this earth from the underworld. Hohokam are ancestors of both the Tohono O'odham and the Akimel O'odham. He is also responsible for the gift of the Himdag, a series of commandments guiding people to remain in balance with the world and interact with it as intended.
The Hia C-eḍ Oʼodham, also known as Areneños or Sand Papagos are a Native American peoples whose traditional homeland lies between the Ajo Range, the Gila River, the Colorado River, and the Gulf of California. They are currently unrecognized at both the state and federal level in the United States and Mexico, although the Tohono Oʼodham Nation has a committee for issues related to them and has land held in trust for them. They are represented by a community organization known as the Hia-Ced Oʼodham Alliance. The Hia C-eḍ Oʼodham are no longer nomadic, and the majority today live in or near Ajo, Arizona, or the small settlements of Blaisdell and Dome near Yuma.
The Tohono Oʼodham Nation is the collective government body of the Tohono Oʼodham tribe in the United States. The Tohono Oʼodham Nation governs four separate pieces of land with a combined area of 2.8 million acres (11,330 km2), approximately the size of Connecticut and the second largest American Indian land holdings in the United States. These lands are located within the Sonoran Desert of south central Arizona and border the Mexico–United States border for 74 miles (119 km) along its southern border. The Nation is organized into 11 local districts and employs a tripartite system of government. Sells is the Nation's largest community and functions as its capital. The Nation has approximately 34,000 enrolled members, the majority of whom live off of the reservations.
Pima Villages, sometimes mistakenly called the Pimos Villages in the 19th century, were the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee-Posh (Maricopa) villages in what is now the Gila River Indian Community in Pinal County, Arizona. First, recorded by Spanish explorers in the late 17th century as living on the south side of the Gila River, they were included in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, then in Provincias of Sonora, Ostimuri y Sinaloa or New Navarre to 1823. Then from 1824 to 1830, they were part of the Estado de Occidente of Mexico and from September 1830 they were part of the state of Sonora. These were the Pima villages encountered by American fur trappers, traders, soldiers and travelers along the middle Gila River from 1830's into the later 19th century. The Mexican Cession following the Mexican American War left them part of Mexico. The 1853 Gadsden Purchase made their lands part of the United States, Territory of New Mexico. During the American Civil War they became part of the Territory of Arizona.
Hueso Parado, Spanish for “Standing Bone” or El Juez Tarado Spanish for "The Judge Tarado", was the largest village of the Maricopa people in the 19th century, in what is now the Gila River Indian Community in Pinal County, Arizona.
Stotonic is a village on the Gila River Indian Community in Pinal County, Arizona. Historically, it has also been known as Statonic, Stetonic, Stontonyak, Stotonik, and Stotonyak. The location's name was officially designated as Stotonic by a decision of the Board on Geographic Names in 1941. It has an estimated elevation of 1,230 feet (370 m) above sea level. To differentiate from the village of a similar name on the San Xavier Indian Reservation, the Office of Indian Affairs recommended that this village use the Papago, or Tohono O'odham spelling, while the San Xavier reservation village use the Pima, or Akimel O'otham spelling, Stotonic. The recommendation was followed by the Board on Geographic Names in their 1941 decision.
Stotonyak is a populated place situated on the San Xavier Indian Reservation in Pima County, Arizona. It has an estimated elevation of 1,919 feet (585 m) above sea level. To differentiate from the village of a similar name on the Gila River Indian Community, the Office of Indian Affairs recommended that this village use the Papago, or Tohono O'odham spelling, while the Gila River reservation village use the Pima, or Akimel O'otham spelling, Stotonic. The recommendation was followed by the Board on Geographic Names in their 1941 decision. In the O'odham language, stotonyak means "many ants.