Native American Tribes refer to themselves
as 'The People'. Considering the fact
that their ancestors were all here before the
first white settlers, 'The People' is an apt
description. The tribes in Central and Southern
Arizona are briefly described below.
Pima and the Papago: These
two peoples have similar cultures and
both are developing their economy with
long range agriculture planning. The
Pima (River Dwellers) and the Papago
(Bean People) do beautiful basket weaving. The
willow and yucca fibers add to the
small tribe (about 1,000 in number) lives
on the lower Colorado River. The
tribal members live and work on or near
the reservation. The Cocopah Museum is
located near the tribal headquarters.
adopted many of the Pima ways, the Maricopa
are spread between the Gila River and Salt
River Reservations. Potters
make unusual, highly polished ceramic
bowls which have great appeal commercially.
Yuma crafts are slowly disappearing - only
a little pottery is made today. Many
of the people live in California and work
off reservation in Arizona. The town of
Yuma was named in their honor.
on the Colorado River Reservation and are
known for the small coiled baskets and
jars with patterns worked in black or dark
red. These excellent baskets are
no longer made by the Chemehuevi.
people with a nomadic heart, the Yavapai
have separated into many different groups. They
now live with Apache bands, at the Fort McDowell
Reservation, the Camp Verde Reservation
and the Yavapai Reservation. Most
Yavapai do work matching reservation on
which they live. Basketry is the
only traditional craft work that survives