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Arizona Getaways

Many 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.

  • The 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 unique designs.

  • Cocopah: This 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.

  • Maricopa: Having 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:  The 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.

  • Chemehuevi:  Located 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.

  • Yavapai:  A 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 today.

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