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(pē`mə), Native North American tribe of S Arizona. They speak the Pima language of the Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic family (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). There are two divisions, the Lower Pima and the Upper Pima. Before the mission period, the Pima and the Tohono O'OdhamTohono O'Odham
or Papago
, Native North Americans speaking a language that belongs to the Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock (see Native American languages) and that is closely related to that of their neighbors, the Pima.
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, who spoke variations of the same language, called themselves the People—River People (Akimel O'Odham, the Pima) and Desert People (Tohono O'Odham). Archaeological evidence shows their probable ancestors to have been the HohokamHohokam
, term denoting the culture of the ancient agricultural populations inhabiting the Salt and Gila river valleys of S Arizona (A.D. 300–1200). They are noted for their extensive irrigation systems, with canals over 10 mi (16 km) long that channeled water to
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, who built a network of irrigation canals for farming. Many of the ruined pueblos in the Pima territory have been attributed to an ancient Pueblo tribe. Tradition further states that increased population caused the Pima to spread over a larger territory, but invading hostile tribes (probably Apache) forced them to consolidate. Thus in 1697, when visited by Father Eusebio KinoKino, Eusebio Francisco
, c.1644–1711, missionary explorer in the American Southwest, b. Segno, in the Tyrol. He was in 1669 admitted to the Jesuit order. A distinguished mathematician, he observed the comet of 1680–81 at Cádiz, publishing his results in his
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, the Pima were living on the Gila River in S central Arizona.

Although the Pima were warlike toward the Apache, they were friendly to the Spanish and later to the pioneers from the E United States; the Pima villages were a stopping place for pioneers who took the southern route to California. The Pima were sedentary farmers of the Southwest area; they farmed corn, squash, beans, cotton, and wheat (introduced by the Spanish). They lived in dome-shaped huts built of poles and covered with mud and brush. Women performed much of the labor, including basket making; their baskets are noted for their beauty. The Pima were expert with the bow and arrow and had war clubs and rawhide shields. The Pima numbered some 2,500 in 1775, but their population was increased when the Maricopa joined them in the early 19th cent. The Pima now live, together with the Maricopa, on the Gila River and Salt River reservations and, with the Tohono O'Odham, on the Ak-Chin reservation, all in Arizona. They earn their income from agriculture, crafts, and leasing land for mineral development. In 1990 there were over 15,000 Pima in the United States.


See P. H. Ezell, The Hispanic Acculturation of the Gila River Pimas (1961).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an American Indian tribe that in the 16th century lived along the Gila River and in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, in what is now the state of Arizona. The Pima language is related to the Sonoran group of the Uto-Aztecan language family. The basis of the Pima economy from ancient times was land cultivation; the Pima practiced irrigation and grew maize, beans, squash, and cotton. From the Europeans they adopted stock raising and the plow, which they used to cultivate.

In social relations, the Pima stood on the threshold of a class society; the basic social units were the large patriarchal family and the community of neighbors. Irrigation work was directed by a community council headed by an elder and a chief. In the late 16th century, Pima lands were declared Spanish possessions, and in 1848 the Pima became wards of the US government. They were deprived of their best lands and irrigation canals, and their thriving economy came to an end. The modern Pima (approximately 7,000 persons in the 1960’s) live on the Gila River and Salt River Indian reservations in Arizona. They work as hired hands.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Here Software demonstrations and graphical representations are added to stress the Significance of each significant factor in Pima Indian women population taken for the study.
Williams DE, Knowler WC, Smith CJ, Hanson RL, Roumain J, Saremi A, Kriska AM, Bennett PH, Nelson RG (2001) The Effect of Indian of Anglo Dietary Preference on the Incidence of Diabetes in Pima Indians. Diabetes Care 24: 811-816.
Non-insulin dependent diabetes in populations at risk: the Pima Indians. Diabetes Metab 1997; 4 (suppl):6-9.
Glucose tolerance tests that help to keep blood sugar levels as normal as possible during pregnancies have now become routine all over North America because of what researchers and doctors have learned from the Pima Indian volunteers.
His latest book, illustrated by Ijichi, is At the Desert's Green Edge: An Enthnobotany of the Gila River Pima (University of Arizona Press), a study of the Pima Indians' view and use of their plants as a sustainable life way.
From 1970 to 1973, the Pima Indians on the Gila River Reservation, south of Phoenix, were recipients of an RSA Innovation and Expansion Grant along with the subsequent Arizona RSA Establishment Grants.
Fewkes (excerpts published in 1912)." (4) All of the fieldwork for each of these projects, however, was conducted prior to 1910, producing by turns "The Pima Indians" by Frank Russell, Aw-aw-tam lndian Nights by J.
The finding is not surprising given the major increases in obesity and type 2 diabetes in recent years, but until now few studies have examined trends in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in populations other than the Pima Indians, reported Dana Dabelea, M.D., of the University of Colorado, Denver, and her associates (Diabetes Care 2005;28:579-84).
In a captivating presentation Dr Antonio Tataranni from the Clinical Diabetes and Nutrition Section of NIDDK, Arizona, reported on the observational work with Pima Indians of south western Arizona.
-- Women may lower the chances of their children eventually developing diabetes by exclusively breast-feeding them for 2 months or more during infancy, if data from studies in Pima Indians hold up in other populations, Dr.
High heritability for insulin resistance alone has been shown in other populations, such as Pima Indians, but she said that this is the first study to report subclinical correlations between heritabilities of direct measures of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and syndrome X traits.
(Frank) Fraziers were appointed as full-time missionaries to the Pima Indians where he pastored the First Pima Baptist Church of Sacaton.