Tohono O'Odham

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Tohono O'Odham

(tōhō`nō ō-ō`dəm) or


(păp`əgō', pä`–), Native North Americans speaking a language that belongs to the Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock (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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) and that is closely related to that of their neighbors, the PimaPima
, 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 languages). There are two divisions, the Lower Pima and the Upper Pima.
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. The probable ancestors of both the Pima and the Tohono O'Odham were 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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 people. They were a semisedentary tribe who farmed corn, beans, and cotton and gathered wild vegetable products (e.g., the beans of the mesquite and the fruit of the giant cactus). Although farming remains the major economic activity of the Tohono O'Odham, many now are engaged in cattle raising. The women are known as excellent basket makers. The Tohono O'Odham formerly suffered dreadful depredations from their enemy, the Apache. They were early visited by Spanish missionaries, including 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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 in 1694. In the 1860s they joined with the Pima and Maricopa in helping the United States to force a peace with the Apache. By an executive act of 1874 the United States created a reservation for the Tohono O'Odham in S Arizona; another was created in 1917. Today they live on these and on Pima and Maricopa reservations as well, all in Arizona. In 1990 there were close to 17,000 Tohono O'Odham in the United States; many others live in Sonora, Mexico.


See R. M. Underhill, Social Organization of the Papago Indians (1939, repr. 1969); J. Waddell, Papago Indians at Work (1969); B. Fontanta, Of Earth and Little Rain: The Papago Indians (1989).

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References in periodicals archive ?
U.S.-Mexico border run through Tohono O'odham Nation lands.
Verlon Jose, treasurer of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association and vice chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, said Borrelli might understand those concerns if he'd spoken with more tribal leaders.
Indivisible Tohono's breakthrough came this summer, when 19 candidates for state and local offices--including David Garcia, the eventual Democratic nominee for governor--dropped by Sells for the first-ever candidate forum on the Tohono O'odham Nation.
The agency said the banks of Vamori Wash in Tohono O'odham Nation were well above bank full at 8.47 p.m.
Annie Serventi Krznarich has been retired for 10 years from her position as the Program Coordinator/PHS for the Tohono O'odham Nation-Western Districts.
In 1986, the tribe approved a new constitution and changed its name from the Papago to the Tohono O'odham Nation.
The Tohono O'odham (pronounced toh-HOH-noh AW-tham) reservation has looser border security than other parts of the border, which has made it a popular crossing point for unauthorized migrants and a busy drug-smuggling corridor.
Participants were 3rd through 8th grade students who attended schools on the Tohono O'odham reservation during the 2013/14 school year.
Centuries ago, the native Tohono O'odham tribe began the decades-long process of learning to harvest and refine the cactus's elusive fruit.
To boot, NAU established a similar partnership recently with the much smaller Tohono O'odham Community College to offer the same joint admissions policy for students of the Tohono Nation community in Arizona.