Papagoes Indians of Arizona


In 1871, a document titled “Resources of Arizona Territory with a Description of the Indian Tribes; Ancient Ruins, Cochise, Apache Chief; Antonio, Pima Chief; Stage and Wagon Roads; Trade and Commerce, Etc.” was published by the authority of the Legislature.  In a section titled “Indians of Arizona,” it tells us the following:

The Papagoes Indians occupy a section of country about 70 miles south of the Pima reservation, near the Sonora line, and in fact their settlements extend some distance into Sonora.

They speak the same language as the Pimas but have mostly embraced the Catholic religion, and are much further advanced in civilization.

They live by cultivating the soil and raising stock.  They are peaceable, well-disposed and have never asked for or received but little assistance from the government.  They are at peace with all the world except the Apaches, but toward them their hate is intense.  They are docile and kind in their intercourse with the people.  Many of them are employed by farmers and stock raisers and are considered excellent laborers.

Their women are virtuous and industrious.  The men, like most Indians, engage in polygamy and sometimes drink too much liquor.

Note:  Today the Papago are known as the Tohono O’odham.  The photo shows traditional basketmaking in 1916.


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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