Native Americans of the Sonran Desert

Piman peoples live in the Sonoran Desert region and are probably descendants of the prehistoric Hohokan Culture.


Along the Gila and Salt Rivers, near Phoenix, Arizona, lived the Akimel O'odam (Pima), who were the first desert reclamationists with many miles of irrigation canals for their corn, beans and squash. They are famous for a fine quality cotton, drought-resistant tepary beans and domestic sunflowers. Today, the Akimel O'odam (Pima) reside in the Gila River Indian Community and the Salt River - Maricopa Indian Community.

South of Phoenix, Arizona near Tucson, lived the Tohono O'odham (Papago) in the more arid regions of the Sonoran Desert. They also farmed non-irrigation (dry) CBS, but relied extensively on wild crops, such as Saguaro fruit, Mesquite bean pods and Cholla cactus flower buds. They also hunted America's only native swine, the Peccaary or Javelina. Today, the Tohono O'odham live on the San Xavier, Gila River and Tohono O'odham Reservations.

Both of these Piman peoples are famous for their exquisite coiled basketry.


-- Steve Crouthamel


"Paleo-Indians" (Part 1)
Desert Archaic peoples( Part 2)
Desert Archaic peoples - Spritual Quest (Part 3)
Native Americans - The Formative Period (Part 4)
Voices from the South (Part 5)
The Mogollon Basin and Range Region (Part 6)
The Mogollon - Their Magic (Part7)
Hohokam the Farmers (Part 8)
The Hohokam Signature (Part 9 )
The Anasazi (Part 10)
The Anasazi 2 (Part 11)
The Great Puebloan Abandonments (Part 12)
Paquime (Part 13)

Cochise and the Bascom Affair
Geronimo's Last Hurrah
Books on Native American healing


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