papago girl basket long sleeve T-Shirt
The Tohono O'odham are a Native American tribe formerly known as the Papago who reside primarily in the Sonoran Desert of the southwest United States and northwest Mexico. "Tohono O'odham" means "People of the Desert." The people rejected the name "Papago" (literally: "tepary-bean eater"), which they were first labelled by conquistadores who had heard them called this by tribes unfriendly to the Tohono O'odham.**************A sovereign nation residing on a portion of its people's original Sonoran desert lands, the Tohono O'odham Nation is organized into 11 districts. The land lies in three counties of the state of Arizona: Pima County, Pinal County, and Maricopa County. The main reservation is located between Tucson and Ajo, Arizona, with its administrative centre in the town of Sells. A few of the districts are not contiguous with the main reservation: The San Xavier District southwest of Tucson, the San Lucy District near the city of Gila Bend, and the Florence Village near the city of Florence. The reservation's land area is 11,534.012 km² (4,453.307 sq mi), the third-largest Indian reservation in area in the United States. The 2000 census reported 10,787 people living on reservation land.*************The Tohono O'odham share linguistic and cultural roots with the closely-related Akimel O'odham (People of the River), whose lands lie just south of Phoenix, along the lower Gila River. Debates surround the origins of the O'odham. Claims that the O'odham moved north as recently as 300 years ago compete with claims that the Hohokam, who left the Casa Grande Ruins, are their ancestors. Historically, the O'odham-speaking peoples have been at odds with Apaches until the beginning of the twentieth century when Anglo hegemony caused both the O'odham and the Apaches to reconsider their common interests. It is noteworthy that the O'odham word for 'enemy' is ob, which is also the ancient word for 'Apache'. O'odham musical and dance activities lack "grand ritual paraphenalia that call for attention", wearing muted white clay instead, and grand ceremonies such as Pow-wows. O'odham songs are accompanied by hard wood rasps and drumming on overturned baskets, both of which lack resonance and are "swallowed by the desert floor", while dancing features skipping and shuffling quietly in bare feet on dry dirt, the dust raised being believed to rise to atmosphere and assist in forming rain clouds.**************The San Xavier District is the location of a major tourist attraction near Tucson, Mission San Xavier del Bac, the "White Dove of the Desert," founded in 1700 by the Jesuit missionary and explorer Eusebio Kino, with the current church building constructed by the Tohono O'odham and Franciscan priests from 1783 to 1797. It is one of many missions built in the southwest by the Spanish on their then-northern frontier. The beauty of the mission often leads tourists to assume that the desert people embraced the Catholicism of the Spanish conquistadors. In fact, Tohono O'odham villages have resisted change for hundreds of years. Two major rebellions, in the 1660s and in 1750s, rivaled in scale the 1680 Pueblo Rebellion. The armed resistance prevented increased Spanish incursions on the lands of Pimería Alta. The Spanish retreated to what they called "Pimería Baja." As a result, much of the desert people's traditions remained largely intact for generations. It was not until Anglo-Americans began moving into the Arizona territory that traditional ways were consistently under attack. Indian boarding schools, the cotton industry, and federal Indian policy worked hand-in-glove to promote assimilation into the American mainstream. The structure of the current tribal government, established in the 1930s, is a direct result of commercial, missionary, and federal collaboration. The goal was to make the Indians into "real" Americans, yet the boarding schools offered only so much training as was considered necessary to work as migrant workers or housekeepers. "Assimilation" was the official policy, but full participation was not the goal. Boarding school students were supposed to function within the United States' segregated society as economic laborers, not leaders. ******************************* Despite a hundred years of being told to and made to change, the Tohono O'odham have entered the 21st century with pride in their traditions and with their language still spoken. However, recent decades have brought increasing difficulties in maintaining O'odham traditions in the environment of American mass culture.