The Pima (Akimel O'odham) and the Papago (Tohono O'odham) are Native Americans. Long ago, the Pima lived in the Gila River, Salt River, Yaqui River, and Sonora River in rancheria-style villages. The Pima have lived there for thousands of years. The Pima and the Papago speak the same language only in different dialects. Instead of them saying, "Mexicans," they say "Jujkam," and "white people" is "Miligan." The Pima and the Papago Indians have always been known for their hospitality. The Papagos call the Pima "A kimel o' otam" which means "River People." The Pima call the Papagos "Tohono O'odham" which means "Desert People." In these two tribes, there are two clans: the Buzzard Clan and the Coyote Clan. The Pima harvested the lush, red fruit of the saguaro cactus. They also ate beans, melon, squash, and sugar cane. One Pima ceremony is that from ten until marriage they can't use there own name. isn't that interesting? Can you imagine not being able to use your real name until you were married? To know more, go to the Pima Now page.


Pima people
Pima people

Let us tell you about one Pima legend. It's about a time when it rained for days and soon the rivers overflowed their banks. People went to higher ground, but not even the tallest mountain was high enough for the flood. There was a woodpecker that flew up to the sky and hung there by his bill. The flood went up to the sky, and the woodpecker's tail was underwater. He started crying. There was also a sparrow. He told the woodpecker, "Stop crying! Your tears are making matters worse." The woodpecker stopped crying and the flood went down.


Flood.jpg
The Flood
We're to tell you another Pima legend. Long ago there was a place called Homathee. Seven boys wanted to dance with the men in a ceremony. They knew children weren't allowed but they didn't care. They started dancing like the other men. The chief said, "Stop doing that. Something bad might happen!" The boys didn't listen. They went to the desert and started their own fire and they danced around it. Suddenly seven ropes came out of the sky and caught the seven boys. They kept on dancing. The ropes lifted the boys into the air. They lifted them so high the boys turned into stars. At night, you can still see them dancing.

Seven stars
Seven stars