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Asa Tribe

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Asa (Tansy: mustard), A phratral organization of the Hopi, comprising the Chakwaina (Black Earth kachina), Asa  Kwingyap (Oak), Hosboa (Chapparal cock) , Posiwu (Magpie), Chisro (Snow bunting), Puchkohu (Boomerang hunting-stick), and Pisha (Field-mouse) clans. In early days this people lived near Abiquiu, in the Chama River region of New Mexico, at a village called Kaekibi, and stopped successively at the pueblos of Santo Domingo, Laguna, Acoma, and Zuñi before reaching Tusayan, some of their families remaining at each of these pueblos, except Acoma. At Zuñi their descendants form the Aiyaho clan. On reaching Tusayan the Posiwu, Puchkohu, and Pisha clans settled with the Hopi Badger clan at Awatobi, the remainder of the group continuing to and settling first at Coyote spring near the east side of Walpi mesa, under the gap, and afterward on the mesa at the site of the modern Hano. This village the Asa afterward abandoned, on account of drought and disease, and went to Canyon de Chelly, about 70 miles North East of Walpi, in the territory of the Navaho, to which tribe many of their women were given, whose descendants constitute a numerous clan known among the Navaho as Kinaani (High-standing house). Here the Asa lost their language, and here they planted peach trees in the lowlands; but a quarrel with the Navaho caused their return to Hano, at which pueblo the Tewa, from the Rio Grande, in the mean time had settled. This was probably between 1700 and 1710. The Asa were taken to Walpi and given a strip of ground on the east edge of the mesa, where they constructed their dwellings, but a number of them afterward removed with some of the Lizard and Bear people to Sichumovi.

For Further Study

The following articles and manuscripts will shed additional light on the Asa as both an ethnological study, and as a people.

  • Fewkes in 19th Rep. B. A. E., 610, 1900
  • Mindeleff, ibid., 639.

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