Papago Indians

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Papago Indians. Signifying “bean people,” from the native words paphh, “beans,” and  óotam, “people.” Also called:

  • Saikinne, Si’-ke-na, Apache name for Pima, Papago, and Maricopa.
  • Táh’ba, Yavapai name.
  • Teχpamais, Maricopa name.
  • Tóno-oōhtam, own name, signifying “people of the desert.”
  • Vidshi itikapa, Tonto name.

Papago Connections

The Papago belong to the Piman branch of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock and stand very close to the Pima.

Papago Location

In the territory south and southeast of the Gila River, especially south of Tucson; in the main and tributary valleys of the Santa Cruz River; and extending west and southwest across the desert waste known as the Papaguerfa, into Sonora, Mexico.

Papago Villages

  • Acachin, location uncertain.
  • Alcalde, probably in Pima County.
  • Ana, probably in Pima County.
  • Anicam, probably in Pima County.
  • Areitorae, south of Sonorita, Sonora, Mexico.
  • Ati, on the west bank of Rio Altar, between Uquitoa and Tubutama, just south of the Arizona boundary.
  • Babasaqui, probably Papago, 3 miles above Imuris, between Cocospera and Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico.
  • Bacapa, in northwestern Sonora, Mexico, slightly southeast of Carrizal.
  • Baipia, slightly northwest of Caborca, probably on the Rio Altar, northwestern Sonora, Mexico.
  • Bajfo, location uncertain.
  • Batequi, east of the Rio Altar in northwestern Sonora, Mexico.
  • Boca del Arroyo, probably in Pima County.
  • Caborica, on the Gila River.
  • Caca Chimir, probably in Pima County.
  • Cahuabi, in Arizona near the Sonora border.
  • Canoa, between Tubac and San Xavier del Bac, on Rio Santa Cruz.
  • Casca, probably in Pima County.
  • Charco, probably identical with Chioro.
  • Chiora, probably in Pima County.
  • Chuba, location uncertain.
  • Coca, location uncertain.
  • Comohuabi, in Arizona on the border of Sonora, Mexico.
  • Cops, west of the Rio San Pedro, probably in the vicinity of the present Arivaca, southwest of Tubac.
  • Cubac, in the neighborhood of San Francisco Atí, west from the present Tucson.
  • Cuitoat, between San Xavier del Bac and the Gila River.
  • Cujant, in northwest Sonora, between the mouth of the Rio Gila and Sonorita. Cumaro, southern Arizona near the Sonora border.
  • Elogio, probably in Pima County.
  • Fresnal, probably in Pima County.
  • Guadalupe, about 10 leagues south of Areitorae.
  • Gubo, probably Papago, 13 leagues east of Sonorita, just below the Arizona boundary.
  • Guitciabaqui, on the west bank of the Santa Cruz River, near the present Tucson.
  • Juajona, near San Xavier del Bac, southern Arizona.
  • Junostaca, near San Xavier del Bac.
  • Macombo, probably in Pima County.
  • Mata, probably Papago, north of Caborica.
  • Mesquite, probably in Pima County.
  • Milpais, location uncertain.
  • Nariz, probably in Pima County.
  • Oapars, in Arizona between San Xavier del Bac and the Gila River.
  • Ocaboa, location uncertain.
  • Oisur, on the Santa Cruz River, 5 or 6 leagues north of San Xavier del Bac,  southern Arizona.
  • Onia, probably in Pima County.
  • Ooltan, in northwest Sonora, Mexico, 3 leagues northwest of Busanic.
  • Otean, location uncertain.
  • Perigua, Arizona, south of the Gila River.
  • Perinimo, probably in Pima County.
  • Piato, probably the same as Soba, in the region of Tubutama and Caborica, Sonora, Mexico.
  • Pitic, on the Rio Altar, northwest Sonora.
  • Poso Blanco, in Arizona south of the Gila River.
  • Poso Verde, south of the Arizona-Sonora boundary, opposite Oro Blanco, Ariz.
  • Purificación, probably Papago, near the Arizona-Sonora boundary, 12 leagues from Agua Escondida, probably in a southeasterly direction.
  • Quitovaquita, on the headwaters of Rio Salado of Sonora, near the Arizona-Sonora boundary line.
  • Raton, location uncertain.
  • San Bonifacio, probably Papago, south of the Gila River between San Angelo and San Francisco, in the present Arizona.
  • San Cosme, probably Papago, directly north of San Xavier del Bac, on the Santa Cruz River, Ariz.
  • San Ignacio, with Pima, on the north bank of Rio San Ignacio, latitude 30°45′ N., longitude 111° W., Sonora, Mexico.
  • San Ildefonso, 4 leagues northwest of Caborica, Sonora, Mexico.
  • San Lazaro, probably Papago, on the Rio Santa Cruz in longitude 110°30′ W., just below the Arizona-Sonora boundary.
  • San Luis Babi, in northwest Sonora, Mexico, between Busanic and Cocospera.
  • San Martin, probably Papago, on the Gila River, west of the Great Bend of the Colorado.
  • San Rafael, in southern Arizona near the headwaters of the Rio Salado of Sonora.
  • Santa Barbara, probably Papago, 4 miles southwest of Busanic, near the head-waters of the north branch of the Rio Altar, in Sonora, Mexico.
  • Santa Rosa, south of the Gila River and west of Tucson.
  • Saris, probably Papago, on the west bank of Rio Altar, in northern Sonora, Mexico.
  • Saucita, in southern Arizona.
  • Shuuk, or Pima, on the Gila River Reservation, southern Arizona.
  • Sierra Blanca, probably in Pima County.
  • Soba, a large body of Papago, including the villages of Carborica, Batequi, Mata, Pitic, and San Ildefonso.
  • Sonoita, on the headwaters of the Rio Salado of Sonora, just below the Arizona-Sonora boundary.
  • Tachilta, in southern Arizona or northern Sonora.
  • Tacquison, on the Arizona-Sonora boundary.
  • Tecolote, in southwestern Pima County, Ariz., near the Mexican border.
  • Tubasa, probably on the Rio Santa Cruz River between San Xavier del Bac and the Gila River, southern Arizona.
  • Tubutama, on the eastern bank of the northern branch of the Rio Altar, in north-west Sonora, Mexico.
  • Valle, probably in Pima County.
  • Zudiga, probably Papago, in northwest Sonora, Mexico.

Papago History

Father Eusebio Kino was probably the first white man to visit the Papago, presumably on his first expedition in 1694. Their subsequent history has been nearly the same as that of the Pima, except that they were not brought quite as much in contact with the Whites.

Papago Population

Mooney (1928) places the number of Papago at 6,000 in 1680. In 1906 they were reported as follows: Under the Pima School Superintendent, 2,233; under the farmer at San Xavier, 523 allottees on the reservation and 2,225 in Pima County. In addition, 859 Papago were officially reported in Sonora, Mexico, in 1900, probably an underestimate. In 1910, 3,798 were reported in the United States, but the Report of the United States Indian Office for 1923 gives 5,672; the 1930 census, 5,205; and the Indian Office Report for 1937, 6,305.




MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 13 April 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/papago-indians.htm - Last updated on Jul 29th, 2012


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