CHAPTER XIII: INDIAN TRIBES: LOCALITY, NUMBERS, AND GENERAL OBSERVATIONS.
THE Indians of Arizona may be classified as river and mountain Indians; as pueblo, or village, and roving Indians; as self-supporting, and non-self-supporting Indians; or as reservation and non-reservation Indians. They will be described in the order of their locality, commencing with the Colorado River Indians on the southwest.
The Colorado River Indians are the Co-co-pahs, Yu-mas, Mo-ha-ves, and the Chim-ue-hue-vas, all of whom are a large, powerful, and well formed race. They are now generally quiet and peaceable, and are easily taught the simpler forms of agriculture.
The Cocopahs inhabit the country bordering the Colorado River below Yuma, both in Arizona, California, Sonora, and Lower California. They are quiet and quite industrious, raise considerable quantities of wheat, corn, pumpkins, and melons, and cut and prepare much wood for the use of the Colorado Steam Navigation Company's river steamers, below
They should not be confounded with the mountain Cocopahs, who inhabit the Cocopah Mountains in Lower California. The mountain Cocopahs are a wild, savage, and blood-thirsty race. The river Cocopahs number about 500.
The Yumas live on the Colorado River at and above Yuma, and number about 600. They cultivate some wheat, corn, pumpkins, and melons, do some work about the landing at Yuma, and cut and prepare some wood for the river steamers at Yuma, and for a distance above.
The Yumas, like most Indians, love fire-water, which, with diseases introduced among them, is making sad havoc in the tribe. They are now peaceable and quiet, unless when under the influence of bad whiskey, and great provocation.
The Mohaves are farther up the Colorado River, and range principally between Ehrenburg and Hardyville, a distance of two hundred miles. They number about 1,500. Of this number, 900 are collected on the Colorado River Reservation, eighty-five miles above Ehrenburg, and 600 are on the river above
The Chief of the Mohaves on the Reservation is Hook-a-row, who succeeded the celebrated Chief and friend of the whites, Ar-i-ta-ba, who died some two years since. Hookarow is a large, well-formed Indian, peaceable and industrious.
The Mohaves on the Reservation receive a portion of supplies from the Government, and raise some wheat, corn, pumpkins, and melons, and gather and use large quantities of the mesquit bean, which greatly assists in supplying them with food. Aritaba, the former chief, was far in advance of his tribe in intelligence, and was once taken to New York, Washington, etc. His wonderful report, on his return to his Indians, of what he saw, of the thousand things connected with the white men,—their great cities, their great canoes, and long lines of wagons drawn with the speed of the wind by the steam horse, and the many other things he told them of, were so incomprehensible to their simple minds, they could not credit the stories, and lost confidence in him, saying the white men had bewitched the great chief.
Sic-a-hoot is the chief of the other portion of the tribe. This portion are self-supporting, and cultivate considerable wheat, corn, pumpkins, and melons; collect large quantities of mesquit beans, and perform considerable labor about the landings at Camp Mohave and Hardyville.
The Maricopas are a branch of the Yumas, which tribe they left some sixty years since on account of a difficulty with others of the tribe. They now live with the Pima Indians, on the Gila River Reservation, and will be described in connection with them.
The Mohaves, Yumas, and Maricopas speak the Mohave language, which seems to be the most perfect and original of all the Indian dialects of Arizona. That of the Cocopahs and Chimuehuevas assimilates with the Mohave.
The Hualapais1 are a distinct and separate tribe from all others in the Territory, and now live in the mountains of Mohave County. They number 600, and maintain a miserable existence by hunting, gathering nuts, roots, and berries, and by begging and stealing. They are a small, dark race, naturally given to war and plunder. Their chief, She-rum, is a bold, bad Indian, and in former times planned and committed numerous murders among the early prospectors, miners, and immigrants. He ought long since to have been for his crimes.
The Pima Indians live on the Gila River Reservation, about midway between Yuma and Tucson, and with the Maricopas, who live on the Reservation1
The Pimas are medium sized, well formed, peaceable, and quiet, but great thieves, stealing with impunity every article left in their reach. It is laughable, as well as provoking, to have a swarm of Pimas gather around one's camp fire, and note with what patience and perseverance they will steal, or try to steal, any small article, such as a knife, spoon, fork, or other article left on the ground. The foremost in the circle will put his naked foot on the article, and when he deems himself unnoticed, will give it a throw back with his toes to an Indian in the rear, who in like manner puts his foot on the article, and thus it is passed from one to another until they think it safe to pick it up and hide it in the fold of their blankets. If caught at the game, they will laugh in one's face with impunity, as though it was a good joke.
The Papagoes number 6,000, and live on a reservation south of Tucson which contains seventy thousand four hundred acres of land. Their villages are near the old and noted mission church of San Xavier, twelve miles south from Tucson, and in the Santa Cruz Valley. They are nominally Catholics, and have been under the care of the Roman Catholic priesthood most of the time for nearly or quite three centuries. They are self-supporting, and have been so, as far back as their history is known; have a good supply of horses, mules, and cattle, and raise considerable produce of various kinds.
Like the Pimas, they have been friendly to our people ever since the United States acquired their country, and both have ever been ready to assist in fighting the Apaches, and at times have done good service. For reasons unknown to the author, they have lately been taken from the charge of Bishop Salpointe and attached to the Pima Agency.
Why the Papagoes should under these circumstances be transferred to another agency, and no doubt be eventually habilitated with them, and where they will as a natural consequence contract the same loathsome diseases so common among the Pimas, is a matter of serious consideration, and should be carefully inquired into.
At the San Carlos Indian Agency, which is on the White Mountain Indian Reservation, are gathered most of the Apache bands of Indians. This agency is on the Gila River, near its junction with the San Carlos River. It is about one hundred and seventy-five miles northeast from Tucson.
The Coyoteros, Pinals, Aravaipas, Tontos, and Chiricahuans, are Apaches; and the Apacha Yumas and Apache Mohaves are a mixture of Apaches and of the Colorado River Indians. The total number at San Carlos is 4,459. Of this number 1,051 are Pinals and Aravaipas, under the chief Es-kim-in-zin; 629 Tontos, under the chief Char-le-pan; 1,512 Coyoteros, under the chief Bab-by-du-clone; 297 Chiricahuans, under the chief Ta-za; 352 Apache Yumas,
The White Mountain Reservation embraces a large extent of country, containing two and a half millions of acres or more. Most of this vast section of country is totally useless to the Indians and can never be utilized for their civilization, and should be opened to the use of white men.
The Navajoes2 are also an Apache band, and occupy a reservation in the northeastern part of Arizona, and northwestern part of New Mexico, comprising 3,328,000 acres of land. They number 9,114. They are a bold, active, warlike people; sharp, keen,and shrewd; naturally inclined to rob, murder, and steal, and before their subjugation lived by war and plunder. They would often go hundreds of miles to raid on other bands of Indians, and on Mexicans, and at times would drive back from their forays thousands of horses, cattle, and sheep. They now have large bands of stock. They are very ingenious and make the most beautiful and costly blankets of any of the Indian tribes, the best of which are woven in bright and gaudy colors and many devices, and worth a horse each.
The Zuñis number a trifle over 3,000, and they live in a large and well built town, eleven miles from the eastern line of Arizona. Their town is built on a slightly elevated hill, on the north side of the Zuñi River, and on the Zuñi arroya or plain, which runs a northeast and southwest course in Arizona and New Mexico. This great plain is eighty miles long, and from three to ten miles wide. The Zuñi River is, in the dry season, but a small and insignificant brooklet. The houses are mostly built of adobe, many of them having well laid stone floors, and plastered and whitewashed inside. The town covers about ten acres of land. The houses are erected one on the top of another, to the height of seven stories.
The Zuñis are an exceedingly peaceable and industrious people, are self-supporting, have large flocks of sheep and goats, many horses, mules, cattle, hogs, and poultry, raise large quantities of wheat, corn, pumpkins, melons, chili pepper, etc., etc., manufacture quantities of blankets, many of which they sell and trade with other Indians, and with the whites, and at times supply emigrants passing through with corn and mutton, and other articles.
They are a medium sized race, the men averaging about five feet four inches in height, and the women about five feet, by actual measurement of sixty or more of each sex. They are quite stout, more especially the women, are well formed, and do not have the high cheek bones so prevalent among the common North American Indians. Their language is different also from all other tribes, and their voices low and musical, quite different from the guttural of the common Indian. They are generous and hospitable to strangers, but keen and sharp in trade. Their traditions reach far back into the past for hundreds of years. One of their traditions is, that many hundreds of years since, they lived far to the southwest, evidently by their description on the great plains and valleys bordering the Gila and Salt rivers, where there are many old and interesting ruins of a long forgotten race, which will be partially described in a future chapter.
Their present town was built about one hundred and fifty years since, and near its centre is an old and venerable Catholic church, erected about that distance of time, as determined by inscriptions now legible. They had, prior to the building of the present
The Moqui Indians occupy a section of country in Northern Arizona, some eighty miles north of west from the Zuñi village. They number about 2,000, and live in seven pueblos, or villages, which are upon high and abrupt table-land. They are in some respects similar to the Zuñis, smaller in size, not near as cleanly in habits, generally quiet and peaceable, but will steal. The table-lands where the Moquis live are from two hundred to five hundred feet high, and can easily be defended against the attacks of their enemies. One of these table-land plateaus is six miles long, and half a mile wide, on which are four of their villages. Three other quite small ones, have each one village. They are self-supporting, and raise
In addition to the Indians already named, there are several small bands who live far down in the great cañons of the main and Chiquito Colorado rivers, who number in all perhaps 500. Among the number are the Agua Supais, and a few others whose names are unknown. But little is known of them, as but few whites have ever ventured into their almost inaccessible retreats. They raise some corn and other produce, and, like the Zuñis, raise excellent peaches from peach pits brought into the country, as is supposed, by the old Jesuit priests.
There are a few refugees who haunt the Chiricahua, Dragoon, and other mountains in the southeastern parts of the Territory, and perhaps a few more in the great Tonto basin, between Prescott and Camp Apache.
Of the Indians mentioned, the Zuñis and Navajoes, live both in Arizona and New Mexico; the Cocopahs in Arizona, Sonora, California, and Lower California; the Chimuehuevas in Arizona, California, and Nevada, and these tribes cannot all be enumerated as belonging wholly in Arizona. The other tribes mentioned
The Indian reservations in Arizona cover a large extent of country, including many thousand acres of the best farming lands there, also large tracts of mineral and timber lands. But a small proportion of the lands set apart for reservations can ever be utilized by the Indians, or made to assist in making them self-supporting. The extent of the several reservations is as follows:—
Of the Reservations above mentioned, those of the Colorado, Gila, Papago, Chiricahua, White Mountain, and Navajo, are recognized by the Government. The Chiricahua Reservation, from which the Indians were removed the past summer, has been, or probably soon will be, opened up for the use and occupancy of the whites.
The claims of the Zuñis and Moquis to reservations is founded on a claim of long occupancy and tillage for hundreds of years, and by treaties made long since with Spanish and Mexican authorities, but no official action has been taken towards a recognition of their rights by our Government. Their claims have been silently recognized by the Government, and they have never been interfered with, and most probably will not be, unless they should be removed to some more suitable locality.
The author does not desire to tread on forbidden ground, but nevertheless deems it a duty which he owes the general public, and especially the people of Arizona, to express his strong disapprobation of the present Indian policy, or more properly the want of any well-defined and permanent policy, beneficial either to Indians or the whites. The practice of setting off a large extent of country fifty or one hundred miles square, for an Indian Reservation, over which they can roam at will, encourages them in their roving, nomadic habits, and gives them opportunities for committing depredations, for plundering and theft, which they are ever ready to take advantage of.
The practice of issuing rations of beef, flour, coffee, sugar, beans, salt, blankets, and other articles, without requiring any return in labor in consideration for the same, only tends to confirm them in habits of laziness and idleness. Under this system, one half or more of the men are constantly lying around idle, basking in the sun, and living on the bounty of the Government from taxation imposed directly or indirectly on the white labor of the nation.
A better and wiser policy would seem to be first, to give them reservations only large enough to be utilized, to break up their tribal relations as fast as possible, to teach them that they have the same rights as the whites, and no more; that it is for their own good that each head of a family locate eighty, or one hundred and sixty acres of land, with the same right of ownership as the whites have, that they are subject to the same laws, amenable the same as whites for crimes committed, and equally protected by those laws. Then teach and impress them with the fact, that after a given number of years the issuing
It will no doubt take years to accomplish all this, but it can and should be done, or some other policy, equally as good or better, should be inaugurated, and then the Indians will become self-supporting, which will never be done under the present system, and our government and people be relieved from the burdens of taxation to the extent of millions annually. The present no Indian policy has never made a tribe self-supporting, and perhaps never will; has never benefited either Indians or whites, excepting, always, an army of Indian agents, Indian traders, contractors, and the like, who fatten on the spoils and stealings both from the Indians and the Government.
When under tribal relations, gathered on reservations, and supported by Government, no Indian should be allowed to leave the Reservation unless accompanied by a proper guard, and then he should not be permitted to carry arms. The present system of giving permits to scores of Indians to leave the different reservations for days and weeks at a time, at the same time prohibiting white men from entering or crossing the reservations, without first reporting to the agent his business, or the necessity for so doing, gives great offense to the whites, and opens an opportunity for plunder and stealing by the Indians which
Neither the Government nor its agents should ever make promises to Indians unless they are right and just, and when made they should ever be fulfilled. Indians are not fools, and in many things they have as correct an opinion of right and wrong as the whites. As a general thing they are truthful, and consider that a promise once made is to be kept and fulfilled faithfully. Many of the wars, murders, and depredations committed by them, have been caused by broken promises, cheating, and frauds, on the part of the whites. Many instances could be given in Arizona, and elsewhere, to substantiate this assertion.
One instance will be given that occurred in Arizona, which was feared would lead to an Indian war, but which was fortunately avoided by the presence of a large body of troops. While in command of the department of Arizona, General Crook, who is unexcelled in a knowledge of Indian character, mode of warfare, and the proper way and manner to subdue hostile tribes, had succeeded in the complete subjugation of the Tentos, Apache Mohaves, and Apache Yumas, and had gathered them on a Reservation on the Verde River, promising them that the Reservation should be their home so long as they remained good Indians. Placing implicit confidence in the promise of the General, they remained on the Reservation
It is to be earnestly hoped, that our wise men in Washington will soon see the necessity of inaugurating and adopting a settled and permanent Indian policy, which will be just to the Indians, and just to our government and people; which will tend to make good citizens of them instead of vassals, beggars, and robbers; which will release the white race from unnecessary and unjust taxation, and which will tend to elevate, instead of degrading the aboriginal race of our country.