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Maricopa

Maricopa

ETHNONYMS: Cocomaricopa, Papatsje

The Maricopa are an American Indian group whose two hundred or so members live with members of the Pima tribe on and near the Gila River Indian Reservation and the Salt River Indian Reservation in Arizona. In the late 1700s the Maricopa numbered about three thousand and were located along the middle Gila River in south-central Arizona. The Tribal government at Gila River consists of a seventeen-member popularly elected tribal council governed by a constitution adopted and approved in accordance with the Indian ReOrganization Act of 1934. The Maricopa language is classified in the Yuman group of the Hokan language family.

Tribal income is primarily from agricultural and business leases and tribal farming operations. They grew maize, beans, pumpkins, and cotton, gathered beans, nuts, and berries, fished, and hunted rabbits in communal drives. Clans were patrilineal, clan exogamy was practiced, and polygyny, particularly of the sororal type, was allowed. The tribe was led by a chief who lived in the strongest village and whose position was sometimes inherited through the male line. According to custom, the dead were cremated and a horse was slain to enable the deceased to ride westward into the land of the dead.


Bibliography

Ezell, Paul H. (1961). The Hispanic Acculturation of the Gila River Pirnas. Menasha, Wis.: American Anthropological Association.

Spier, Leslie. (1933). Yuman Tribes of the Gila River. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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Maricopa

Maricopa (märĬkō´pə, mâr–), Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Yuman branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). At some time in the past the Maricopa, under pressure from the Yuma, moved up the Gila River in Arizona from the Colorado River. In 1775 they lived near the mouth of the Hassayampa River in S Arizona, numbering some 3,000. The Maricopa were previously sedentary farmers who lived in somewhat permanent villages. In alliance with the Pima, they severely defeated the Yuma in 1857. The Maricopa, numbering close to 800 in 1990, now live with the Pima on the Gila River and the Salt River reservations in Arizona. Some Maricopa also live in Phoenix and Los Angeles. They are known for their excellent pottery.

See L. Spier, Yuman Tribes of the Gila River (1933, repr. 1970); P. H. Ezell, The Maricopas (1963).

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