Yaqui Church. A body in N. Mexico and Arizona. It derives from Jesuit missions among the Yaqui people in Mexico from 1617 until the Jesuits were suppressed in 1767. Left on their own, with Yaqui religion now defunct, they integrated the new Roman Catholic form with community life, and resisted Mexican government efforts to assimilate them. Many Yaqui migrated to Arizona in the late 19th cent. and now there are community villages centred upon the church at Guadalupe, Old Pascua, New Pascua, and Barrio Libre, with a total of some 5,500 members, and up to 3,000 scattered elsewhere. The great cycle of open-air ritual dramas features the biblical events in Holy Week.
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