The Gila River

Sunset on the Gila River

Sunset on the Gila River

Since before the arrival of the Bearded Ones (Spanish) the waters of the Gila River has provided for the Akimel O’othom. The Spanish gave these desert farmers a name which is still used today PIMA.

The O’othom were here in village clusters and had a well defined irrigation system in place. The O’othom had crops of corn, beans and squash, grown in abundance. These were the food crops but they also found cotton and tobacco being cultivated.

Their villages dotted the entire Gila River Valley, to the East as far as Florence, to the West near the base of the Estrellas or Komatke as they are called by the O’othom.


Tribal History

Pre History

First there was the river and the land-the Gila River that wound westward across south-central Arizona and the surprisingly fertile Sonoran Desert. Some 6,000 years ago, various cultural groups collectively labeled the Archaic peoples, who lived by hunting and gathering along the river’s banks and adjoining up land terrain, wandered into this realm.

Circa 300 B.C., these early inhabitants were joined by peoples from central Mexico, transformed by concepts and technology introduced from the south. From this merger arose the Hohokam (or Huhukam) people-our ancestors-who conducted trade over great distances and became superb farmers. Fed by waters of the Gila River, they constructed some

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