The Cocopah Indians (likewise called Cocopa), otherwise called the River People, are one of 22 Native American tribes who live in Arizona. They additionally live in Baja, California and a bit of Mexico. They didn’t have a composed dialect where essential recorded data could be composed down. This is the motivation behind why they have needed to depend on what has been gone down through the eras by listening in on others’ conversations. Voyagers to the regions where these Indians lived additionally kept diaries of their perceptions and encounters when they experienced the Cocopah individuals. They are depicted as a liberal and non-materialistic gathering of individuals who esteem their legacy. The following are additionally intriguing actualities about the Cocopah individuals.
Cocopah Basic Facts
– The Cocopah were skilled at navigating the waters of the Colorado River. They traveled on brush rafts and sometimes used baskets to transport small items and children.
– The Cocopah are one of seven tribes to speak the Yuman language.
– Hernando de Alarcon, a Spanish explorer, was one of the first Europeans to come into contact with the Cocopah in the mid 1500s. Unlike most other explorers, he is credited for treating them with kindness and in return was offered gifts of food, shells, beads, and leather.
– Today, most Cocopah live and work on a 6,500 acre reservation that was established in 1917 and located 13 miles from Yuma, Arizona. A good portion of that land is leased to non-Indian farmers.
– Faming was important to the Cocopah as a means of survival. They relied on the annual spring floods to moisten the soil on 50,000 acres of farmland on which they grew corn, peas, beans, pumpkins, and eventually melons.
– During the California Gold Rush of the 1840s, settlers and migrants flooded into the Cocopah and Yuma homeland. As the United States seeked to lessen hostilities with the Yuma, it caused conflict between the Yuma and the Cocopah. It was at this point that an outpost, called Fort Yuma, was established, aimed at facilitating travel and protecting emigrants while passing through the area.
– Typically, the men were the hunters. They would hunt deer, elk, boar, and other available animals. They would also fish for bass and mullet. Women would gather eggs, seeds, roots, and seasonal fruits.
– Rabbits were not only a source of food to the Cocopah, but the hides were dried and tanned and eventually made into blankets, vests, and baby buntings.
Cocopah Arts and Crafts Facts
– The Cocopah are known for creating beautiful bead art and wearable art. Beaded clothing was created with vibrant colored beads that were woven into complicated patterns. Specifically, they wove intricate beaded shoulder capes that were worn for both ornamental and ceremonial purposes. They were also known for creating beautiful ribbon skirts and dresses.
– The thin malleable branches of willow trees were skillfully used to make houses and wooden baskets. The bark was used to make a variety of clothing such as shirts, skirts and breech clouts (a form of loincloth).
– Clay was skillfully used by the Cocopah to create children’s dolls and pottery which was used mainly for utilitarian purposes.