Friday, March 30, 2007

Did you know. . .

[Source: Jennifer Duffy, Daily Star] -- The Hualapai and Havasupai tribes inhabit the Grand Canyon today and are believed to be descendants of the Cerbat tribe. Those ancestors moved to the Grand Canyon in about A.D. 1250 after the Puebloan Indians (who are now known as the Hopi, Zuni and other tribes) left the Canyon to inhabit other parts of the Southwest, according to Ellen Brennan, acting archaeologist at Grand Canyon National Park. Part of a hunter-gatherer society, they lived off wild game, cactus fruit, roots, berries and food they raised in gardens. They made sophisticated pottery for carrying water, cooking and storing food. The Hopi would come to the Canyon from the Black Mesa area, Brennan said, to trade.

The Hualapai: The word Hualapai means "people of the tall pine"(pai means "people"), said Loretta Jackson-Kelly, the historic preservation officer for the Hualapai Tribe. According to their beliefs, they were created at what they call Spirit Mountain, a sacred spot, Jackson-Kelly said. Traditional dress for the Hualapai is clothing from deer- and rabbit skin and dresses woven with juniper bark. The headdresses, which only a chieftan would wear, were made from eagle and white-tailed hawk feathers. The reservation, covering about 992,000 acres of barren plains to forests in Northwestern Arizona, was created in 1883. Peach Springs, named after the peach trees that grew at nearby springs, is the capital. There are about 2,000 people in the tribe.

The Havasupai: The Havasupai, also called Havasu 'Baaja and "people of the blue-green water," number 650, and about 450 live in the tribal center, Supai, a village in the Western Grand Canyon that is accessible only by foot, horseback or helicopter. Havasupai is the official — and preferred — language. English is spoken, too. Before the reservation was established in 1882, the tribe was made up of hunters and gatherers who would live on the plateau regions in the fall and winter and in the Canyon in the spring and summer. The three sets of waterfalls that line Havasu Creek in the Canyon have made the reservation a popular tourist destination for campers and hikers.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Dean Knuth.]