Pima Indians Water Rights

1777 Words8 Pages
Water Rights of the Pima Indians It is not a secret that the Native American people have been abused and ostracized throughout American history. White settlers have taken their land, slaughtered some of their original food sources, and commenced mass genocide on the people themselves, as well as their many cultures. But, what about water? In the case of the Pima Indians, water was their way of life. They relied on it for irrigation purposes in order for their crops to grow, as well as having a significant cultural tie to the Gila and Salt River. However, when the white settlers came and put down roots near their land, the water that was so ingrained in their society all but dried completely. Not until as recently as 2004 did the Pima gain…show more content…
They lived by the Himdagĭ way of life; the essence of the river and its people (Fontana 1981). It encompasses the Pima because it intertwines religion, morals, values, philosophy, and general world view which are all interconnected. This could be classified as a religion, but it goes deeper to the base of the Pima’s view of themselves and their livelihood. Using the river and having it fill their fields with water provided a source of confidence for the whole tribe; many members saw it as a connection their ancestors (Kim 2014) and the link grew stronger with the season’s crops. The importance of the water from the Gila River to the Pima cannot be measured as simply as crops and sustenance, but with every crop that was produced, the Pima contributed its success to the Gila…show more content…
In their traditional methods, the Pima would spend many hours a day working on their fields and ensuring that the irrigation systems were working properly. Men would farm while the women wove baskets to carry their crops in. Since the drying of the Gila River, the Pima have lost their traditional way to expend energy. This type of cultural change has a caused the Pima to live where their metabolic rate has changed (Weidman 2012). This, coupled with the decline in activity from farming and the drop in the consumption of natural foods has created a deadly
Open Document