Yaqui Tribe

Journal Entry Yulanda Hamissi ETH 125 This is the story about the history of the Yaqui tribe from Mexico. I will give details on the history of our culture in Mexico and migration to the United States. In addition, I will include details on our annexation and colonization both in Mexico and The United States. Many changes have occurred in our history but none of these have changed the basics of our culture or beliefs. Originally, our people lived isolated in the valley of the Rio Yaqui in Northern Mexico state of Sonora and the desert region in the southwest known as Arizona.

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We call ourselves “Yoeme” which translated means “people. ” Our homeland is called “Hiakim,” which is where some say “Yaqui” originated. Some also think it came from a Spaniard asked the Yoemem who they were and the response was, “ya aqui,” which means “already here. ” We were separate from the other tribal empires in our area such as the Aztec and Toltec. Our ancestors were skillful warriors despite being a peaceful people with no “government” in place. Our people survived by farming and gathering foods. Dancing continues to be a huge part of our culture.

This is how we pass our history and legends down to the next generation. Beautifully orchestrated dances and songs told in wonderful detail the stories about historic, personal, or cultural legends that are held in high regard by our people. On three separate occasions, the Spanish tried to take over our land and belongings and were unsuccessful in their attempts. Our people gathered over 7000 warriors in only a few short hours to defeat the Spanish armies. However, our tribe always has preferred peace. The Jesuit priests came to inhabit the land in the early 1600s.

They came to convert people to Christianity. We lived together in harmony for a little over a century and many of our people converted. The relationship also brought advantages such as modern farming ideas, tools, and architecture. Then the Mexican government forced the Jesuits to leave the area when they discovered silver on the Yaqui land. The Yaqui combined with neighboring Mayo tribe fought for freedom from Spain and later Mexico. This war went on for almost 200 years. Many When smallpox infected our people around the late 1800s, there were only about 4000 of our people left.

We continued to fight under the command of Cajeme, meaning “He Who Does Not Drink,” and John Maldonado also known as Tetabiakte, meaning “Rolling Stone. ” Then in 1897, a peace treaty was signed and our tribes were relocated to Arizona by the Mexican government. An Arizona governor did try to restore our land and end the war. However, the governor that took his place ended that quickly. In 1927 we lost the at Cerro del Gallo, “Rooster Hill. ” Physically we were defeated but morally we still stood strong.

Mexican President Cardenas decided to restore our land and officially acknowledged our heritage in 1939. We wanted land of our own to start farms and begin to rebuild our population. The government did eventually give us some land in 1915 but it was worthless for farming. My parents had met and married around this time. My father was doing manual labor and my mother acquired a job as a seamstress. Everyday she walked two hours to work, worked ten hours, and two hours home. This was to keep basic needs covered because currency was the only means of payment at that time.

The heavy hand of the depression hit our small community hard and many returned to our native land. My parents continued to struggle to make ends meet and my father volunteered to serve in WW II. He was fortunate enough to return from the war. Our community was in dire need of improvements and the government was slow with help. Roads were paved but most of our homes had no running water or sewage systems. Only a few people were able to buy cars but they did share it with family and friends in the community. Many like my father still worked in the fields until construction started for the highway.

Our population had increased to almost 5000 and continued to thrive despite the disadvantages. We continue to fight for our beliefs and rights. Yaqui people have gone though many struggles since Europeans came into our country and tried to take control of our land and enslave our people. Even though by nature we are a peaceful people, we fought to remain in control of our culture and way of life. Our future is still unknown and many more struggles lay ahead. The lessons from our history will aid in our survival and continue to help us be a strong, independent people.

References Sandoval, E. Q. (2005). Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Retrieved from http://www. pascuayaquitribe. org/history_and_culture/history/index. shtml Lobo, S. , & Peters, K. (2001). American Indians and the urban experience. Walnut Creek, CA: Rowman Altamira. http://books. google. com/books? id=iWBEVTZtHbcC&pg=PA59&lpg=PA59&dq=yaqui+annexation&source=bl&ots=AnQg7ng_7A&sig=IQmawuHu_cAoX5sV6nydrs8vWxM&hl=en&ei=GtUCTOj5E6T4Mpbb4Ts&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result#v=onepage&q=yaqui%20annexation&f=false

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