Quechan

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Quechan, English

traditional tribal religion, Christianity

Maricopa, Mojave, Kumeyaay

The Quechan (also Yuma, Yuman, Kwtsan, Kwtsaan) are a Native American tribe who live on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation on the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California just north of the border with Mexico. Members are enrolled into the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation. The federally recognized Quechan tribe's main office is located in Fort Yuma, Arizona. Its operations and the majority of its reservation land are located in California, United States.

Contents

Prehistory

The historic Yuman-speaking peoples in this region were skilled warriors and active traders, maintaining exchange networks with the Pima in southern Arizona and with peoples of the Pacific coast.

The term Patayan is used by archaeologists to describe the prehistoric Native American cultures who inhabited parts of modern day Arizona, California and Baja California. These areas included territory near the Colorado River Valley, the nearby uplands, and north to the vicinity of the Grand Canyon. The prehistoric people may have been ancestral to the Quechan. They practiced floodplain agriculture where possible, but relied heavily on hunting and gathering. Subgroups include the River Yuman, Delta-Californian, and Upland Yuman ("Pai").

History

The first significant contact of the Quechan with Europeans was with the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and his party in the winter of 1774. Relations were friendly. On Anza's return from his second trip to Alta California in 1776, the chief of the tribe and three of his men journeyed to Mexico City to petition the Viceroy of New Spain for the establishment of a mission. The chief Palma and his three companions were baptized in Mexico City on February 13, 1777. Palma was given the Spanish baptismal name Salvador Carlos Antonio.

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