In 700-800 AD Anazazi Indians lived in the eastern part of the Grand Canyon. A group called the Cohonina were in the western part of the canyon. These peoples seemed to leave around 1150 AD because of climatic changes, probably a drought.
The Cohonina lifestyle was very different from their neighbors, but they had close relations with each other. Their occupations were seasonal and they relied primarily on hunting and gathering. They used agave and roasting pits have been found in the area where they lived.
The Anazazi lived in pit houses, but later they built masonry structures. They did not make pottery, but they weaved baskets out of yucca. They were known as being hunters and gatherers. They have found check dams, terraces, and grid gardens, which are evidence that they grew crops.
The five Tribes that represent the Grand Canyon today are: Havasupia and Hualapai, Southern Paiute, Navajo and Hopi.
Havasupi is the only tribe that lives with in the Canyon. They occupy 160,000 acres of reservation bordered by Grand Canyon National Park. Havasupi means " People of The Blue-Green Water." The Havasupi are primarily farmers, using the Canyon for agriculture in the summer months and the rims recourses of game and wild plants for food in the winter to supplement the food to grow.
The Havasupi neighbor the Hualapai, a group closely related to the Havasupi. The word Hualapai means " People of the Pine Trees." Hualapai often went to war with the Yavapai. They use support from tourism and river rafting.
Along the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon on the Kaibab Reservation a tribe named Southern Paiute inhabited the area and left it around A.D. 1300. These people are descendants of Shoshonean groups. These people practiced agriculture and were also primarily hunters and gatherers. Mescal Pits (agave roasting pits) is evidence of this number of those pits found in areas inhabited.
The Hopi can trace their ancestry to the Anasazi who once inhabited the Canyon. The Grand Canyon is very valuable to the Hopi.
Today the Hopi's are farmers. Salt from the Canyon is used a lot by the Hopi. The Grand Canyon National Park made the salt mines off-limites to non Hopi people. The Hopi also rely on tourist trade.
The newcomers to the Grand Canyon is relative to the Navajo. Migrating from Canada, the Navajo Tribe is closely related to the Apache Tribe. The Navajo refer themselves to a meaning that means "the People." That meaning comes from the word Dineh. The Hopi lands are surrounded by Navajo's settled land. The largest Native American Tribe in the United States is the Navajo Tribe. Mire than 200,000people are considered to be Navajo, and their reservation encompasses more than 2 million acres of land in Northern Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern Utah.
None of the tribes that are living in the Grand Canyon region today are isolated. Tribes today co-exist with each other and with Anglo-Americans.
Back to Home Page