Havasupai (American Indians Ready Reference)
The Havasupai (“People of the Blue-Green Water”) live in the village of Supai, located in a side canyon of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. They are related to the Hualapai tribe now located in Peach Springs, Arizona, and they have a long history of trading with the Hopis to the east and having their storehouses raided by the Apaches to the south. The Havasupai are noted for their basketry.
For at least six centuries they have lived in the summer at the bottom of a narrow side canyon growing corn, melons, and other crops on small farms watered by a large spring just above their village. In winter they ranged out along the south rim of the Grand Canyon hunting deer and other animals as far south as the present-day locations of Williams and Flagstaff, Arizona.
The United States government officially restricted them to a tiny reservation in Havasu Canyon in 1882, and during the 1920's white ranchers forced them off their winter hunting grounds on the surrounding plateau. The cliff-shaded canyon was an inhospitable place in the winter, lacking firewood and subject to flash floods. Three hundred people were crowded onto about 518 acres. The Bureau of Indian Affairs closed their small elementary school in 1955, forcing all students to attend boarding schools, and started a formal program of relocation the following year.
In the 1970's under the new government policy of Indian self-determination, things began to improve for the...
(The entire section is 367 words.)
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