Walapai (American Indians Ready Reference)
The Walapai (or Hualapai) were divided into seven autonomous divisions. Men hunted deer, elk, antelope, and bear, and women gathered seeds, nuts, berries, tubers, and roots. Acorns were an important food, storing well in winter granaries. A wide range of insects, particularly grasshoppers and locusts, were gathered in communal hunts. Their technology, partially specialized for leaching tannic acid from acorns, had other applications as well. A variety of types of baskets were used daily for stone-boiling, storage, burden, and other utilitarian purposes. The Walapai had a high degree of mobility and were intimately aware of their territory and where to find plant resources within it.
The area inhabited by the Walapai was probably visited in 1540 by Spanish explorer Hernando de Alarcón, and later in 1598 by Marcos Farfan de los Godos. In 1776, Francisco Garcés made contact with the Walapai but recorded scant ethnographic data. Population decline is attributed mostly to introduced disease; from an estimated 700 in 1680, population fell to around 450 in 1937. The Walapai Reservation was established in northwest Arizona. Walapai income is gained from wage labor, cattle raising, government employment, and urban jobs.
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