Yaqui (American Indians Ready Reference)
After being forced from their lands at the end of the nineteenth century, some Yaquis found their way into present-day Arizona and settled in the environs of Tucson and other parts of the southwestern United States. They were, and continue to be, a fiercely independent tribe. In 1533, Diego de Guzmán suffered defeat at the hands of the Yaqui when he attempted to enter their territory, and the Spaniards were faced with numerous Yaqui uprisings throughout their three-hundred-year tenure in New Spain.
The fundamental issue for these confrontations was the fact that the Yaqui held communally owned village lands that were a potential source of material wealth and power for the Spaniards and, later, the Mexicans. To the Yaquis, land always meant an ancient, divinely given heritage to be held in sacred trust. This sacredness of the land, the yo aniya (enchanted world), had become intricately bound with every aspect of Yaqui life. From 1886 to 1910, General Porfirio Díaz, the last dictator before the Mexican Revolution, sold millions of Yaqui-occupied acres to foreigners at bargain prices. The Yaquis, led by Cajeme, drove back government expeditions sent out to take possession of their land. The resistance was declared an intolerable crime, and the Yaquis were forced to surrender by being starved into submission. Yacqui lands became private landholdings, Cajeme was “tried” and shot in 1887, and thousands of Yaquis were sold like cattle for...
(The entire section is 311 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!