By Natale A. Zappia
The Colorado River zone looms huge within the historical past of the yankee West, very important within the designs and goals of Euro-Americans because the first Spanish trip up the river within the 16th century. yet as Natale A. Zappia argues during this expansive research, the Colorado River basin needs to be understood first as domestic to a posh Indigenous international. via three hundred years of western colonial cost, Spaniards, Mexicans, and american citizens all encountered enormous Indigenous borderlands peopled through Mojaves, Quechans, Southern Paiutes, Utes, Yokuts, and others, certain jointly by way of political, financial, and social networks. studying an unlimited cultural geography together with southern California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Sonora, Baja California, and New Mexico, Zappia exhibits how this inside international pulsated through the centuries prior to and after Spanish touch, solidifying to create an self sustaining, interethnic Indigenous house that accelerated and tailored to an ever-encroaching international industry economy.
Situating the Colorado River basin firmly inside of our figuring out of Indian state, Traders and Raiders investigates the borders and borderlands created in this interval, connecting the coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific worlds with an unlimited Indigenous continent.
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Extra resources for Traders and Raiders: The Indigenous World of the Colorado Basin, 1540-1859
The Mojave River native histories and the interior world  acted as a boundary separating Uto-Aztecan speakers receiving stone tools and ceramic traditions from the Great Basin and Yuman speakers influenced by cultivars and pottery on the Lower Colorado River. 36 The anthropologist Carobeth Laird collected a Chemehuevi oral history (told by George Laird) that recalled some of the somewhat-paradoxical cultural interconnections and enmity that existed side by side: The Mohaves were the Chemehuevis’ closest neighbors, co-inhabitors of much of the lower Colorado River Valley.
How shall we plant them? ” He sent the people north to get sticks. Each one found a sharp stick. “This is corn [tadhitc],” said Kumastamxo. ” Kumastamxo then made seeds of the gourd [axma] and melon [tsemeto]. He made them out of spittle. He gave them to the Cocopa[h]. He gave seeds of the pri[c]kly pear [aa] to the Maricopa. 23 Beyond the fertile delta stood a harsh desert, contributing to 300 years of mutual aggression over this narrow slice of agricultural territory. úk mourning ceremony originated, in part, as a commemoration of early battles with their Cocopah enemies to the south over control of the river.
The Yokuts trader Chaw-lowin explained the highly ceremonial nature of trade that evolved over time: “When they came up to trade they marched up in a straight line from each side. The Tee’-ah [leader of visiting party] was in front. ’”75 During these events, cultural idiosyncrasies and interregional comnative histories and the interior world  modities intersected, providing very different communities a window into each other’s worldviews. In their dealings with the Yokuts, the Chemehuevis called them Saimpivitsiwi (tule dwellers) because of their overwhelming reliance on grasses for trade, material goods, houses, and furniture.
Traders and Raiders: The Indigenous World of the Colorado Basin, 1540-1859 by Natale A. Zappia