The early people who lived in the Sonoran Desert were hunter/gatherers. They would collect the edible plants and other natural resources of the desert. They picked the seed pods from the mesquite tree to make flour. They used the flowers, fruit, and pads of the prickly pear cactus and the flowers from the cholla cactus, saguaro, and hedgehog cactus for food. They used the creosote bush and other desert plants for medicine. The agave plant was used for food and also fiber.
The early people hunted animals like jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, and ground squirrels; and also birds, like dove and quail. They even fished in the Gila River, because when the early people lived here, the Gila River had water in it for the entire year.