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Chapter 3
The O'odham and the Jesuits

The Jesuit missionization of the Pimería Alta was, in many respects, an exercise in frustration. Dreams of northward expansion—to establish a land route between Sonora and the Californias, to extend Spanish settlement to the Gila River and to reconvert the "apostate Moquis" (Hopis)—never materialized. The missions of the Pimería Alta themselves were chronically understaffed and devastated by two rebellions—one, in 1695, at the beginning of the endeavor, the second in 1751, less than two decades before the Society of Jesus was expelled from Spain and all its dominions. Many missions founded by Kino went decades without a resident missionary. Many O'odham remained outside Spanish control and Jesuit indoctrination.

Nonetheless, the Jesuits had a profound impact upon the O'odham. The introduction of Old World epidemic diseases triggered a century and a half of population decline. By the mid-1800s, most of Kino's missions were Mexican, not O'odham, communities. The introduction of Old World plants and animals, on the other hand, revolutionized O'odham subsistence and made them a target of Apache attacks. Despite the revolts of 1695 and 1751, O'odham and Hispanic frontiersmen forged an uneasy but enduring alliance that survived until the end of the Apache wars in the 1880s, long after Mexico won its independence from Spain and the United States wrested Arizona away from Mexico.

First Encounters

When Kino first entered the Upper Santa Cruz Valley in January 1691, he only described two settlements in the Upper Santa Cruz Valley north of the modern international border—Guevavi and San Cayetano del Tumagacori (Tumacácori), which he called "rancherías" rather than pueblos. The communities of Tubac, Calabasas, Sópori, Upiatuban, Konkuk, Ku Shu:tak, Toacuquita, Aquituni, and Xona—settlements noted by later observers—were not mentioned (Dobyns 1963). Kino did not give population figures for the two communities but did note that Tumacácori consisted of "more than forty houses close together" (Bolton 1919 I:120). Kino also observed that the Sobaipuris prepared three ramadas for Kino, Salvatierra, and their entourage—"one in which to say mass, another in which to sleep, and the third for a kitchen" (Bolton 1919 I:119-20). The O'odham of Tumacácori and Guevavi clearly were not living in the walled and aggregated compounds found at the Late Classic site of Palo Parado (Wilcox 1987).

Consummate diplomat that he was, Kino relied upon friendly persuasion and gifts of food to convert the O'odham. He also attempted to keep the worst excesses of the Spanish empire at bay by obtaining a royal decree exempting the O'odham for twenty years from paying tribute or serving on the labor drafts (repartimiento) so often abused by Spanish miners and hacendados. Despite his charisma and diplomacy, however, violence scarred the early Spanish settlement of the Pimería Alta. Spanish miners and ranchers were pressing north into O'odham territory at a time when the Spanish frontier to the east was convulsing because of widespread Indian resistance and rebellion. The convulsions began with the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, which drove all Spanish settlers from New Mexico. Nearly 3,000 refugees fled south to El Paso, accelerating competition for land, water, and Indian labor in the El Paso and Casas Grandes areas. Those demands triggered the Suma revolt in 1684. Meanwhile, raiding by Janos, Jocomes, Mansos, and Chinarras intensified as Apache bands pushed south beyond the Gila River (Naylor and Polzer 1986; Sheridan in press).

Because of these convulsions, Spaniards were quick to imagine pan-Indian confederacies and conspiracies. They accused the O'odham, particularly the Sobaipuris, of allying themselves with the Janos, Jocomes, Apaches, and even the Tarahumaras, who mounted a series of rebellions of their own beginning in 1690. One response was to militarize the frontier. The Spanish crown established the new presidios of Nuestro Señor del Pilar y Glorioso San José del Paso del Norte at El Paso (1683), San Pedro del Gallo north of the Río Nazas (1685), Concepción del Pasaje de Cuencamé northeast of Durango (1685), San Francisco de Conchos on the Río Conchos (1685), San Antonio de Casas Grandes (1686), which was soon moved to San Felipe y Santiago de Janos, and the Presidio de las Fronteras de la Provincia de Sonora (1689), which served as a flying company (mobile, without a fixed location) for about a decade until it settled at Santa Rosa de Corodéguachi in northeastern Sonora (Polzer and Naylor 1986; Moorhead 1975). Unlike Kino, who sought to create alliances with the O'odham, some of the new military commanders drew their swords first and negotiated later.

The first act of violence by the military was the massacre of the O'odham ranchería of Mototicachi along the headwaters of the Río Bacoachi north of Arizpe. In 1688, Spanish soldiers led by Nicolás de Higuera, cabo of the presidio of Sinaloa, killed seven Pimas accused of being spies for the Janos and Jocomes. When other men in the settlement resisted, Higuera slaughtered forty-two others and took the women and children captive. Higuera was tried and sentenced to death but escaped and rejoined the military, suffering nothing more than a reduction in rank from captain to corporal (Polzer and Naylor 1986; Burrus 1971). Mototicachi became the first bloody symbol of Spanish treachery among the O'odham, who committed scattered acts of vengeance in response.

More widespread rebellion broke out in the western Pimería Alta in 1695. Again, the uprising was preceded by violence perpetrated by the Spanish military. In 1694, Lieutenant Antonio Solís killed three Sobaipuris drying meat on a rack. He thought the meat was horseflesh stolen from missions further south. It turned out to be venison. As historian Herbert Eugene Bolton (1984:289) wryly points out, "The Sobaípuris were exonerated, but the three dead men remained quite dead."

Later that year, Solís and thirty troops rode to Tubutama in response to a plea for help from Father Daniel Januske, who had been transferred there in 1693 from the insurgent Tarahumara missions. Januske accused two O'odham of stirring up his congregation by giving tlatoles—a Nahuati term the missionaries and Spaniards used to describe Indian incitements to rebellion. Solís quickly executed the leaders.

O'odham sought to demonstrate their loyalty to the Spaniards by accompanying Solís on expeditions against the Janos, Jocomes, and Apaches in the fall of 1694. But suspicions about the Pimas persisted. Those suspicions bore bloody fruit on March 29, 1695, when O'odham at Januske's mission of Tubutama killed an Opata Indian overseer who had knocked down one of their fellow villagers and was slashing him with his spurs. Then the O'odham turned on two other Opatas, killing them, burning Januske's church and convento, and butchering Tubutama's cattle.

The rebels continued downstream, gathering O'odham from Oquitoa and Pitiquito until they confronted Fr. Francisco Saeta at Caborca on April 2, Holy Saturday. Piercing Saeta with arrows, they also killed Francisco Pintor, the famous Lower Pima interpreter from Ures, and two more Opatas.

These initial actions appeared to be more a spasm of resistance against the imposition of mission discipline rather than a coordinated rebellion. They may also have manifested some of the characteristics of what historian Susan Deeds (1998:45) calls "first-generation rebellions," when Indians who had grown up during preconquest times attempted to restore prehispanic rituals and ways of life. We do not know if there were messianic or millenarian elements to the uprising as there were among the Acaxees of the Sierra Madre in 1601 or the Tepehuanes in 1616. Nonetheless, Padre Luis Velarde, arguing that Saeta should be considered a true martyr, wrote, "According to what the Indians declared, according to what was done with the sacred vestments, holy oils, altars, chalices, and patens, which were the same excesses as those committed in Tubutama, along with other motives and circumstances, I do not doubt they killed him in odium fidei [through hatred of the Faith]" (my translation of González 1977:71). Some O'odham undoubtedly were beginning to see Roman Catholic beliefs and mission life as a threat to their own Uto-Aztecan philosophies about the order of the universe and human society.

The Spaniards gathered up Saeta's remains and bore them in solemn procession to Cucurpe. There Domingo Jironza Petris de Cruzate, captain of the newly created flying company of Sonora and alcalde mayor of the province, demonstrated his reverence for the martyred missionary by dismounting from his horse. Taking the mule carrying Saeta's bones by the bridle, Petris de Cruzate shouldered the slain missionary's remains and carried them to the path leading up to the pueblo, where Father Rector Marcus Kappus met him with solemn fanfare and salvos from harquebuses. Kappus sang a Requiem Mass and buried Saeta on the epistle side of the main altar (González 1977). The military and religious authorities of the frontier were trying to impress upon the Eudeve and O'odham Indians crowding into the church that the sword and the cross were one.

Kino immediately went to work to repair his fledgling alliance between Spaniards and O'odham. He convinced Spanish officials to allow O'odham who wanted peace to bring the killers of Saeta to justice. But Jironza hedged his bets, dispatching Solís to harry the rebels at Tubutama and Oquitoa while Kino arranged a peace conference at El Tupo, a ciénega fed by springs in a broad valley west of San Ignacio. The O'odham trusted Kino and came to the rendezvous. They also left their weapons behind as they approached the camp of Solís and his troops, who included Tepoca Seris. As they entered the circle of mounted soldiers, however, the surrender of the guilty O'odham went terribly wrong. The O'odham governor of Dolores grabbed one of the leaders of the revolt by the hair and said, "This is one of the murderers." Solís slashed off his head. Guilty or innocent, the O'odham bolted as the Seris drew their bows and the Spaniards opened fire. When the slaughter was over, the bodies of forty-eight O'odham sprawled across the marshy ground. El Tupo became La Matanza—The Killing Ground.

For a brief time that bloody summer, the massacre at El Tupo threatened to turn a minor outbreak into a major rebellion. The number of rebels rose from forty to three hundred. First they burned Tubutama and Caborca. Then they attacked Father Agustín de Campos' cabecera (mission headquarters) at San Ignacio and his visitas at Magdalena and Imuris. Forewarned by the O'odham leader of Cíbuta, Campos fled across the pass of El Torreón to safe haven at the Eudeve mission of Cucurpe. Rumors flew that the rebels were even planning to attack Kino's own cabecera of Dolores. Alarmed at the prospect of another regional conflagration, Jironza summoned forces dispatched on a campaign against the Janos, Jocomes, and Apaches.

But the O'odham were too scattered, too autonomous, and too divided to sustain the uprising. As soon as the Spaniards made a show of force, attacking Tubutama and Sáric, support for the rebels dissipated into a series of peace negotiations. By the end of the summer, most of the O'odham had returned to their communities along the Río Magdalena-Altar-Concepción drainage system. Wary peace had been restored to the Pimería Alta. Violence never flared along the Upper or Middle Santa Cruz.

Nonetheless, Mototicachi and El Tupo must have caused many O'odham to retreat, either physically or psychologically, from the new imperial order slowly taking shape on the northwestern frontier. Missionaries and Spanish settlers would not be killed again in large numbers for more than half a century, but the O'odham's affection for the charismatic Kino was tempered by memories of bloodshed and betrayal. With the exception of Campos, the Jesuits who followed Kino to the Pimería Alta often met with resistance that stopped short of violence but included evasiveness, witchcraft, footdragging, and withdrawal into the desert or mountains—tactics that political scientist James Scott (1985) calls the "weapons of the weak." Only Campos, who may have grown more O'odham as he grew older, won and held their trust.

"No One to Distribute the Bread"

Direct Jesuit influence upon the O'odham of the Upper Santa Cruz Valley was sporadic during Kino's lifetime. Kino and his superiors decided to make Guevavi the cabecera with visitas at Tumacácori and Coro's Sobaipuri resettlement at Sonoita. But Father Juan de San Martín, a thirty-one-year old Jesuit from Caravaca, Spain, remained at Guevavi for less than six months in 1701 before abandoning the mission. Father Francisco Gonzalvo, assigned to Bac the same year, did not survive the Pimería Alta. He had to be carried back to San Ignacio in the summer of 1702, where he died of a fever.

For the next three decades, Campos was the nearest resident missionary. Catholic ritual and doctrine must have been limited to an occasional festival or sacrament when the hardriding Campos visited the simple adobe churches surrounded by the kis (brush houses) of Guevavi and Tumacácori. Jesus, Mary, saints—baptism, marriage, and extreme unction—drifted through O'odham life and thought like smoke from a campfire, pungent but elusive. The O'odham along the Upper Santa Cruz hovered on the periphery, not quite outside the Spanish empire but not yet incorporated into it. They were still free to practice their own rituals, consult their own diagnosticians and healers, and follow the seasonal rounds that drew them away from the river at certain times of the year. Neither Jesuit priests nor Spanish officials had the manpower to produce the mission spaces of church and communal fields and herds—of missionary discipline and surplus production—that would have forced them to change their daily lives. In the words of Father Luis Velarde, "There is no doubt that many souls are lost because there is no one to distribute the bread which they so anxiously ask for and desire" (quoted in Kessell 1970:17).

Nevertheless, their lives did change as the ecological revolution that biological historian Alfred Crosby (1972) calls the Columbian Exchange washed through their bloodstreams and digestive systems. Despite the fact that no missionaries lived among them, the O'odham of the Upper Santa Cruz Valley suffered periodic epidemics of Old World contagious diseases. In his 1716 relación, Father Luis Vellarde, describing the bravery and haughtiness of the O'odham, wrote, "And truly it has been the particular providence of Our Lord that this nation has diminished so much because of continual epidemics; due to their arrogance, there is no lack of troublesome and seditious spirits among such a multitude" (my translation of González 1977:62). Nearly a decade later, in the winter of 1724, Campos baptized 157 people, many of whom were probably dying, in the Santa Cruz and San Pedro valleys during a smallpox epidemic (Jackson 1994).

Unfortunately, no systematic population figures were recorded during this early period, so it is impossible to assess population trends during the late 1600s and early 1700s. Geographer Carl Sauer (1935) estimated that 5,500 O'odham lived along the Santa Cruz at contact, while anthropologist Henry Dobyns (1963) concluded that 2,400 O'odham occupied the middle stretches of the valley from Punta de Agua on the north to what is now the U.S.-Mexican border on the south. [1] In 1732, there were an estimated 4,200 O'odham living in the Santa Cruz Valley, but those figures apparently included Sobaipuris from the San Pedro Valley as well (Jackson 1994:61). The magnitude of O'odham depopulation during the early Jesuit period remains unclear.

O'odham Subsistence Patterns

More light can be shed on the revolution in O'odham subsistence patterns. Before Kino and his companions rode down the Santa Cruz, O'odham wove their lives into desert rhythms with an intimacy we can barely imagine. Family groups broke apart and came together according to the pulse of seeds they buried in the ground or gathered from floodplain, bajada, and mountain slope. Those living along the few rivers and streams of the Sonoran Desert pursued three complementary subsistence strategies, all of which depended upon an intricate knowledge of plants, animals, and climate. During the spring and summer, they farmed floodplain fields or arroyo deltas (ak[i] chiñ agriculture). Throughout the year, they harvested wild plants and hunted wild game (Rea 1997). [2] When rains were abundant, washes ran and rivers flowed, watering their desert cultigens. When heat and drought withered crops, the O'odham relied entirely upon the seeds, fruit, roots, and caudices produced by the desert itself

Their agriculture was based upon three thousands years of accumulated knowledge about plant physiology and microclimates in the Sonoran Desert, O'odham in the Santa Cruz, San Pedro, and Magdalena-Altar-Concepción watersheds practiced irrigation agriculture, constructing brush weirs that diverted water into earthen canals that led to their fields. O'odham along the Gila River, in contrast, may not have been irrigating their fields in the late 1600s when the Jesuits first visited them. After the platform-mound communities disintegrated and population densities decreased, Gileños may not have needed to expend the energy to build weirs and canals. Instead, they simply may have planted their seeds in swales and islands after the Gila's seasonal floodwaters receded (Winter 1973; Doelle 1975).

O'odham also cultivated fields on the deltas of arroyos that captured the surges of water spit forth by desert storms. These silty, nutrient-rich torrents coursed down the washes (a'ak[i]) dissecting the bajadas until they spread out across valley floors (chiñ; at the 'mouth' of the wash). And while O'odham agricultural technology may have been simple, consisting of little more than wooden digging sticks (esku[d]) and weeding sticks (giik[i]), the farmers themselves were consummate plant breeders. According to Rea (1997:44), "The Pima had selected for fast-maturing, drought-resistant crop varieties that produced a minimum of foliage and a maximum of seed." In both floodplain and ak[i] chiñ fields, they planted at least seven varieties of sixty-day maize (huuñ), as many as forty-six varieties of tepary beans (bav[i]; Phaseolus acutifolius), common beans (muuñ or muuñ[i]; Phaseolus vulgaris), squash (haal; Cucurbita spp.), grain amaranth (ki'ak[i], giád; Amaranthus hybridis), grain chenopod (kov[i]; Chenopodium berlandieri), and possibly lima beans (havul; Phaseolus lunatus) (Rea 1997). Sobaipuris along the Santa Cruz, San Pedro, and Gila also grew cotton (toki; Gossypium hirsutum), which they skillfully wove into red- and yellow-died mantas. Their agriculture was superbly adapted to heat and drought. Teparies, for example, yield four times as many seeds as common beans with only one or two waterings.

The O'odham also gathered a wide variety of wild foods growing along a gradient from floodplain to mountain slope. Perhaps the two most important were mesquite pods and saguaro fruit. Great bosques (forests) of mesquite grew along the Santa Cruz and its tributaries, with trees occasionally reaching thirty-to fifty-feet tall. Kui, the O'odham name for velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina), usually produces both an early seed crop that matures in late June and a late summer crop that ripens in mid-September. After the pods (vihog) enclosing the seeds dried and fell to the desert floor, O'odham harvested enormous quantities, grinding them on metates to make a protein- and carbohydrate-rich flour from the soft mesocarp surrounding the seeds. This flour, often quite sweet, was baked into hard loaves called komk[i]che[d] ('turtle' or 'tortoise') because of their shape. The flour was also mixed with water to make puddings or a sweet drink called va[o]. Mesquite was such an important part of the O'odham diet that two months of their calendar reflect its annual growth cycle: kui i'ivag[i]dag mashad ('mesquite leafing-out moon'; ca. April) and kui hiósig mashad ('mesquite-flowers moon'; ca. May) (Rea 1997). Because the so-called "foresummer" of the Sonoran Desert (April-May-June) was the leanest time of the year—a time when stored foods sometimes ran out and field crops had not yet matured, the early summer mesquite crop occasionally meant the difference between starvation and survival for the O'odham and other desert peoples. For that reason, ethnobotanist Amadeo Rea calls velvet mesquite the O'odham "tree of life" (Rea 1997:184).

Saguaro fruit, which ripened about the same time as the first mesquite harvest, were another important source of food during the foresummer. The O'odham employed saguaro-rib poles (ku'ipa[d]) to knock down the fruit from the haashañ, or saguaro, eating it fresh or drying and storing it. They also boiled down the pulp to make a syrup called sitol, which could keep for months and even years if sealed in small earthen jars buried underground. And finally, the O'odham ground saguaro seeds (haashañ kai) on metates and mixed them with other foods. The waxy white flowers pollinated by white-winged doves and long-nosed bats—and the bright red fruit splitting open on green trunks—offered the promise of abundance during a time of want.

That promise gave the saguaro a ritual significance even greater than its dietary importance. The first month of the O'odham new year was haashañ bahidag mashad ('saguaro harvest moon') beginning in late June. At that time, O'odham villages fermented some of the sitol (saguaro syrup) into saguaro wine (navait). By the twentieth century, when anthropologists like Frank Russell began to systematically record the rituals and beliefs of the Gila Pima, the wine feast had lost much of its sacred ceremonial character. Nonetheless, Rea believes that the Akimel O'odham used to consume saguaro wine to call the wind and rain, just as their Tohono O'odham brethren to the west still do (Underhill et al 1997; Sheridan and Parezo 1996). Even though their well-being did not depend as directly upon the summer rains as the Tohono O'odham, Akimel O'odham realized that rain meant abundance and drought scarcity. On an intermittent stream like the Santa Cruz, strong monsoons transformed the trickle of the foresummer into enough flow to irrigate everyone's fields. During years when the heavy black thunder clouds did not build to a crescendo of rain, O'odham farmers, like the Hispanic farmers who followed them, had to wait longer for the water that kept their corn, beans, and squash from withering under the relentless sun.

For the O'odham of the Upper Santa Cruz, agaves (a'u[d]) must have been a major food source as well. Far more agaves studded the slopes of the Santa Rita, Patagonia, Tumacácori, and Atascosa mountains than the low desert ranges of Gila Pima country. O'odham from Tumacácori, Guevavi, Suamca, and other settlements climbed the bajadas to pry the caudices (the basal portion, also known as 'heads' or 'hearts') from the rocky soil and roast them in rock-lined pits. When Father Visitor Jacob Sedelmayr inspected San Xavier del Bac's visitas of Tucson and "Ohia" in late February 1751, he found not "a single soul since all of them were out gathering mescal [agaves] in the mountains to the east" (Matson and Fontana 1996:45). And even though no historic description of agave cultivation in the region has yet been found, Hohokam peoples to the north were growing as many as 100,000 plants at one time in rockpile fields in the western foothills of the Tortolita Mountains (Fish et al 1992). Whether O'odham at contact were cultivating Agave parryi, Agave murpheyi, or other species remains to be determined.

In addition to mesquite pods, saguaro fruit, and agave hearts, the O'odham gathered cholla buds, prickly pear fruit, yucca fruits and shoots, acorns, and chiltepines, the tiny, fiery wild chiles that reach their northern range in the mountain canyons of the Upper Santa Cruz watershed. [3] They also harvested numerous species of wild and semi-domesticated greens. Ethnobotanist Frank Crosswhite (1981:64) argues that O'odham fields included a "second garden" where tailwaters from irrigation or runoff-diversion supported dense stands of amaranth, chenopodium, and other vitamin- and mineral-rich greens. The line between domesticated and wild blurred in O'odham fields, where diversity was more valued than yield per unit of land.

Finally, the O'odham hunted large and small game including rodents, jackrabbits, cottontails, mule deer, whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, and bighorn sheep. Javelina, expanding northward out of the tropics, may not yet have reached Arizona. In his 1716 relación, Father Luis Xavier Velarde lists the wild animals of the Pimería Alta—"jaguars, mountain lions, bears, bobcats, wolves, foxes, coyotes, bighorn sheep, deer, jackrabbits, cottaintails, and others"—but does not mention peccaries, which undoubtedly would have been hunted by the O'odham if they had been abundant (González 1977:52).

Hunting was both organized and individual. The weedy margins and living fencerows of O'odham fields and canals provided habitat for rodents, rabbits, and birds which were trapped or taken by men, women, and children as they carried out their agricultural tasks. Women and children also collected cicadas and caterpillars. Certain men also devoted themselves to solitary big-game hunting, which Rea says "was almost a religious vocation, like shamanism" (Rea 1997:45). Several types of communal hunts, on the other hand, were organized by the tobdam, the town crier and hunt leader. One was the shaada, in which the men of a village would form a large circle and drive jackrabbits, cottontails, and rodents toward the center to be clubbed or shot with arrows. Another was the kuunam, or fire drive, which was carried out in grasslands or swales where there was enough vegetation to carry a blaze.

Wild plants and animals, particularly mesquite, saguaro, and agave, constituted at least half the O'odham diet during good years when there was enough water in the Santa Cruz to irrigate their fields. During drought years, wild foods kept famine at bay. But O'odham subsistence also confronted iron limits imposed by the seasonality of desert rains and the plants and animals which depended upon them. Late spring and early summer were often times of severe hardship—day after long, hot day when people waited with hungry bellies for the clouds to form, the mesquite pods to ripen, and the corn and bean plants to mature.

The Columbian Exchange in the Pimería Alta

Old World crops and livestock loosened those limits, enabling the O'odham to farm more intensively and to turn more wild plants into food and fiber. The introduction of Old World livestock was the most dramatic transformation of the landscape. When herd animals domesticated in Eurasia first lumbered into the Upper Santa Cruz Valley, non-edible grasses and forbs suddenly could be converted into beef, mutton, cabrito, milk, cheese, and menudo, not to mention rawhide, wool, and tallow. For people whose animal protein came from rabbits, rodents, and an occasional deer or bighorn sheep, cattle, goats, and sheep must have been an incredible bounty.

Kino's introduction of livestock into the Pimería Alta was systematic and sustained. "On January 13, 1697, I traveled in to the Sobaípuris of San Xavier del Bac. We drove cattle, sheep and goats (ganado mayor y menor), and a small herd of mares," Kino wrote. "The small ranch of San Luís de Bacoancos (Bacuancos) was begun with 60 head of cattle. There also were sheep and goats at San Cayetano, which the loyal children of the Venerable Father Francisco Xavier Saeta had brought, rounding them up at Concepción during the time of the disturbances of 1695" (Kino 1989:55). Kino increased those small mission herds and established two cattle ranches as well—one at Bacoancos on the Santa Cruz mentioned above, [4] the other at San Simón y San Judas de Síbuda (Cíbuta) on an upper tributary of the Río Magdalena. Kino's January 1697 expedition marked the beginning of cattle ranching in southern Arizona.

The herds at Cíbuta and Bacoancos flourished. In March 1701, Manje reported 400 cattle and 200 sheep at Bacoancos. On that same visit, Kino ordered his Indian cowboys to brand seven droves of mares and 1,000 cattle at Cíbuta while he took twenty pack animals for his expedition to the Gulf of California. The grasslands and oak woodlands of the Upper Santa Cruz and Upper Magdalena drainages were prime cattle country. [5]

The O'odham also received Old World crops. Melons apparently reached the O'odham before Kino entered their territory, but he introduced other Eurasian domesticates, particularly wheat, to the Pimería Alta. Kino concluded his description of his January 1697 expedition to the O'odham of the Santa Cruz Valley by noting, "The word of God was spoken to them [the people of San Xavier del Bac], there were baptisms of children and the beginnings of good sowings and harvests of wheat and maize for the father minister whom they asked for and hoped to receive" (my translation of Kino 1989:55).

Another ecological revolution had just been launched. Because it tolerated frosts, wheat—pilkañ in O'odham—filled a largely empty niche in the agricultural cycle, growing during the winter months when corn, beans, and squash would have withered. O'odham could now triple-crop their fields, planting wheat in November or December after their summer corn and beans had been harvested. And pilkañ matured in May or June at a time when mesquite pods had not yet ripened and spring maize and bean plants were still struggling to grow. Rea notes that "while corn, the principal aboriginal crop, was a fickle plant that had to be enticed forth with song, ceremony, and votive offerings," "wheat was as prosaic and productive as one might wish. It not only filled a seasonal gap but also provided a new backbone to this desert culture's ecosystem" (Rea 1997:336). Within a century, O'odham throughout the Pimería Alta were growing more wheat than corn, even the Gila Pimas who were never missionized by the Jesuits or conquered by the Spaniards. Like Old World livestock, wheat affected many O'odham more profoundly than Catholic rituals and beliefs. When Father Felipe Segesser reoccupied the abandoned mission of San Xavier del Bac in 1732, he noted that the O'odham there knew nothing of God, heaven, or hell but a great deal about cattle, horses, and wheat. [Check Treutlein Mid-America 27 (1945)]

Kino introduced the O'odham to other Old World cultigens as well, including peaches, pomegranates, figs, pears, quinces, grapes, sugar cane, chickpeas, lentils, bastard chickpeas, cabbage, lettuce, onions, leeks, garlic, cilantro, anise, and perhaps mint (Officer 1993). O'odham reliance upon agriculture intensified, even though they apparently did not yet adopt the plow (Officer 1993). O'odham settlements also grew larger and more concentrated in response to Apache and Yavapai hostilities (Ezell 1961; Doelle 1975; Sheridan 1988). Hooved stock and handfuls of seed transformed O'odham society, deepening their dependence upon domestication. An agropastoralist economy, based on Old World animals and an Old World grain, was taking root along the Santa Cruz River.

We have few glimpses of this transformation in its early stages. The most systematic chronicler of the Pimería Alta after Kino died in 1711 was Father Luis Xavier Velarde, a Spaniard from Valladolid who succeeded Kino at Mission Dolores in 1714 and remained there until his death in 1737. Tall, deaf, and prone to heat stroke, Velarde was not much of an explorer. Because his health did not permit him to take to the saddle as often as Kino or Campos did, Velarde had more time to record daily life in the Pimería Alta.

His earliest relación, written in 1716, notes the agricultural fusion of New and Old World plants in O'odham fields. "The other fruits of this Pimería are: maize, a small bean called tépari, and other seeds that, in their seasons, the Pimas harvest and store for their sustenance," Velarde observed. "And after they come into contact with the Spaniards, and the padres entered [their territory], they harvest a considerable amount of wheat, especially those of the west; beans of all kinds, fava beans, lentils, squash of various kinds, watermelons, and melons. And the missions yield abundant grapes, peaces, figs, pears, quinces, pomegranates, sugar cane, and other fruits, along with vegetables as in any other area" (my translation from González 1977:51-52).

Velarde also described the extensive cultivation of cotton among "the sobaipuris and others to the north" (González 1977:52). Old World grains and broad beans (favas and lentils) greened O'odham fields during the cooler months when frosts were a danger. The New World triumvirate of maize, beans, and squash continued to dominate the spring and summer planting seasons. Meanwhile, Old World orchard crops graced mission gardens. The agricultural repertoire of the O'odham had expanded enormously.

O'odham cuisine reflected this vibrant fusion. "Many of the new crops were additive," Rea notes, "but wheat largely eclipsed maize as the basic crop. Wheat tortillas became the staple at most meals; even the oldest people today cannot remember anyone making corn tortillas. Wheat replaced corn and mesquite flour in many preparations as well. Wheat pinole (parched and finely ground wheat) became a staple for both those traveling and those at home. It needed only to be mixed with water to make a hearty cereal drink" (Rea 1997:72-73).

Despite wheat's importance, however, the O'odham often combined it with aboriginal foods, particularly mesquite flour. Mesquite and wheat flour were blended to make a sweet pudding called vihog hido[d]. The O'odham also made a dish called ka'akvulk ('hills made'), with wheat tortillas alternating with layers of mushy mesquite. O'odham men carried ka'akvulk on hunting trips or revenge raids against the Apaches. Mesquite flour (vihog weenagim chu'i) sweetened wheat pinole while whole-wheat dumplings ('doves') simmered in mesquite juice (hooi-wichda; 'mourning doves done in imitation') (Rea 1997). Old World foods did not obliterate New World fare.

Prehispanic O'odham cultural patterns also persisted. According to Velarde, the O'odham were still raising macaws (guacamayas) "for their red feathers, and other colors, almost like those of the peacock, which they pluck in the spring for their adornment" (my translation of González 1977:53). Perhaps macaw feathers were one of the items Sobaipuris used to trade to the Hopis when the "moquinos" came to Jaibanipita in the San Pedro Valley for "fairs" (González 1977:64). According to elderly O'odham, those fairs had been suspended after the Sobaipuris killed a large number of Hopis. Perhaps during those exchanges at some time in the past, O'odham adopted the wi:gida—a ritual with Pueblo-like masked dancers wearing turkey tail feathers which spread as far west as Quitovac, where the Hiá ch-e[d] O'odham still perform the summer version (Hayden 1987; Sheridan 1996). Velarde's relación, as biased as it is by ethnocentric preconceptions and dismissals, offers us a glimpse into a prehispanic world where people journeyed back and forth between the Colorado Plateau and the southern deserts before Old World epidemics and Apache raiding rent the region asunder.

The Jesuit "Mission" of 1732

While Campos and Velarde were struggling to maintain a presence in the Pimería Alta, tensions escalated between the Jesuits and Spanish settlers, who resented missionary control over Indian land and labor. A powerful faction dominated by Gregorio Alvarez Tuñón y Quirós, the corrupt but ever-resourceful captain of Fronteras presidio, advocated the removal of the Jesuits and the secularization of the Sonoran missions. The Jesuits countered their critics in a series of polemics, the most eloquent of which was the informe of Father José María Genovese, the Sicilian visitador of the Sonoran missions, who systematically responded to the charges leveled against the missionaries (González 1977; Polzer and Sheridan 1997).

The Jesuits were not without allies, however. Opposed to Alvarez Tuñón y Quirós and his confederates were a tight-knit group of Basque merchants and military men—vizcainos who venerated the Society of Jesus because it had been founded by one of their own, Ignatius of Loyola. The Jesuits won the battle, at least temporarily, when Inspector General Pedro de Rivera Villalon removed Alvarez Tuñón y Quirós from office and replaced him with a vizcaino, Juan Bautista de Anza, in 1726. Rivera went on to laud the Jesuits in his official reports while Anza remained a staunch supporter of the missionaries until he was ambushed and killed by Apaches in 1740 (Naylor and Polzer 1988; Polzer and Sheridan 1997).

None of these struggles meant much to the O'odham of the Upper Santa Cruz, even though Jesuit ascendancy may have protected them from land grabs and labor drafts at the hands of the settlers. In 1732, however, the O'odham world changed forever. Two years earlier, a "mission" of twenty-six Jesuits sailed from Cadiz for the Indies. Three of those Europeans—Johann Baptist Grazhoffer from Austria, Phelipe Segesser from Switzerland, and Ignaz Xavier Keller from Moravia—were assigned to the Pimería Alta. These "German" Jesuits ended the isolation of the Santa Cruz O'odham. After several months of orientation on the northern frontier, they took up their missions in the spring of 1732: Segesser at San Xavier del Bac, Grazhoffer at Guevavi, and Keller at Santa María Suamca. Grazhoffer died a year later—his fellow Jesuits accused the O'odham of poisoning him—but Keller remained at his post for twenty-seven years. Segesser replaced Grazhoffer at Guevavi, while Gaspar Stiger, another Swiss, was transferred from the Tarahumara missions to Bac. The O'odham of the Upper Santa Cruz would not be free of at least one resident missionary for the next century.

You can read the rumblings of the O'odham between the lines of the missionaries' letters and reports. An old O'odham man confessed to poisoning Grazhoffer, although the missionary was already suffering from a fever when he reached Guevavi. Segesser, who nearly died from what may have been malaria, blamed his own illness on Guevavi hechiceros, the Spanish term for Indian shamans. Stiger claimed that he had been cursed three times by shamans at Bac. Then, in 1734, O'odham at Suamca, Guevavi, and Bac deserted their missions. At Guevavi, they drove the mission's herds of horses and cattle into the mountains. At Bac, they ransacked Stiger's house and stole all belongings, "including the new, beautiful, and precious vestments in five colors and all appurtenances which our viceroy had given us when we were sent to these new mission" (Segesser in Treutlein 1945:164). Anza quickly restored order, but the O'odham of the Upper Santa Cruz clearly did not appreciate missionaries who came to stay (Kessell 1970).

And stay they did. Segesser left Guevavi in 1734 because of poor health. In 1737, however, blond-haired, blue-eyed Father Alexandro Rapicani took up the post and remained there until the fall of 1740. He was followed by Father Joseph de Torres Perea, who served until 1744, and by Father Ildefonso de la Peña, who stayed less than a year. Then, in 1745, Father Joseph Garrucho arrived for nearly seven years of proselytizing and church building. Beginning in the 1730s, resident Jesuits mounted a sustained assault on O'odham beliefs and cultural practices they considered savage or idolatrous. Polygamy, shamanism, the saguaro wine feast—all had to be rooted out if the O'odham were to be turned into proper Christians.

At the same time, the discovery of huge chunks of silver at Arizonac southwest of modern Nogales drew hundreds of prospectors—Spaniards, mestizos, mulattoes, Yaquis, Opatas—into the region. Spanish ranchers had already recolonized the San Luis Valley south of Guevavi where the Santa Cruz makes a great bend during the 1720s. By the 1740s, there were sizeable populations of Spanish settlers at Arivaca and Tubac as well. Jesuit missionaries and Spanish settlers were slowly but surely contracting the O'odham world.

We can only infer how the O'odham perceived these mounting pressures. Modern readers often dismiss the frequent references to Indian hechiceros in Jesuit documents as boilerplate religious rhetoric. But as anthropologist Daniel Reff (1998) points out, Jesuit ideas about how the world worked converged more closely with O'odham sensibilities than with those of our own. "At a time when rationalism and nominalism were flowering in Europe, the Jesuits and other religious retained what was essentially a medieval epistemology and worldview, championing the idea of a mysterious God who constantly intervened on earth to change the course of events and to combat Satan (Moore 1982)," Reff writes. "Jesuit 'supernaturalism,' particularly the idea of the inseparability of the natural and invisible worlds, was consistent with the aboriginal beliefs of their Native American converts (Moore 1982:197; Rubert de Ventos 1991). Although the Jesuits and their converts may have disagreed about who was responsible for the supernatural events, neither doubted reports of flying shamans, talking stones, or altar cloths that mysteriously began to bleed (Reff 1995)" (Reff 1998:28).

Jesuits believed that shamans in league with the Devil were continually trying to prevent the conversion of their people and inflict illness or death on the missionaries themselves. In a sense, the Jesuits may have been right. Shamans have been central figures in O'odham society since prehispanic times. Today, the primary function of an O'odham shaman (má[.]kai) is to define and diagnose disease in a night-long session called dóajida. In the past, however, their magic pervaded all aspects of O'odham life and thought. "While the shaman played a minor role in organizing the ceremonial life, his experience, as celebrated in song, drama, and oratory, dominated the content of every ceremony," anthropologist Donald Bahr observes. "The ritual oratory, for example, was a poetic form based on the idea of shamanic journeys from the earth to the sky or underworld and back to the earth again" (Bahr 1983:193). O'odham believed certain individuals had the power to make crops grow, to bring rain, to divine the location of enemies and to cast spells over them as well as to diagnose and cure disease. The black-robed priests with their elaborate rituals must have been seen as direct threats to the power of the shamans—competitors who had to be eliminated if the old ways were to be restored.

And since missionization was being carried out in what Reff calls a "disease environment," the role of O'odham shamans must have been even more fraught with tension than it is now. There are entries on nineteenth-century O'odham calendar sticks of villagers killing shamans during outbreaks of disease (Russell 1975). Imagine the ambivalence with which O'odham must have viewed their religious practitioners as they watched their children die from illnesses their bodies had never been wracked by before. The pustules, rashes, hemorrages, fevers, bloody stools, and "black" or "yellow" vomit brought on by epidemics of smallpox, measles, malaria, dysentery, and typhoid posed terrible challenges to O'odham shamans. During the first two decades following the refounding of the Santa Cruz missions in 1732, at least five major epidemics swept through the Pimería Alta (Dobyns 1959). Many O'odham undoubtedly turned to the missionaries, at least at first, hoping against hope that the waters of baptism, the holy oils of extreme unction, the processions, benedictions, and ritual invocations of the mass would heal their bodies and restore order to their universe. Later, when they continued to die, some O'odham came to associate baptism and even the tolling of mission bells with the spread of disease.

Luis Oacpicagigua and the 1751 Upper Pima Rebellion

But it was a military leader appointed by the Spaniards, not a shaman, who led the O'odham rebellion that brought Jesuit dreams of northward expansion crashing to the desert ground. Luis Oacpicagigua of Sáric was an accomplished war leader who had carried out numerous campaigns against the Apaches. In 1750, Governor Diego Ortiz Parrilla requested his help against the Seri Indians who had taken refuge on Tiburón Island in the Gulf of California. When Ortiz Parrilla invaded Tiburón in September, Oacpicagigua commanded 443 O'odham warriors—by far the largest contingent in Ortiz Parrilla's force (Sheridan 1979, 1999).

The O'odham leader may also have prevented a mutiny. Waging a desperate war of thirst, Seris killed two horses left behind by a Spanish reconnaissance force and threw their decomposing bodies into waterholes on Tiburón. Unable to drink, the presidial soldiers and Spanish militia chafed under their heavy leather armor and stared at the crags of the Sierra Kunkaak, where they envisioned Seris waiting to ambush them with their legendary poisoned arrows. Ortiz Parrilla exhorted them to move forward. They refused. He promised them money and military honors. They remained where they were. Then, in desperation, the governor turned to Oacpicagigua. The O'odham leader responded that the Pimas had come from very far away to kill the Seris, "who wandered through the wilderness doing harm. Until now, however, they had done nothing but eat, and they wanted to go into the mountains to look for the Seris" (Sheridan 1979:330; 1999). Shamed by the O'odham leader, the gente de razón grudgingly took up their arms, but the O'odham proved to be more effective fighters on Tiburón's rugged terrain. Oacpicagigua must have come away from Tiburón with an abiding contempt for Spanish military prowess.

He still might have remained an ally of the Spaniards, however, if tensions had not escalated between missionaries and Spanish officials. Soon after the expedition to Tiburón, Ortiz Parrilla appointed Oacpicagigua governor and captain-general of the northern O'odham—an office that had no analogue in O'odham society. The Jesuits bitterly resented Oacpicagigua's elevation in status. They believed that it was their right and responsibility to appoint Indian officials. Ortiz Parrilla was usurping their authority, weakening their control over people who had rebelled against them in the past. "What we are seeing is that during the [Seri] campaign he [Ortiz Parrilla] flattered them greatly and they now return most haughty and averse to the Padres," Father Gaspar Stiger complained (quoted in Kessell 1970:103).

The tipping point occurred in early fall, 1751. Assembling a large force of O'odham warriors to campaign against the Apaches, Oacpicagigua marched north to rendezvous with Santiago Ruiz de Ael, captain of the presidio of Terrenate. At Guevavi, Father Joseph Garrucho fed the O'odham for three days and gave them fifteen head of cattle to take with them. At Soamca, in contrast, the irascible and alcoholic Ignaz Keller publicly humiliated the O'odham leader. [6] When Oacpicagigua arrived dressed as a Spanish officer to ask Keller where Ruiz de Ael had gone, Keller supposedly snarled, "You are a dog to come here and ask me that. You can go wherever you want, or not go at all. It would be better if you remained behind. You act like you are trying to be a Spaniard by the arms you are carrying. You are not worthy to go about in this manner. You should be in a breechcloth with bows and arrows like a Chichimeco" (Garate n.d.:24).

According to Pedro de la Cruz, the son of an O'odham father and an Opata mother who was executed as a spy soon after the revolt broke out, Keller's affront was the last straw. "Brother, I am possessed with this evil of serving in this charge that was conferred upon me by the Father Visitor and confirmed by the Lord Governor in the name of the King," Oacpicagigua reputedly told de la Cruz. "I accepted it in order to be Captain General of my nation and because the Fathers could not now scorn me in any way, since they would have to do as the King commanded. But because the Fathers detest us we are already lost. So don't say anything to me about how we should love the laws of God. It is better that we should live with our liberty. Already, I do not want these arms or this uniform. Now I will betray all the Spaniards" (Garate n.d.:25).

Other witnesses, including Santiago, the O'odham mador of Santa Maria Suamca, declared that Oacpicagigua had been planning the revolt for more than a year and was only looking for excuses to start it (Garate n.d.). Luis of Pitic (Pitiquito), one of Oacpicagigua's allies, even confessed that on their way home from the expedition to Tiburón, they had stopped at El Tupo, site of the 1695 massacre. There Oacpicagigua had asked Luis of Pitic if he remembered how their ancestors had killed the missionary at Caborca in retaliation (Kessell 1970). Memories of Spanish outrages more than half a century before may have stoked Oacpicagigua's anger in 1751.

Whatever his motives, Jesuit contempt for O'odham leaders they did not control certainly seemed to poison an already perilous atmosphere. While he was being interrogated in chains, Pedro de la Cruz wailed, "I am not the cause of the rebellion. Those who have caused it are Fathers Jacobo Sedelmayr, Ignacio Xavier Keller, and Joseph Garrucho, because of the severity with which they and their mayordomos treat the Indians" (Garate n.d.:24). When Pedro himself arrived in Guevavi carrying the bastón (cane of office) he had been given as Oacpicagigua's sergeant, Father Garrucho snatched it away, saying, "You are a dog because you are carrying that bastón. Don't come here disturbing the people. If it was not for the day that this is, I would have given you a hundred lashes with a whipping stick" (Garate n.d.:25).

If Oacpicagigua had risen to prominence a generation later, he might have become an officer in the Spanish military. Unfortunately for the Pimería Alta, however, Keller and Oacpicagigua were transitional, even tragic, figures. During the mid-eighteenth century, New Spain's northern frontier was in the throes of a political and philosophical revolution. As Indian rebellions and Apache attacks wracked the northwest, many Spanish officials concluded that militarization, not missionization, was the best way to pacify the region. Following the 1740 Yaqui revolt, the Spanish crown established two new presidios in Sonora—one at Pitic on the outskirts of Yaqui, Seri, and Lower Pima country, another at Terrenate in the Pimería Alta. After the 1751 Pima rebellion, two more garrisons were added—one at Tubac (1752), another at Altar (ca. 1755) [7] (Polzer and Sheridan 1997). The guerrilla warfare of the Seris and their Lower and Upper Pima allies triggered the creation of the presidio of San Carlos de Buenavista in 1765. Two years later, Carlos III expelled the Jesuits from Spain and all of its dominions.

While this transition was taking place, more and more Indians articulated with the Spanish empire as military allies rather than mission neophytes. This process culminated in the formation of all-Indian presidial companies at Bavispe (Opatas, 1779), Bacoachi (Opatas, 1784), and Tubac (O'odham, 1787) (Moorhead 1975). [8] Military service became an avenue of upward mobility for many O'odham and Opatas. It also accelerated the process of mestizaje, or racial mixing, which weakened ethnic boundaries in Sonora during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (Radding 1997).

In 1751, however, the transition from missionization to militarization was still in its early stages. Moreover, the Pimería Alta, unlike the Hiakim (Yaqui homeland), was the frontier of a frontier, surrounded on three sides by the territories of peoples who had never been conquered by the Spaniards. O'odham like Oacpicagigua, unlike the Yoemem (Yaquis) who led the 1740 Yaqui revolt, could still dream of complete independence from Spaniard and Jesuit alike.

Those dreams proved more feverish than real. On Saturday, November 20, Oacpicagigua panicked his Spanish neighbors and their servants into taking refuge inside his house at Saric under pretext of Apache attack (Ewing 1934). Then he and his confederates set the dwelling on fire and clubbed anyone who tried to escape. Similar assaults flared that night or the next morning in Caborca, Pitiquito, Oquitoa, Atil, Tubutama, Sonoita, Busani, Agua Caliente, Baboquivari, Arivaca, and Tubac. By Sunday evening, 109 people—most of them Spaniards—had been killed (Garate n.d.).

The terrified Spanish families of the Upper Santa Cruz Valley fled to safety at Terrenate presidio. Meanwhile O'odham residents of Guevavi, Tubac, and Tumacácori who did not join the rebellion took refuge in the Santa Rita Mountains or at Tres Alamos on the San Pedro River. Rebels sacked the mission churches at Guevavi and Bac, and for a few brief weeks that winter, Spaniards feared that the Pimería Alta, like New Mexico in 1680, would be lost.

After Bernardo de Urrea and his militia routed Oacpicagigua at Arivaca on January 5, 1752, however, the revolt quickly dissipated. [9] Oacpicagigua retreated to the Santa Catalina Mountains and entered into negotiations with Ortiz Parrilla, much to the disgust of the Jesuits. One of his demands was the removal of Father Keller. On March 18, 1752, Oacpicagigua surrendered to Captain Joseph Díaz del Carpio at Tubac, where he was granted amnesty. By April, there were 66 O'odham at Guevavi, 40 at Tubac, 18 at Sópori, 97 at Sonoita, and 98 at Suamca (Garate n.d.:46-48). After defending himself before the viceroy in Mexico City, Keller returned in triumph to Suamca in the spring of 1753. Meanwhile, Oacpicagigua performed obligatory rituals of abasement before Spanish and missionary audiences, dying in prison at Horcasitas in 1756.

"A Live Flame Covered With Ashes": Resistance and Reducción

But resistance still simmered. Even though a new presidio was established at Tubac in 1752, some of Oacpicagigua's followers, including two of his sons, fought on. Known as Piatos to the Spaniards, they allied themselves with Hawani Mo'o (Raven's Head), an O'odham war leader from the Gila River who attacked San Xavier del Bac and looted its church in 1756. Papagos and even some O'odham residents of Bac joined in the pillage and even tried to kill their missionary, Father Alonso Espinosa, perhaps because he attempted to suppress their traditional fall harvest festival (Dobyns 1962, Kessell 1970).

The Piatos also joined forces with Seris and Sibubapas—Lower Pima rebels from the mission communities of Cumuripa, Tecoripa, and Suaqui. Together and apart, these loose bands of resistance fighters attacked mines, ranches, and pueblos from the Pimería Alta to Ostimuri during the 1750s and 1760s. [10] In the Upper Santa Cruz valley alone, Piatos ran off mission and presidial livestock and mounted major assaults on Guevavi during Holy Week in 1758 and on Sonoita the following year (Kessell 1970). It took the largest professional military force in the history of northwestern New Spain—the Sonoran Expedition led by Colonel Domingo Elizondo—to wear the rebels down and bring a tenuous peace to the region (Sheridan 1999). The last two decades of Jesuit missionization in the Pimería Alta were years of wary retrenchment, not expansion. In the words of Father Visitor General Ignacio Lizasoáin, "Experience has shown that the peaceful state of many of these Upper Pimas and Papagos, seemingly so untroubled and tranquil, has been a live flame covered with ashes, ready to show itself for what it truly is at the slightest wind" (Polzer and Sheridan 1997:449).

That "live flame covered with ashes" smoldered on pox-ridden corpses and deserted villages. For the O'odham, their final years under the Jesuits were years of territorial contraction and population decline. O'odham from the ranchería of Sópori began moving to Guevavi in 1747. By 1762, the ranchería was abandoned. In the late 1740s, Luis Oacpicagigua himself convinced O'odham from Concuc and Upiatuban to reduce themselves to Guevavi as well (Dobyns 1959). Father Francisco Pauer, who took over Guevavi after the 1751 revolt, relocated all seventy-eight residents of the ranchería of Doacuquita or Toacuquita to a place he christened San Cayetano de Calabazas in 1756. Despite these and other newcomers from the Papaguería, however, the population of O'odham communities along the upper Santa Cruz continued to drop, primarily because of periodic epidemics (see Table 3.1).

To reinforce their declining missions, Jesuits convinced Spanish authorities to undertake the most ambitious reducción of them all. In 1757, two young German Jesuits—Francisco Hlava and Miguel Gerstner—attempted to missionize the Sobaipuris of the San Pedro. The Sobaipuris quickly drove them away, threatening to kill any missionary other than Keller. According to one observer, "In a word, they want to be baptized, but to live as they wish, to be Christians only in name" (quoted in Kessell 1970:146).

Five years later, however, interim Governor Joseph Tienda de Cuervo ordered the resettlement of the San Pedro Sobaipuris after consulting with Visitor General Lizasoáin. Captain Francisco Elías González de Zayas, captain of Terrenate presidio, carried out the order in 1762. Two hundred fifty Sobaipuris—O'odham frontiersmen who had buffered the communities of the Santa Cruz Valley against the Apaches for at least three generations—abandoned the San Pedro and settled at Soamca, Sonoita, and Tucson. Spanish authorities soon learned to regret that decision as Apache attacks intensified. A year later, Spanish settlers in the San Luis Valley asked Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, captain of Fronteras presidio, for permission to move downstream, closer to the presidio of Tubac. Soon the ranches of San Luis, Buenavista, and Santa Bárbara were also deserted. In 1768, Soamca itself had to be abandoned after Apaches set fire to the homes of the thirteen O'odham families living there and punched a hole through the wall of the church, defiling its statues (Kessell 1970, 1976; Hadley and Sheridan 1995). Through disease and assault, the Pimería Alta was collapsing inward upon itself.

Oacpicagigua and his confederates may have thought they could drive the Spaniards from the Pimería Alta, but the course of the rebellion revealed how deeply divided the O'odham were. This was due in part to the autonomous nature of O'odham society at contact. No overarching tribal organization linked Sobaipuris to Sobas, Gileños to Himeris. Spanish administration and Jesuit missionization may have imposed a certain degree of unity on O'odham communities through institutions such as the captaincy-general, but those institutions did not endure. Moreover, the appointment of O'odham to offices of European origin—gobernador, alcalde, fiscal, mador—factionalized O'odham society, generating cultural and political tensions among and within individuals. Although it would be hard to demonstrate, missionaries may have favored families sympathetic to Jesuit control with better lands and greater access to mission goods and surpluses.

The very act of dividing mission lands themselves ruptured prehispanic O'odham relations of production. Before the blackrobes arrived, groups of families related through male lines enjoyed customary use rights to arable stretches of the floodplain and areas along arroyos where runoff agriculture could be practiced. Family groups may also have returned year after year to areas where mesquite, saguaros, agaves, or acorns were abundant. But land was not considered the property of individuals or even family groups. Village councils composed of adult males made sure that households had access to the land they needed and resolved disputes when they arose. If a family line died out, the council would distribute its land to another family in the village. Because desert resources were scattered across the landscape, sharing and consensus were the governing principles of O'odham land tenure (Underhill 1939).

It is always a little treacherous to draw assumptions about past values and behaviors from ethnographic research carried out in the twentieth century. Mounting evidence of conflict among the Hohokam in the late Classic period indicates that cooperation and consensus may not always have governed O'odham resource use. Hohokam elites probably did extract surplus from Hohokam commoners. By the late seventeenth century, however, there is little evidence of pronounced social stratification among the O'odham. An ideology of exchange seems to have replaced a hierarchical ideology of accumulation as evidenced by the platform mounds and mortuary practices of the Late Classic.

O'odham perceptions of the landscape—and their right to exploit it—also differed in fundamental respects from those of the Jesuits trying to change them. According to ethnobiologist Amadeo Rea, "From myth to medicine, the Pimas' metaphor of themselves was as part of the desert, a component of it rather than something separate—and especially not superior to it. Personal and community health were viewed as part and parcel of the larger natural community" (Rea 1997:42).

The Jesuits attempted to impose the notion of a surplus-generating theocratic community upon this "natural" community. Jesuit ideals were based in part on the peasant corporate communities that continued to survive throughout Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Land, water, and "natural" resources of the landscape such as timber, fuel wood, stone, and wild plants belonged to the community, not individuals or households. Hijos del pueblo (natives of the community) enjoyed birthrights to those resources, but those birthrights were usufruct rights, not private property rights. Arable land was divided into plots assigned to individual households. Non-arable land was accessible to all hijos del pueblo to graze their livestock, gather firewood, harvest wild plants, hunt game, and collect building material.

In contrast to peasant corporate communities, however, the Jesuits ran mission herds and reserved part of the arable land base as a común. Each household was supposed to labor on that común or care for mission livestock a certain number of days each week. The crops and livestock from mission fields and mission herds were stored in mission granaries for hard times or traded to obtain goods, especially cloth, that the Indians of the mission could not produce themselves (Radding 1997).

Missionaries, not Indians, controlled such surpluses. Radding (1997) argues convincingly that the coercive power of the missionaries was rarely absolute. She points out that Indians resisted labor on the comunes and rarely cultivated more than a fraction of mission lands. If mission discipline grew too onerous, Indians fled to the monte (wildlands) or migrated to work on Spanish mines and haciendas. Radding's analysis of sales and expenditures for Opata and Eudeve missions also suggests that Indians were able to negotiate substantial gifts of cloth from the Jesuits in return for their labor. Jesuit missions were not the self-sufficient, smoothly running theocracies romanticized by Herbert Eugene Bolton and his students.

Nonetheless, European lines were being drawn across the O'odham landscape, dividing fields within missions, dividing one mission from another, carving Spanish ranchos out of O'odham territory. These divisions of space were accompanied by divisions of time—three days a week of labor, at least in theory, in mission fields or estancias (stock ranches), three days a week in household fields. These were critical first steps in the commodification of both land and labor in the Upper Santa Cruz Valley. The contraction of the O'odham world was therefore occurring at the same time as the subdivision of the O'odham world along axes of both space and time.

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Last Updated: 12-Mar-2007