O'odham Himdag (Culture)

The 4 Oʼodham Nations of Arizona

The word O’odham translates to “people.” There are 4 groups of O’odham whose names are based on either where or how they live:

  • Tohono O’odham - Desert People
  • Akimel O’odham - River People
  • Hia Ced O’odham - Sand People
  • Ak Chin - Arroyo Mouth

Because of the vastness of traditional O’odham land, there are variances among the different types of O'odham. Many O'odham groups varied in their lifestyles due to how close they lived next to rivers or access to water. Some people stayed in one place all year long due to the fact that they lived next to rivers. Other O'odham were semi-nomadic in that they moved from the flood plains at the mouths of the arroyos and then moved to moved to winter camps. Many O'odham varied their lifestyle based on some of these variances. O'odham people often consider what type of O'odham they are and base their community affiliation on what part of O'odham country they grew up on, and what group of O’odham they belong to.

Ak Chin Indian Community  |   Gila River Indian Community  |   Salt River Indian Community  |   Tohono O'odham Nation