O'odham Himdag (Culture)

Traditional O'odham Lands

For thousands of years, Tohono O'odham traversed the area from the Sonoyta Valley in Mexico to the Gila-Salt Basin of Arizona, an area known as the Papagueria. In the 18th Century, the boundaries of the O'odham territory were identified as extending from the Colorado River on the west; the Gulf of California in the southwest; the Rio Magdelena and Rio Concepcion in the South; the San Pedro River and Rio San Miguel on the east; and the Gila River to the North. The traditional O'odham lands had by then became subjected to Spain's conquest and then became a part of the territory of the Republic of Mexico. Subsequently, Apache raids, Spanish settlers, missions, and the expansion of this map shows the boundaries of the traditional O'odham land base. the United States' population took away O'odham lands piece by piece. Over a period of some 300 years, the O'odham would see their vast land base shrink to 2.7 million acres in Southern Arizona and their families split in half, divided by the international border between Mexico and the United States.