Native American Tribes: The Hualapai/Walapai

Figure 1.--The photo shows a Hualapai Indian school, presumably on their reservation, around 1900. Notice the boys and girls wear uniforms. Notice all the hats on the wall.

The Hualapai (Walapa/Walapai) are a small tribe which is part of Yuman family of tribes. This is a labguage or cultural contruct which before the development of DNA was one of the principal methods of grouping Native American peoples. This Yuman peoples are a related group of tribes who pursued lives along or near the Coloradoo River. The Yuman tribes shares a common creation myth which centered on Spirit Mountain/Wikahme located along the Colorado River near what is now Bullhead City, Arizona. The Hualapai descendened from a group archeologists call the Cerbat. The Hualapaisee themselves as part of a larger cultural group known as the Pai--the people. Archeologists have found evidence of the Pai civilization to the north around Hoover Dam which date the cultural group to about 600 AD. The Hualapai in their relatively isolated mountain homeland had very little contact with Europeans until after the Mexican War briought them into the United States. After the Civil War, Americans began to increasingly move Wet, including the Southwest. Conflicts with settlers led to the Hualapai War (1865-70). The conflict continued for 5 years because of the rugges, isolsted areas the tribe inhabited. The Mohave assiosted the U.S. calvary. It is believed that as many as one-third of the Hualapai perished in the War, not only in the fishing but as a result of epedemics. The Hualapai continue to live in the mountaneous area of northwestern Arizona. Hualapai means People of the Tall or Ponderosa Pines. The Hualapai are organized in seven bands. Each band was made up of a number of extended family groups who lived in small villages. The tribal reservation was created by Presidential executive order over a decade after the Hualapai War (1883). It consists of nearly 1-million acres along 108 miles of the Grand Canyon National Park in Coconino, Yavapai, and Mohave counties. The South and North Rim of Grand Canyon are part of the national park. Grand Canyon West is not part of Park, but locatedv on Hualapai Reservation. The Reservation terraine is quite varied, inclusing rolling grassland, forest, and rugged canyons. Their are peaks on the reservation over 7,300 feet--Aubrey Cliffs, which are located on the eastern portion of the reservation. The population on the reservation is about 1,600 people, avout 1,400 are tribal members. [2000 U.S. Census] Quite a number of tribal members live off the reservation. The total tribal membership is about 2,300 people. The tribal capital on the reservation is located at Peach Springs.


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Created: 11:23 PM 4/11/2011
Last updated: 11:23 PM 4/11/2011