Surviving Conquest: A History of the Yavapai Peoples

By Timothy Braatz | Go to book overview

5
Homelands

We stay at San Carlos, maybe 30 years. After 30 years, the chief,
Marshall Pete, told us, “It is time to go home. If we stay longer, the
White people are going to move us to Texas, Oklahoma, maybe some
place across the ocean.” He told us, “I grease my wagon already. If
you hear a wagon early in the morning, you get your wagons and
follow me.” That’s what my people, the Yavapai, did. They left San
Carlos with their wagons early in the morning…. I asked my father,
“You have lots of cattle over there in San Carlos. Why you go away and
leave it?” He said, “I left cattle over there. But that cattle aint worth my
homeland. The land isn’t going to wear out. I will keep it all my life.”
And my grandmother said, when she was over there in San Carlos,
she sure was thinking of home—always. “Wigidjisawa (Superstition
Mountain) and Wigitjassa (Four Peaks), that is in my heart all the
time,” she said.1

My father went to Washington years ago, asked for that land and they
give it to him. Now this community all around want to push me out.
They get me out, where am I going to be? Got no place to go, but I
can’t trade my land for money. I don’t care how much money you
give me for my land, I won’t take it. That’s only good place right there
where I am so I can live in my country. I want to live there as long as
Ilive.2


The Call of Home

Yavapais began returning to familiar resource areas almost immediately after being removed from Rio Verde, if not before. On hearing they were to be relocated to San Carlos, some families fled Rio Verde and took refuge in remote mountains and canyons, joining those few Yavapais who had managed to evade U.S. troops and avoid surrender altogether. Others made their escape during the March of Tears. When some one thousand Yavapais arrived at San Carlos in March 1875, perhaps one hundred were still free, hiding out in remote areas such as the Oak Creek region of Wipukepa lands and the Castle Dome Mountains in southwestern Tolkepaya territory. Still

-195-

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Surviving Conquest: A History of the Yavapai Peoples
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Maps vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • A Note on Terminology xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Early Yavapai World 25
  • 2 - The Yavapai World Invaded 53
  • 3 - The Yavapai World Undone 85
  • 4 - Creating a New World 145
  • 5 - Homelands 195
  • Abbreviations 233
  • Notes 237
  • Bibliography 271
  • Index 295
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