Native American Photographs by Edward S. Curtis

Pima Indians

Pima Indian Photos by Edward S. Curtis

Tribal Summary

Dress

The primitive dress of the Pima Indian men consisted of a loin-cloth in summer, and during cold weather the addition of a blanket or robe. The women wore a short cotton shirt of their own weaving, and in winter a shawl of the same material. Sandals were sometimes worn when travelling. The hair of both sexes was worn loose and flowing. This primitive dress has been almost entirely supplanted by American and Mexican clothing.

Dwelling

The typical Pima house is a dome-shaped structed about seven feet high and fifteen feet in diameter, built over a circular excavation twelve to eighteen inches deep, in the center of which are erected four crotch posts, about five feet apart. Two heavy roof timbers on these posts supposed stout cross-beams. Ribs of mesquite, lashed to horizontal poles which run around the outside like hoops, extend from roof timbers to the base of the excavation. The whole is thatched with arrow-brush and covered with clay, leaving only one small opening on the eastern side at the base as a doorway.

Food

Primitive foods were largely vegetable; in fact there were few plants of the region that did not contribute to the Pima food supply. They used mesquite beans, iron-wood beans, fruit from numerous varieties of cactus, many kinds of berries, grass seeds, and roots; deer, rabbits, birds, and fish were also eaten.

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