QUOTES FROM "THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN by Edward Curtis: Qahatika Girl"

"About forty miles due south of the Pima reservation, in five small villages, one sees a type of the true desert Indian-the Qahatika. When or why they separated from their Pima kindred on the Gila and wandered into this inhospitable desert is a question on which even Indian tradition is vague."

"One traversing this region would have cause to wonder how a human being could wrest from so barren a land the necessities of life. It is only the life of meager requirement that could exist here; fortunately it is a land of warmth and sunshine, requiring little clothing… By gleaning the whole desert of its plant and animal products, they managed to eke out an existence, becoming in time not only satisfied, but quite attached to their desolate, inhospitable surroundings…Their never ending struggle with the hostile desert seems to have left its mark on the Qahatika and has made them as repellent as the thorny vegetation itself."

"They still depend mainly upon the natural food supply, such as mesquite pods and cactus fruits. In locating their villages they selected spots where the natural drainage of a large area concentrates, hence they depend wholly on storm water for their crops. Theirs might well be termed ‘dry farming.’"

"Qahatika handicraft shows considerable skill, particularly in pottery, many forms of which are made." 

 

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