Open Access Articles- Top Results for Hualapai


For other uses, see Hualapai (disambiguation).
Ta'thamiche, a Hualapai
Total population
1,965 (2010)
Regions with significant populations
Hualapai Indian Reservation, 23x15px Arizona
Hualapai, English
Indigenous, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Yavapai, Havasupai

The Hualapai or Walapai (Hualapai: Hwalbáy[1]) are a tribe of Native Americans who live in the mountains of northwestern Arizona, United States. Today they are enrolled in the Hualapai Indian Tribe of the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

The name, meaning "people of the tall trees", is derived from hwa:l, the Hualapai word for ponderosa pine[2] and pai “people”. Their traditional territory is a Script error: No such module "convert". stretch along the pine-clad southern side of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River with the tribal capital located at Peach Springs.


The community is governed by the Hualapai Tribal Council which includes a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and seven other council members. The Hualapai have a Tribal Court and Appellate Court to uphold the Hualapai Law and Order Code and Hualapai Constitution. Law enforcement is provided by the Hualapai Nation Tribal Police Department which came into existence in 2002. The department consists of a Chief Of Police, Deputy Chief, Criminal Investigator and 11 sworn, Arizona state certified Patrol Officers. Fire protection is provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the local volunteer fire department.


Health care is provided by the BIA with a small clinic on the reservation. Alcoholism and obesity are major problems among many Native American people, so there are community-wide anti-drug and anti-alcohol efforts. Hualapai people have the unique physical trait of having a normally low blood pressure. So low in fact is their normal blood pressure, that if the average person had their blood pressure they would be passed out. Shock (A condition of low blood pressure from loss of bodily fluids) is rarely found in tribe members. This unique trait is thought to be passed down from older generations who were nomadic. Those that could survive the longest without water passed that trait on to future generations. Diabetes is also common among tribe members.


The Hualapai language is a Pai branch of the Yuman–Cochimí languages, also spoken by the closely related Havasupai, and more distantly to Yavapai people. It is still spoken by most people over 30 on the Reservation as well as many young people. The Peach Springs School District runs a successful bilingual program for all local students, both Hualapai and non-Hualapai, in addition to immersion camps.


The Hualapai Indian Reservation (35°54′25″N 113°07′58″W / 35.90694°N 113.13278°W / 35.90694; -113.13278{{#coordinates:35|54|25|N|113|07|58|W|scale:1000000_source:GNIS | |name= }}), covering 1,142 square miles, was created by the Presidential Executive order of Chester A. Arthur on January 4, 1883.[3]

Average temperature and precipitation

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches


The tribal economy is based on tourism, river-rafting, cattle-ranching, hunting expeditions, and timber-cutting, as well as crafting of traditional and modern folk arts. Business matters are guided by the Hualapai Enterprise Board, a committee of independent, business-minded tribal members and non-members. Complete banking services are provided by Arizona's major financial institutions in Kingman.

Full-time employment is provided mostly through government programs.

Current growth

There has been rapid economic, social, and governmental progress.

  • More than 200 new homes have been built recently.
  • About 14 miles (23 kilometers) of town curbed.
  • An improved community water and sewer system provides infrastructure for future growth.
  • 300 streetlights were installed in 1999.


State taxes
The state of Arizona does not tax Indian lands and Indian-owned property on reservations. Incomes of Indians residing on reservations are not taxed by the state if they are wholly derived from reservation sources. Indian people of Arizona are also exempt from state and local sales taxes on consumer goods purchased on the reservation, unless such taxes are imposed by the tribal government. However, the state of Arizona collects taxes from reservation residents on sales of gasoline, electricity, natural gas, and telephone service.
Federal taxes
The federal government does not exempt individual Indians from income taxes or other federal taxes.

History and culture

File:Hualapai winter camp.jpg
A Hualapai winter camp, photographed by Edward Curtis, 1907.
File:Two Indian baskets on display, ca.1900 (CHS-3285).jpg
Two Hualapai baskets on display, ca.1900


Major traditional ceremonies of the Hualapai include the "Maturity" ceremony and the "Mourning" ceremony. Nowadays the modern Sobriety Festival is also celebrated in June.


The souls of the dead are believed to go northwestward to a beautiful land where plentiful harvest grow. This land is believed to be seen only by Hualapai spirits.

Traditional dress

Traditional Hualapai dress consists of full suits of deerskin and rabbit skin robes.

Traditional housing

Conical houses formed from cedar boughs using the single slope form called a Wikiup.

Reservation life

The Hualapai Reservation was created by executive order in 1883 on lands that just four regional bands considered as part of their home range, like the Yi Kwat Pa'a (Iquad Ba:' – “Peach Springs band”) or Ha'kasa Pa'a (Hak saha Ba:' - “Pine Springs band”). The other Hualapai regional bands (including the Havasupai) lived far away from the current reservation land.[4]

Hualapai War

The Hualapai War (1865–1870) was caused by an increase in traffic through the area on the Fort Mojave-Prescott Toll Road which elevated tensions and produced armed conflicts between the Hualapai and European Americans. The war broke out in May 1865, when the Hualapai leader Anasa was killed by a man named Hundertinark in the area of Camp Willow Grove and in March 1866. In response, a man named Clower was killed by the Hualapai, who also closed the route from Prescott, Arizona to the Colorado River ports due to the conflict. The most important and principal Hualapai leaders (called Tokoomhet or Tokumhet) at that time were: Wauba Yuba (Wauba Yuma of the Yavapai Fighters subtribe), Sherum (Shrum or Cherum of the Ha Emete Pa'a i.e. “Cerbat Mountain band” of the Middle Mountain People subtribe), Hitchi Hitchi (Hitchie-Hitchie of the Plateau People subtribe)[5] and Susquatama (Sudjikwo'dime, better known by his nickname Hualapai Charley, Hualapai Charlie, Walapai Charley or Walapai Charlie of the Middle Mountain People subtribe). It was not until William Hardy and the Hualapai leaders negotiated a peace agreement at Beale Springs that the raids and the fighting subsided. However, the agreement lasted only nine months when it was broken with the murder of Chief Wauba Yuba near present-day Kingman during a dispute with the Walker party over the treaty.

After the chief's murder, raids by the Hualapai began in full force on mining camps and settlers. The cavalry from Fort Mojave responded, with the assistance of the Mohave, by attacking Hualapai rancherias and razing them. The pivotal engagement took place in January 1868, when Captain S.B.M. Young, later joined in by Lt. Johnathan D. Stevenson, surprised the rancheria of Sherum with his more than one hundred warriors. Known as the Battle of Cherum Peak, it lasted all day. Stevenson fell in the first volley. The Hualapai managed to escape, but lost twenty-one warriors, with many more wounded. The Battle broke the military resistance of the Hualapai. The Hualapai began to surrender, as whooping cough and dysentery weakened their ranks, on August 20, 1868.[6] They were led by Chief Leve Leve (Levi-Levi, half-brother to Sherum and Hualapai Charley)[7] of the Amat Whala Pa'a (Mad hwa:la Ba:' - “Hualapai Mountains band”) of the Yavapai Fighters subtribe. The warrior Sherum, who was known for his tenacity as a warrior, later surrendered, thus marking the end of the Hualapai Wars in 1870. It is estimated that one-third of the Hualapai people were killed during this war either by the conflict or disease.[citation needed]

Hualapai bands and villages

File:Two young Walapai Indian mothers with their children on their backs, Hackbury, Arizona, ca.1900 (CHS-3176).jpg
Two young Walapai Indian mothers with their children on their backs, Hackbury, Arizona, c. 1900

Ethnically, the Havasupai and the Hualapai are one people, although today, they are politically separate groups as the result of U.S. government policy. The Hualapai (Pa'a or Pai) had three subtribes - the Middle Mountain People in the northwest, Plateau People in the east, and Yavapai Fighter in the south (McGuire; 1983). The subtribes were divided into seven bands (Kroeber; 1935, Manners; 1974), which themselves were broken up into thirteen (original fourteen)[8][9] regional bands or local groups (Dobyns and Euler; 1970).[10] The local groups were composed of several extended family groups, living in small villages:[11] The Havasupai were one band of the Plateau People subtribe.[12]

Plateau People (Ko'audva Kopaya)[13] (included seven bands in the plateau and canyon country east of the Grand Wash Cliffs, the eastern Hualapai Valley, this area include the current Hualapai Reservation, bands listed from west to east)

  • Mata'va-kapai (“Northern People”)
    • Haduva Ba:' (“Clay Springs band”)
    • Tafiika Ha'la Pa'a (Danyka Ba:', “Grass Springs band”)

Villages (were located along the edge of the Grand Wash Cliffs): Hadū'ba, Hai'ya, Hathekáva-kió, Huwuskót, Kahwāga, Kwa'thekithe'i'ta, Mati'bika, Tanyika'

  • Ko'o'u-kapai (“Mesa People”)
    • Qwaq We' Ba:' (“Hackberry band” or “Hackberry Springs band”)
    • He:l Ba:' (“Milkweed Springs band”)

Villages (the largest settlements were located near Milkweed Springs and Truxton Canyon): Crozier (American appellation), Djiwa'ldja, Hak-tala'kava, Haktutu'deva, Hê'l, Katha't-nye-ha', Muketega'de, Qwa'ga-we', Sewi', Taki'otha'wa, Wi-kanyo

  • Nyav-kapai (“Eastern People”, occupied the Colorado Plateau and canyon lands)
    • Yi Kwat Pa'a (Iquad Ba:' - “Peach Springs band”)
    • Ha'kasa Pa'a (Hak saha Ba:' - “Pine Springs band”, also known as “Stinking Water band”, joint use areas in the northeastern part of Hualapai territory with the Havasooa Pa'a band)[14]
    • Havasooa Pa'a (Hav'su Ba:', call themselves Havasu Baja or Havsuw’ Baaja - “People of the Blue Green Water”, also known as “Cataract Canyon band” of the Hualapai, today known as Havasupai)

Villages (not included are that of the Havasupai): Agwa'da, Ha'ke-takwi'va, Haksa', Hānya-djiluwa'ya, Tha've-nalnalwi'dje, Wiwakwa'ga, Yiga't

Middle Mountain People (Witoov Mi'uka Pa'a) (lived west of the Plateau People subtribe, ranged over the Cerbat and Black Mountains and portions of the Hualapai, Detrital, and Sacramento Valleys)

  • Soto'lve-kapai (“Western People”)
    • Wikawhata Pa'a (Wi gahwa da Ba:' - “Red Rock band”, lived in the northern portion of the area)
    • Ha Emete Pa'a (Ha'emede: Ba:' - “Cerbat Mountain band”, also known as “White Rock Water band”, lived in the southern portion of the area, principally in the Cerbat Mountains)

Villages (most settlements were located near springs along the eastern slopes of each mountain range): Chimethi'ap, Ha-kamuê', Háka-tovahádja, Hamte', Ha'theweli'-kio', Ivthi'ya-tanakwe, Kenyuā'tci, Kwatéhá, Nyi'l'ta, Quwl'-nye-há, Thawinūya, Waika'i'la, Wa-nye-ha', Wi'ka-tavata'va, Wi-kawea'ta, Winya'-ke-tawasa, Wiyakana'mo

Yavapai Fighters (occupied the southern half of the Hualapai country and were the first to fight the enemy Yavapai - called by the Hualapai Ji'wha', “The Enemy” - living direct to their south, bands listed from west to east)

  • Hual'la-pai (Howa'la-pai - “Pinery People”)
    • Amat Whala Pa'a (Mad hwa:la Ba:' - “Hualapai Mountains band”, inhabited the Hualapai Mountains east of present day Kingman westward to the Colorado River Valley)

Villages (were concentrated near springs and streams at the northern end of the range): Hake-djeka'dja, Ilwi'nya-ha', Kahwa't, Tak-tada'pa

  • Kwe'va-kapai (Koowev Kopai) (“Southern People”)
    • Tekiauvla Pa'a (Teki'aulva Pa'a - “Big Sandy River band”, also known as Haksigaela Ba:', occupied the reach of permanent river flow along the Big Sandy River between Wikieup and Signal, although ranged over in the adjacent mountain slopes)
    • Burro Creek band (lived on the southern tip of the territory of the Tekiauvla Pa'a, farmed along streams and throughout canyons and plateaus along both sides of Burro Creek, intermarried oft with adjacent Yavapai - therefore they were oft mistaken by the Americans for Yavapai)[15]

Villages: Chivekaha', Djimwā'nsevio', Ha-djiluwa'ya, Hapu'k, Kwakwa', Kwal-hwa'ta, Kwathā'wa, Tak-mi'nva

  • Hakia'tce-pai (“Mohon Mountain People”, also known as Talta'l-kuwa, occupied rugged mountain country)
    • Ha Kiacha Pa'a (Ha gi a:ja Ba:' - “Mohon Mountains band”, also known as “Mahone Mountain band”, lived in the Mohon Mountains)
    • Hwalgijapa Ba:' (“Juniper Mountains band”, lived in the Juniper Mountains)

Villages: Hakeskia'l, Hakia'ch, Ka'nyu'tekwa', Tha'va-ka-lavala'va, Wi-ka-tāva, Witevikivol, Witkitana'kwa

See also

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  1. ^ Watahomigie, Lucille, Jorigine Bender, Akira Yamamoto, University of Los Angeles. Hualapai reference grammar. 1982.
  2. ^ The Hualapai Tribe Website. Accessed 2011-07-25.
  3. ^ Executive order
  4. ^ At the Crossroads of Hualapai History, Memory, and American Colonization: Contesting Space and Place
  5. ^ Walapai - Sociopolitical Organization
  6. ^ National Register of Historic Places
  7. ^ often Leve Leve is mistaken for a Yavapai leader - but he is actually only a band leader of the Yavapai Fighters subtribe, which were named for their fighting against the enemy Yavapai
  8. ^ of the original 14 Hualapai bands or local groups the Red Rock band had completely mixed with the other bands before European American contact and were therefore not recognized as a distinct band
  9. ^ Nina Swidler, Roger Anyon: Native Americans and Archaeologists: Stepping Stones to Common Ground, page 142, Alta Mira Press; 8. April 1997, ISBN 978-0761989011
  10. ^ People of the Desert, Canyons and Pines: Prehistory of the Patayan Country in West Central Arizona, P. 27 The Hualapai
  11. ^ John R. Swanton: The Indian Tribes of North America, ISBN 978-0-8063-1730-4, 2003
  13. ^ Thomas E. Sheridan: Arizona: A History, page 74, University of Arizona Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0816515158)
  14. ^ About the Hualapai Nation
  15. ^ Jeffrey P. Shepherd: We Are an Indian Nation: A History of the Hualapai People, University of Arizona Press, April 2010, ISBN 978-0816528288, page 142


Further reading

  • Billingsley, G.H. et al. (1999). Breccia-pipe and geologic map of the southwestern part of the Hualapai Indian Reservation and vicinity, Arizona [Miscellaneous Investigations Series; Map I-2554]. Reston, VA: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

External links