By Natale A. Zappia
The Colorado River area looms huge within the heritage of the yankee West, extremely important within the designs and goals of Euro-Americans because the first Spanish trip up the river within the 16th century. yet as Natale A. Zappia argues during this expansive research, the Colorado River basin needs to be understood first as domestic to a posh Indigenous international. via three hundred years of western colonial cost, Spaniards, Mexicans, and americans all encountered significant Indigenous borderlands peopled by means of Mojaves, Quechans, Southern Paiutes, Utes, Yokuts, and others, certain jointly via political, fiscal, and social networks. studying an enormous cultural geography together with southern California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Sonora, Baja California, and New Mexico, Zappia exhibits how this inside international pulsated in the course of the centuries prior to and after Spanish touch, solidifying to create an self reliant, interethnic Indigenous area that increased and tailored to an ever-encroaching worldwide marketplace economy.
Situating the Colorado River basin firmly inside our knowing of Indian nation, Traders and Raiders investigates the borders and borderlands created in this interval, connecting the coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific worlds with an unlimited Indigenous continent.
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Additional resources for Traders and Raiders: The Indigenous World of the Colorado Basin, 1540-1859
13 Several oral traditions have recorded these same events. Quechans, for example, recount the story of Kwikumat and Blind-Old-Man, the creators of all Yuman speakers. Kwikumat and Blind-Old-Man emerged from a large body of water (either Lake Cahuilla or the Gulf of California) and  native histories and the interior world competed over creating the first man and woman. Kwikumat created the Quechans, Kumeyaays, Cocopahs, and Maricopas and instructed Quechan women to marry Quechan men. When one refused, indicating interest in a more handsome Cocopah, Kwikumat angrily destroyed all the Yuman speakers (except the Quechans) by flooding the world with water.
Centers of activity dotted the landscape, including towns among the Chumash, Quechan, Akimel O’odham, Yokuts, Hopi, and Zuni. During the sixteenth century, resource intensification among these groups corresponded with the effects of the Little Ice Age.
Cultivators selectively burned underneath oaks to suppress weeds, disease, and insect pests (which diverted nutrients away from the trees and acorns), force limb growth upward away from the ground (to deter easy access for competing rodents), and clear brush (to allow for easier acorn gathering). Annually set fires also encouraged the growth of edible mushrooms and deer grass (prized for basket making). This carefully controlled management led to huge orchards containing large, acorn-abundant oaks (many at least 100 years old) within extensive grassy fields throughout the San Joaquin Valley and Tehachapi/Sierra Nevada foothills.