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Xalychidom Piipaash (Maricopa) People

[PHOTO - Maricopa Pottery]

The Maricopa people were small bands living along the lower Gila and Colorado rivers. Each of these bands migrated eastward at different times. The Xalychidom (Maricopa of Lehi), left around 1825-1830.

The last of these bands is said to have left the Colorado River in the late 1830's. Eventually these bands came together and became collectively known as the Maricopa.

As they migrated eastward, they came upon the Pima tribe and established a relationship. Both tribes provided protection against the Yuman and Apache tribes.

Some of the Maricopa (mostly Xalychidom Piipaash) began migrating to the area now known as Lehi on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, because water from the Gila River was becoming scarce. When the Salt River Indian Community was established in 1879, the reservation included both tribes within these boundaries.

The Maricopa Tribe is known for their red clay pottery work. Various jars and bowls were created for essential needs, made of natural materials. The clay was collected at various locations throughout the area. Natural dyes were used to depict geometrical designs. Maricopa pottery artwork can be viewed at the Community's Hoo-hoogam Ki Museum