Akimel O'odham/Pima Community & Tohono O'odham/Papago Community
The Akimel O'odham community's traditional homelands lie in the Gila River drainage in central Arizona. They practiced dry and irrigation farming and stewarded the drought-tolerant heritage cotton plants that took their colonial name of Pima. The films in this section represent a distinct genre of midcentury educational film: those sponsored by individuals invested in perceived social uplift. Such films often draw upon contemporary stereotypes, and foreground the role of the government in Native life. Of particular interest here are methods of mesquite bean harvest and milling. Note: Akimel O'odham people have in the past been referred to as "Pima." We have maintained this term for discoverability and historical context, but we do not condone its use.
The Tohono O'odham people's traditional homeland lies in the Sonoran desert, with lands now situated in the states of Sonora, Mexico and Arizona, USA. The desert has traditionally provided food, housing, material objects, and cosmology to the O'odham people The films in this collection were made for the educational audience, to be shown in mainstream K-12 classrooms in the middle years of the 20th century. In some cases, filmmakers believed that child protagonists would make the film narrative more relatable to child audiences. Locations and even the faces of some children in these films have been identified by O'odham community members. Note: Tohono O'odham people have in the past been referred to as "Papago." We have maintained this term for discoverability and historical context, but we do not condone its use.
Films are open to the public via a combined unrestricted community protocol. We will happily restrict a film to either Akimel O'odham or Tohono O'odham community's protocols at any point upon request.
Akimel O'odham/Tohono O'odham dictionary words were derived from Tohono 'O'Odham-English Dictionary (Madeleine Mathiot, et al./University of Buffalo) Volume I and Volume II, as well as http://www.native-languages.org/papago.htm. Contributed by Melissa Dollman, who is a neither a Akimel O'odham nor a Tohono O'odham speaker. We very much welcome community vetting of these vocabulary words, and recommendations for additional resources.