Cocopah

Cocopah
Xawiƚƚ kwñchawaay
Middle Sky, Cocapah.jpg
Middle Sky, Cocapah, photo by Frank A. Rinehart, 1899
Total population
1,009 in the United States (2010)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Mexico
( Baja California and  Sonora)
 United States ( Arizona)
Languages
Cocopah, English, Spanish
Religion
Traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
other Yuman peoples
A Cocopah man and a Cocopah woman

The Cocopah, also Cucapá (in Cocopa: Kwapa or Kwii Capáy - "Cloud People" referring to the fog along the Colorado River), are Native Americans who live in Baja California and Sonora, Mexico, and in Arizona in the United States.

The Cocopah language belongs to the Delta–California branch of the Yuman family. The Spanish term for Cocopah is Cucapá. Their self-designation is Xawiƚƚ kwñchawaay, translating to “Those Who Live on the Cloudy River” (from Xawíƚƚy - "river", kwii - "cloud", (ny)way - "to live", llyay/nyaam - "many"). According to the US Census, there were 1,009 Cocopah in 2010.[1]

History

Cocopah traditional territory on the Colorado River and the Gulf of California

Pre-Contact

Ancestors of the Cocopah inhabited parts of present day Arizona, California, and Baja California and are known by western academics as belonging to the Patayan culture. Patayan is a term used by archaeologists to describe prehistoric Native American cultures who inhabited parts of modern-day Arizona, west to Lake Cahuilla in California, and in Baja California, between 700–1550 A.D. This included areas along the Gila River, Colorado River and in the Lower Colorado River Valley, the nearby uplands, and north to the vicinity of the Grand Canyon.They are mostly likely ancestors of the Cocopah and other Yuman-speaking tribes in the region. The Patayan peoples practiced floodplain agriculture where possible and relied heavily on hunting and gathering.

Post Contact

The first significant contact of the Cocopah with Europeans and Africans probably occurred in 1540, when the Spanish explorer Hernando de Alarcón sailed into the Colorado River delta. The Cocopah were specifically mentioned by name by the expedition of Juan de Oñate in 1605.

Other Languages
български: Кокопа
català: Cocopes
Deutsch: Cocopa
español: Cucapá
italiano: Cocopah
മലയാളം: കോക്കോപ
polski: Kokopa
русский: Кокопа
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Cocopa
Tiếng Việt: Cocopah