Yuman


Yuman
/yooh"meuhn/, n.
1. a family of languages including the language shared by the Yuma and Mohave Indians and several other languages of the lower valley of the Colorado River.
adj.
2. of or pertaining to Yuman.
[1890-95; YUM(A) + -AN]

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people
      any of various Native American groups who traditionally lived in the lower Colorado River valley and adjacent areas in what are now western Arizona and southern California, U.S., and northern Baja California and northwestern Sonora, Mex. They spoke related languages of the Hokan language (Hokan languages) stock.

      Two major divisions of Yumans are recognized: the river Yumans, who lived along the lower Colorado and middle Gila rivers and whose major groups included, from north to south, the Mojave, Halchidhoma, Yuma, and Cocopa, together with the Maricopa in the middle Gila; and the upland Yumans, who inhabited what is now western Arizona south of the Grand Canyon and whose major groups included the Hualapai (Walapai), Havasupai, and Yavapai. Two other groups of Yuman-speaking people, the Diegueño and the Kamia (now known as the Tipai and Ipai), lived in what are now southern California and northern Baja California. The Kiliwa and Paipai still live in northern Baja California.

      Traditionally, the river Yumans were primarily farmers who lived in the Colorado and Gila river valleys. By placing their fields near the rivers, the Yumans took advantage of the annual floods that deposited rich burdens of silt on the flood plain; these locations also made irrigation unnecessary in what was otherwise an arid environment. The Maricopa were somewhat influenced by their neighbours, the Pima, and frequently allied with the Pima against other river Yumans such as the Mojave and the Yuma.

      The upland Yumans traditionally engaged in some farming, but a major part of subsistence was based on hunting and on gathering wild foods. The Havasupai were exceptions, partly because of contacts with the Hopi and partly because of their location in Cataract Canyon, a side canyon of the Grand Canyon. The creek flowing through this canyon made extensive farming possible through irrigation. Unlike other Yumans, the Havasupai were very peaceful. The Yavapai, on the other hand, frequently allied themselves with bands of western Apache for raiding and were sometimes called Yavapai-Apache.

      All Yuman peoples were similar in choosing to live in dispersed settlements or hamlets rather than in villages, in adopting loose forms of political organization rather than a centralized authority, and in their material culture, which included pottery. Yuman religion was characterized by belief in a supreme creator, faith in dreams, and use of song narratives in ritual and ceremony.

      Early 21st-century population estimates indicated some 9,000 individuals who identified themselves as Yumans.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Yuman — Yu man, a. Designating, or pertaining to, an important linguistic stock of North American Indians of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, nearly all agriculturists and adept potters and basket makers. Their usual dwelling is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yuman — [yo͞o′mən] n. 1. a member of a group of North American Indian peoples of the SW U.S. and NW Mexico 2. the family of languages spoken by these peoples, including Yuma adj. designating or of these peoples or their languages or cultures …   English World dictionary

  • Yuman — The Yuman people are a group of Native American ethnic groups of the Yuman Cochimí language family. The historic Yuman speaking peoples in this region were skilled warriors and active traders, maintaining exchange networks with the Pima in… …   Wikipedia

  • Yuman — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Yuma. Les Yuman sont un groupe amérindien de la famille linguistique ethnique Yuman Cochimí. Ils sont originaires de Haute et Basse Californie (Mexique). Le peuple historique parlant Yuman dans cette région… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Yuman — noun Etymology: Yuma Quechan (member of a Yuman speaking people of the lower Colorado River valley), from Spanish, from O odham yu•mĭ Date: 1891 an American Indian language family of southwestern United States and northern Mexico • Yuman… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Yuman — /ˈjumən/ (say yoohmuhn) noun 1. a Native American linguistic stock of the south western US. –adjective 2. of or relating to the Yuman …   Australian English dictionary

  • yuman — yu·man …   English syllables

  • Yuman — Yu•man [[t]ˈyu mən[/t]] n. peo a family of languages spoken by American Indian peoples of the lower Colorado River valley and adjacent areas in W Arizona, S California, and N Baja California …   From formal English to slang

  • Yuman — I noun a group of language of the Hokan family in Arizona and California and Mexico • Hypernyms: ↑Hokan, ↑Hoka • Hyponyms: ↑Akwa ala, ↑Cochimi, ↑Cocopa, ↑Cocopah, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Yuman–Cochimí languages — Yuman–Cochimí Yuman Geographic distribution: Colorado River basin and Baja California Linguistic classification: Hokan ? Yuman–Cochimí Subdivision …   Wikipedia


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