13Just five years more than two centuries after the fall of the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan to the Spaniards, the first direct Spanish recording of the existence of the northern Piman settlement at Tchoowaka occurred. Father Joseph Agustín de Campos, Jesuit missionary at the Mission of St. Ignatius at Caburica some seventy miles to the south, wrote in 1726 that he had baptized a nursing infant at Tubaca on April 16 during a visit to the unmissionized north country (Libro de Bautismos de San Ignacio de Caburica p. 60).

By the 1720's the life of the northern Piman Indians had been considerably changed from the life-way of the 1520's. Full documentation of the scale of change does not exist, but important and illuminating hints do turn up scattered in early Spanish records. For example, when Father Phelipe Segesser undertook to visit the Tchoowaka Pimans from his new mission station of St. Francis Xavier at Bac where he had arrived in 1732, he found them only with difficulty. For the Tchoow aka Indians had fled their ranchería, leaving it partly burned, and Segesser's Indian companions had difficulty finding the new location of Tchoowaka in the thorny desert brush.

14The reason the Tchoowaka people set fire to their houses and fled was that one of their leaders had died (Treutlein 1945:158). This sort of behavior would not have been possible had the Tchoowaka people been possible living in substantial and relatively fire-proof puddled adobe houses, nor even had they resided in a walled community built on the kindred compound plan.  Puddled adobe houses represented a tremendous investment in labor, probably communal in nature, as the compound-style villages certainly were. Neither was compatible with a cultural trait of house-burning and abandonment because of the death of a resident. Most strikingly, massive sun-dried mud-walled settlements quite clearly could not have been abandoned wholesale by the entire population upon the death of one leader. Had the earlier northern Pimans behaved in such a manner, great adobe ruins would litter the southern Arizona landscape. Common sense tells one that the energy investment in one of the big sun-dried mud-walled settlements would have prohibited its inhabitants from burning and abandoning them because of the death of one individual, no matter how important, as a regular practice. As a matter of fact, the houses the Pimans were burning and fleeing in the 1730's were no longer houses requiring great investments of energy for construction. They were quite simple and quickly constructed tree-branch frames tied together with stout yucca leaves and covered with woven mats or grass thatch (DiPeso 1956:132) and lacked even the vestigial puddled-adobe entryway in all likelihood.

15During a period of two centuries the culture of the northern Piman Indians had undergone some very extensive modifications. The house type changed from complex structures requiring a large investment of human energy to a simpler, quickly built type which afforded less efficient protection from the elements. Moreover, the entire settlement pattern was altering from a large, sedentary and fixed location village to a smaller only semi-sedentary and impermanently fixed ranchería (DiPeso 1953:133). The social ties of much of northern Piman community life were considerably looser in the early 1700's than they had been two centuries earlier.

The key to these changes apparently lies in the reason for the behavior of the Tchoowaka Pimans in the 1700's-the death of a leader from disease. By the 1730's the northern Pimans had acquired a fear of death, a pattern of behavior when threatened with disease which they had not had in the early 1500's before the coming of the white man. In the prehistoric villages, death was not a spectre to the northern Pimans such that they fled from it. They cremated the corpses of their dead within their village compounds and buried the ashes there (DiPeso 1951:195-205) in neighborly association with yet-living relatives. Just as clearly, in the 1700 period death was a haunting spectre frightening the northern Pimans into flight from the vicinity of disease-riddled bodies and the places where those bodies had lived.

Northern Piman life-ways had radically altered during the two hundred years since the coming of the white man to 16North America, and altered for the worse. Life in the early 1700's was simpler but less satisfying, it was frightening and less secure both from direct threats such as disease and food shortages, and cumulative indirect threats resulting from the loss and deterioration of the aboriginal cultural equipment with which to meet and master the environment.

Causes of the deterioration of northern Piman culture and society during the two centuries after 1520 are not difficult to identify. Two major causes of northern Piman cultural changes following 1520 were the radical alternation of the disease-environment due to introduction of infectious organisms by Europeans, and the total destruction of the centres of native Indian cultural development, innovation and indoctrination by Spanish conquerors.

A. The Measles Epidemic of 1728-1729

Somewhere in southern New Spain (Mexico)-probably at one of the coastal ports such as Veracruz-epidemic measles appeared in 1728. During the ensuing epidemic "Mexico, as the most populous city in the kingdom, was that which felt the punishment of the measles the most" in 1728 (Alegre 1841: III:233). The scourge had reached northern Piman territory by the end of that year, and the Tchoowaka area by early 1729.

The mission at San Ignacio de Caburica was a key post in the spread of the disease northward and for documenting its effects. A perfect situation for rapid dissemination of 17infection existed when the epidemic struck San Ignacio. Numbers of northern Pimans from a variety of settlements farther north had come to San Ignacio to work. By January 13, Father Campos had to baptize twenty-two of these laborers in danger of death from their cases of measles (Libro de Bautismos del Partido de San Ygnacio de Caburica pp. 71-72). If twenty-two workers had to be baptized in periculo mortis, the number of cases of measles was certainly much larger. It is easy to picture these sick Indians returning to their home rancherías before they were aware of their infection, thus spreading the epidemic farther northward. Almost without doubt the Tchoowaka population was infected with measles from San Ignacio in January of 1729. The epidemic mortality at San Ignacio and environs ran over sixty per cent of all deaths recorded during the year 1729 (Libro de Entierros dese Pueblo de San Ygnacio... de 1697), and the number of cases recorded by Father Campos certainly was less than the actual mortality. The mortality rate at San Ignacio can be taken as a fair estimate of the mortality in other northern Piman settlements including Tchoowaka.

By February this epidemic was sweeping through the mission Indian populations of Lower California (Alegre 1841:III:236).

This historic evidence shows that the northern Pimans were living at this time in a very large "epidemic region" which extended from at least central Mexico to the farthest frontiers of Spanish sovereignty. Under such disease conditions, 18the behavior of the Tchoowaka Pimans in burning their houses and moving to a new ranchería site when anyone died in their settlement becomes easily understood, and appears to have been a fairly realistic sort of behavior given their knowledge-or lack of it-of the germ concept and the therapies of modern medical practice. Thus it becomes significant to enquire how long the northern Pimans had lived in such an "epidemic region" and how frequently that region was swept by infectious epidemics.

B. The Spanish "Epidemic Region"

The existence of a "New Spain Epidemic Region" corresponding to the area under Spanish sover-eignty through which infections were spread by the movement of Spanish officials and citizens, Indian traders, etc., dates from the first introduction of smallpox into Mexico in 1520 by a Negro in the Narvaez expedition. The size of this epidemic region thereafter depended upon the area which had been brought under Spanish political dominance plus bordering regions in close contact with that subjugated area.

So far as the northern Piman Indians are concerned, they had evidently formed a part of the New Spain epidemic region for many years prior to the measles epidemic of 1729. While there were permanent Spanish outposts with Europeans in residence only south and east of northern Piman territory, Jesuit priests with military escorts had made periodic visitations 19northward and westward from those outposts for many years. Most recently, Father Campos from Mission San Ignacio had led the northward probes of Spanish power on the western flank, and Father Ignacio Arzeo in charge of the fort of Fronteras led the eastern probes (Alegre 1841:III:230). Earlier the northern probes had been led by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino from his post at Mission Nuestra Señora de los Dólores de Cosari. Kino's first northward exploration through the Santa Cruz River Valley had come as early as 1691 (Bolton 1948:I:119).

Even before Kino established the first mission among the northern Pimas in 1687, these Indians had established sufficient contact with Spaniards and other missionized Indians to have been in all probability a part of the epidemic region. Northern Piman parents carried infants to older Jesuit missions to have them baptized long before Kino reached their own country. The mission at Cucurpe was one major point of contact between the northern Pimans and the Spaniards prior to 1687. Another important early contact centre was the visita of Arispe mission at Bacuachi, where many Piman-speaking Indians had come to be baptized, settled in the town for a period, and left again prior to the year 1678 (Ortiz Zapata 1678:16v). The periodic residence of Piman Indians as far southeast as Bacuachi when it was already a mission visita certainly linked the northern Pimans up with the Spanish epidemic region.

This pattern of northern Piman visits to Spanish outposts southeast of their territory continued into the 1720's when 20documentation of epidemic effects becomes reliable for the Piman country. Not only were the Indians visiting the Jesuit missionaries in the upper San Miguel and Magdalena river valleys, but also the secular priest serving as chaplain of the Royal Fort at Fronteras, to ask him to baptize their children (Alegre 1841:III:230).

Even earlier, Franciscan missionaries brought south from New Mexico had reached the southern settlements of the northern Pimans in 1645 (Schroeder 1956:102-103). Spanish civil authorities were operating in central Sonora by that time (Alegre 1841:II:243) so there is every likelihood that the paths of epidemic infection had been opened to the northern Piman settlements by that time. In fact, it is possible that the northern Pimans were brought into this epidemic region even before, since Piman mothers took infants to the Jesuit missions on the Sonora River prior to the arrival of the Franciscans (ibid., II:265). The central Mexican epidemic region had expanded to the borders of southern Sonora long before, and once the military barrier of the Yaqui tribe was bypassed by acceptance of Jesuit missionaries by that tribe in 1617, the coastal desert trails were at least sufficiently open to travel to enable spread of infections northward.

Somewhat earlier the settlement of the Rio Grande River Valley in north central New Mexico by Juan de Oñate in 1598 had established a reservoir of infection to the east of northern Piman territory, especially as the annual supply caravans from the City of Mexico renewed the supply of germs in 21New Mexico and the outposts established along the Cordillera to protect its supply line. In fact, the northern Pimans were oriented much more toward these outposts such as Janos and Corodéguachi prior to the arrival of Father Kino than they were to the southern Sonoran settlements. The Cordillera forts were the nearest centres of Spanish military power, and it was from them that the northern Pimans were regulated for many years prior to their missionization (Hackett 1926:II:231). There was even direct trade between the New Mexican Spaniards and the northern Pimans as already mentioned (Bolton 1948:II:257) but that was probably initiated after the Franciscan missionization attempt in 1645 and it terminated prior to the arrival of Jesuit missionaries among the northern Pimans in 1687 and later years.

C. The Aboriginal "Epidemic Region"

Before the expansion of the Spanish epidemic region to include northern Piman territory around 1600, the northern Pimans were probably cut off from the older Spanish-controlled area sufficiently to escape some or all of the effects of infectious epidemics there. Earlier, however, the northern Pimans had been part of a large pre-Spanish epidemic area dating from aboriginal times.

The existence of such an aboriginal epidemic region cannot be proved with the certainty that the later Spanish region can, yet available evidence argues very strongly it did exist. 22That the Santa Cruz River Valley Pimans maintained close intersettlement contacts has already been stated. This intimacy of inter-settlement contact and the speed with which infection could be spread through northern Piman society and beyond at the end of the aboriginal period can actually be documented to some extent. Two Spanish expeditions which left surviving records penetrated the eastern and western edges of northern Piman country in the year 1540. Fernando Alarcón was charged with shipping supplies for the land expedition under Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, sailing north along the Gulf of California coast. Reaching the mouth of the great Colorado River, Alarcón took twenty men in two boats to explore upstream. He found native southwestern Indian society in a peasant stage of very close inter-settlement communication providing ideal conditions for rapid diffusion of infection.

On the one hand, Alarcón discovered individuals of two language groups in the same riverain settlements. Specifically he found western Piman-speaking Indians residing or visiting in riverain Yuman settlements with freedom and amity. This conclusion is based on his experience in attempting to communicate with the Indians he encountered along the river. Alarcón carried with him an Indian interpreter brought from central Mexico. He had sailed from Navidad (Winship 1896:478) a port on the coast of Colima. Given the area of Spanish sovereignty in 1540, this Indian was almost certainly 23 a Nahuatl speaking Indian. On the Colorado River he could not understand the language of the bulk of the natives (Alarcón 1904:IX:286, 289, 293, 295) who were Yuman-speaking in later times and evidently were in 1540. Every now and again Alarcón's interpreter encountered a native whose language he could understand, and with these individuals Alarcón conversed through him (ibid., p. 289, 298, 301, 306-307). These intelligible individuals were evidently northern Pimans, whose Uto-Aztecan tongue is sufficiently close to Nahuatl to allow at least some mutual intelligibility. One of the terms Alarcón recorded as designating a native group, Quicoma (ibid., IX:300) was surely his rendition of his interpreter's pronunciation of the northern Piman term for non-Piman speaking Indians for whom no other group designation is known. In modern Pápago this "strangers" term is Kikimai.

Mutual intelligibility between Nahuatl and northern Piman is not as far-fetched as might appear at first blush. A Pápago tribal chairman who visited the City of Mexico to participate in an Inter-American Indian Institute in 1940 claimed that he could understand some words of Nahuatl as still spoken on the streets of the city, and mutual intelligibility must have been considerably greater four hundred years earlier, especially since occasional direct contacts between Piman and Nahuatl speakers may well have occurred during aboriginal times. Wagner (1924:384) reached essentially the same conclusion, inferring that Alarcón's interpreter "probably spoke the Sobaipura dialect." 24 Since only Esteban, who was dead, and Fray Marcos had seen Sobaipuris by the time Alarcón sailed, he manifestly could not have found a Sobaipuri speaker. Wagner was certainly correct if he meant that Alarcón's interpreter was able to understand northern Piman and make himself intelligible to northern Pimans.

One of the Indians to whom Alarcón's interpreter could talk departed from the Spaniards for several days, reappearing as Alarcón ascended the river on his second voyage to present the Spanish leader

with what the native obviously regarded as a very precious gift-some parrot feathers (Alarcón 1904:IX:312). The practice of growing caged macaws for their feathers for ceremonial use and trade survived among the desert Pá pagos as late as the early 1700's (Wyllys 1931:129) but there is no evidence known to the author that the riverain Yumans ever engaged in this practice. Thus the conclusion that the Indians Alarcón's interpreter could speak with were northern Pimans is strengthened by several bits of supporting evidence.

If the western groups of northern Pimans had intimate social intercourse with the Yuman tribes, peoples of a different language and culture, there is every reason to suppose that in aboriginal times the eastern groups of northern Pimans engaged in even more visiting and migration between their own settlements. That the eastern riverain Pimans were equally or more cosmopolitan is suggested by Fray Marcos' meeting 25with a political refugee from Zuñi among the Sobaipuris in 1539 (Bandelier 1904:218). This supposition gains support from the fact that the eastern northern Pimans prehistorically allowed western Pueblos to settle in their territory for a time (Winship 1896:516; DiPeso 1958:19-21). Alarcón not only encountered one Piman-speaker on the Colorado River who had visited Zuñi (Alarcón 1904:IX:299) himself, but he also heard of two northern Pimans who lived eight days farther east who had started for Zuñi but turned back on the advice of still other northern Pimans from that area who were returning (ibid., IX:307).

This pattern of inter-village visiting and population exchange, extending not only throughout the northern Piman settlements but even to neighboring tribes of very different language and customs, combined with frequent trading expeditions evidenced by the widespread use of shell, copper tinklers, macaw and parrot feathers, salt, and so on, provide good indication that northern Piman society in aboriginal times and as late as 1540 was a surplus-producing, socially-energetic peasant type sedentary agricultural society. As such, its settlement patterns and communications patterns made it a fertile field for infectious epidemics.

The speed with which infection could spread through this society is indicated in another experience of Alarcón's which amplifies the picture of northern Piman society in 1540. Alarcón heard the news of Vásquez de Coronado's arrival at 26Zuñi Pueblo only a few days over two months after the event. Alarcón heard clear news of Vásquez at Zuñi on September 8 (ibid., IX:306-307) and the latter's advance reached there on July 7 (Winship 1896:564). That news had to be carried back from Zuñi across a long unpopulated stretch of territory to the Sobaipuri settlements on the lower San Pedro River and then transmitted through the Gila River Pima villages and/or the desert Pápago rancherías to the Colorado River settlements in order to reach Alarcon's ears. It had to travel across a distance of several hundred miles, but if news could move that fast, so could contagion, for most of the trails between Zuñi and the Colorado River delta country in 1540 led through settled territory. One old Piman Alarcón met who claimed to have visited Zuñi out of curiosity told the Spaniard Zuñi lay forty days away (Alarcón 1904:IX:299) and another Piman counted only ten days because that was all the unpopulated territory to be crossed-the rest was all inhabited (ibid., IX:308).

This being the situation among the northern Pimans, the question arises as to how closely this tightly knit peasant society was tied to similar societies over a larger region. The answer is that while barbaric tribes with a harvesting-hunting economy ranged the uplands north of the northern Pimans and western Pueblos, southward stretched society after society of ever more sedentary and complex and civilized Indians until the Aztec and Mayan centres of civilization.

27There is no point in here belaboring the question of central Mexican influences on northern Piman society. The presence of material of Mexican origin such as copper tinklers and ceremonially buried military macaws in south western pre-Spanish sites, to cite only two more elegant examples, leaves no doubt of the direction in which cultural influences were moving. Even the most conservative archaeologist must needs admit this since the Arizona State Museum has uncovered a Mexican-style platform mound during its excavations for the National Park Service near Gila Bend (New York Times, February 9, 1959).

Southwestern Indians, northern Pimans included, were clearly undergoing steady and cumulative transculturation, from the centres of more complex society and civilization in central Mexico either directly or through intermediate societies. It is significant that Nuño de Guzmán was headed northwest toward northern Piman territory when circumstances stopped him at about central Sinaloa in 1531 (Bancroft 1884:I:365), lured on by tales he heard of gold and silver in the north. These stories were told Guzmán by a son of an Aztectrader who formerly bartered fine southern bird feathers for precious metals (Winship 1896:472). If Guzmán was not heading for the northern Pimans, he was seeking some people near them.

The large scale interchange of population between settlements either permanently or in the form of visiting, and 28very rapid communication across very long distances which existed at the northern Piman frontiers of barbarism became progressively more pronounced nearer the centres of civilization to the south. These conditions in 1540 can represent nothing save survival of pre-Spanish social practices which originated during prehistoric times.

One additional characteristic of aboriginal north American Indian society already implied in the previous discussion merits further explication. Peasant societies of the sort just outlined are characterized by large numbers of petty traders. North American Indians were no exception.

Whether the northern Pimans were affected by direct proselytizing by Aztec missionaries, they were certainly affected by the emissaries of commercial interests in the Aztec or neighboring Empires. Peripatetic traders formed an important occupational class in the society of the Aztec Empire, and traders could become wealthy men-probably at the expense of rustics like the northern Pimans "taken" in sharp deals for precious commodities such as macaws, parrot and macaw feathers, and tinklers. Master traders warned the beginner to expect hunger, thirst, exposure and exhaustion (Sahagun 1955: I:365), "great cold and insufferable heat" (ibid., I:366).

Some idea of the distance peripatetic Aztec traders traveled from Tenochtitlan may be gained from the family rituals observed by their families. While the trader was absent, his relatives forbore to wash their heads except at eighty day 29intervals (ibid., 1:369). If a trader took the northern trails, he could cover much of the distance between the Aztec capital and northern Piman country between head washings: The trader's son whose tales of silver and gold Guzmán followed to Culiacán claimed to have accompanied his sire once or twice on trading trips to the north which required forty days travel to reach the rich northern settlements (Winship 1896:473).

As a matter of fact, the political structure of the Aztec Empire constantly pushed Aztec traders farther and farther from the capital. Traders were utilized for political ends, being employed in the business of conquest because of their knowledge of geography, and the languages and cultures of unconquered Indians. To gain honors from the government, therefore, the trader had to keep pushing out beyond the conquered areas to discover new fields for profit and knowledge.  Moreover, once an area was annexed to the Empire, the tribute collected by the government tended to curtail opportunities for profitable trade so much that traders were forced to seek new markets beyond the political frontiers (Sahagún 1955:1: 111).

While no Aztec trader from Tenochtitlan or any other lake town may have ever actually set foot in Tchoowaka, other traders from urban centres nearer northern Piman country did. Perhaps Tarascan traders from the great independent Tarascan Empire reached the upper Santa Cruz River Valley. The large 30native towns at Autlan, Tama-zula, Tuxpan and Zapotlan in southern Jalisco sent numerous traders out over the trails.  They formed the greatest trading centre west of the Valley of Mexico prior to the Conquest (Sauer 1943:95-96).

The basic importance of bird feathers in this aboriginal commerce in which the northern Pimans periodically participated may be judged from the legendary origins of central Mexican trading and a commercial social class in the macaw and parrot plume trade (Sahagún 1955:II:103). The suitability of bird feathers for profitable commerce is readily apparent: what lighter burden could the peripatetic peddler sweating the brow-strap of his backpack dream of? According to Aztec legend, heavier trade-items such as turquoise, jadeite and cotton blankets were added to the trader's stock after feathers, and gold came even later.

What the northern Pimans could offer in exchange for the peripatetic traders treasures is problematical. They lacked the turquoise mines of the Pueblo Indians who traded turquoise ceremonial arrow points for macaw and parrot feathers (Bandelier 1904:156-157). Cotton probably sold cheaper farther south although the northern Pimans wove very good fabrics to trade. Their tanned trade hides (Bolton 1948:II: 257) were too heavy to attract the southern foot trader. Their macaw feathers probably had to move north to compete in the market. Possibly placer gold was their answer, or it may have been medicinal herbs such as jojoba (Piman hauhauwai) 31and contrayerba or other folk remedies such as deer stomach stones (ibid.). The tales of Nuño de Guzmán's trader's son about his father obtaining gold and silver in northern towns supports the idea the northern Pimans may have known how to find gold nuggets to finance their feather trade.

Under aboriginal conditions, then, ideal social situations for the spread of epidemic infections existed from the farther reaches of Mayan territory to the northern limits of northern Piman country. Sedentary agricultural settlements provided hot-house breeding conditions for contagion, and intersettlement visiting, population exchanges, and trading over long distances provided ideal conditions for rapid dissemination of infection. There can be little doubt that the northern Pimans were part and parcel-if the northwesternmost outpost-of an aboriginal epidemic region.

What the northern Pimans could offer in exchange for the peripatetic traders treasures is problematical. They lacked the turquoise mines of the Pueblo Indians who traded turquoise ceremonial arrow points for macaw and parrot feathers (Bandelier 1904:156-157). Cotton probably sold cheaper farther south although the northern Pimans wove very good fabrics to trade. Their tanned trade hides (Bolton 1948:II: 257) were too heavy to attract the southern foot trader. Their macaw feathers probably had to move north to compete in the market. Possibly placer gold was their answer, or it may have been medicinal herbs such as jojoba (Piman hauhauwai) 31and contrayerba or other folk remedies such as deer stomach stones (ibid.). The tales of Nuño de Guzmán's trader's son about his father obtaining gold and silver in northern towns supports the idea the northern Pimans may have known how to find gold nuggets to finance their feather trade.

Under aboriginal conditions, then, ideal social situations for the spread of epidemic infections existed from the farther reaches of Mayan territory to the northern limits of northern Piman country. Sedentary agricultural settlements provided hot-house breeding conditions for contagion, and intersettlement visiting, population exchanges, and trading over long distances provided ideal conditions for rapid dissemination of infection. There can be little doubt that the northern Pimans were part and parcel-if the northwesternmost outpost-of an aboriginal epidemic region.

That having been the case, it becomes important to know how long this aboriginal epidemic region endured. As the Alarcón, Vásquez de Coronado, and associated evidence prove, the northern Piman share of the system survived in 1540.  But the northwestern frontier saw a survival even at this period of conditions which no longer obtained at the former centres. The aboriginal epidemic region disintegrated during the decade prior to Vásquez' retreat, and the Alarcón-Vásquez contacts were too transitory either to maintain the aboriginal or to establish a new Spanish epidemic region as far north as northern Piman territory.

1. The Twilight of Indian Civilization

The aboriginal epidemic region which included the northern Piman Indians disappeared in the death throes of the Aztec empire and Indian civilization in what became Mexico.

The coming of white men to North America had nearly immediate repercussions in the life of the Indians of the upper Santa Cruz River Valley. This statement may appear rather far-fetched since no records exist of this area at the time of the initial Spanish conquests. Admittedly, this is inference. But it is based on realistic appraisal of the cultural and biological effects of the coming of Spaniards to the Aztec empire and the other native states.

Cultural Effects. The Aztec Empire was the principal political structure on the North American continent at the time of its conquest by Spaniards. It represented the political culmination of cultural elaboration within the area of native civilization. As such it represented the area of most complex native culture in North America and the place of origin of impulses toward change and emulation among other societies beyond the bounds of the empire proper. With the collapse of the Empire, the cultural impulses emanating outward from its capital city of Tenochtitlan stopped. When the religio-political superstructure of Empire toppled, the lesser nations without the law were left without a pattern to copy and strive toward. Moreover, the conquest thoroughly and permanently destroyed Tenochtitlan and the surrounding lakeside communities as centres of commerce and trade to 33outlying regions. The sheer loss of manpower during the bloody struggles of the conquest forever removed the far-ranging traders of Tenochtitlan from the scene. Thus the very core and nerve-centre of transculturation of the northern peasant Indians was rooted out by the conquest, not to be replaced by Spaniards for many decades.

The Spaniards did quickly expand their empire beyond the former limits of the Aztec Empire, conquering yet-independent Indian states on the fringes of the former domain which shared the central Mexican civilization. Within a few years of the fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521, these surrounding principalities fell under the Spanish yoke. The results were the same as in Tenochtitlan though the loss of lives was less. The centres of civilization and sophistication and cultural innovation and influence were brought under Spanish domination so they were no longer able to send impulses northward into the semi-civilized peasant societies such as that of the northern Pimans. Therefore these northern societies were left stagnating at the point of cultural elaboration which they had achieved in 1519 when Cortez landed at Veracruz.

The Spaniards conquered the civilized Mexican tribes or states in a semi- or wholly psychotic state of lust for power and social status in European society symbolized and effectuated by gold from Mexico. Therefore their initial interest in new conquests was in wresting from native hands all the mined and refined gold on hand, regardless of what artistic forms it may have been in. Their second interest was in 34driving all the natives possible into all the gold mines which could be located by search or by torturing Indians supposed to know the location of pre-conquest workings. This created a tertiary interest in Indian slave labor for personal services to furnish gratification of Spanish drives for "gentlemanly life" while still obliged to dwell in the wilds of the New World, and to mine and smelt and mint gold and later silver to finance a triumphant return to Spain of the gentleman slaver. Forced labor was obtained by the same tactics formerly employed by the conquering Aztecs-tribute labor and outright slavery.

The net effect of the psychological state of the conquering Spaniards on the native civilizations was the destruction of the very productive potential that the money-mad Europeans lusted after. No better example of the disruption of native cultural centres and communication lines with the north country where the Pimans lived can be found in all the annals of Spanish conquest than the West Coast plundering expedition of Nuño de Guzmán. Guzmán arrived at Pánuco as governor in the spring of 1527 with a good reputation (Bancroft 1883:II: 263). Feuding with Cortez, he became president of the audiencia of Mexico and in December of 1529 embarked on his epic of despoilation of the northwest. He marched into Michoacan with the friendly king of the Tarascans held hostage (ibid., II:344). Unable to wrest the secret of the king's presumed hoards of metal from him by torture, Guzmán had the monarch burned at the stake (ibid., II:346). News of this atrocity 35rippled through the native settlements like wildfire, putting large numbers to flight. Guzmán's forces advanced northwest beyond the area explored previously by Spaniards-who had begun by encroaching on areas already claimed by the Cortez faction-fighting whenever he could provoke natives to give battle. From Michoacan the expedition plundered into Jalisco (ibid., II:351). After Easter of 1530 Guzmán's forces struck into modern Nayarit (ibid., II:354). Flooded out of his rainy season quarters in September (ibid., II:361) Guzmán carried his bloody sword and slave-branding irons ever northward, into modern Sinaloa where the Indian women became more appealing to the conquerors (ibid., II:363). The expedition established headquarters for seven months of useless exploring in the vicinity of modern Culiacán (ibid., II:364). Guzmán's slave-raiders had then reached, however, near the northern limit of densely-settled, civilized empires and tribal states radiating out from the central Mexican cultural hearth. The profits of slave-raiding diminished sharply as the supply diminished in numbers and increased in military ability-Guzmán's men probably ran into firm resistance from the Yaqui warriors. At any rate, Culiacán marked the high water mark of Guzmán's disorganization of native North America. Founding a Spanish settlement there, he turned back south toward a small measure of bureaucratic retribution (ibid., II:368-372).

Even in northern Sinaloa and southern Sonora, the Indians accused Guzmán's slave-raiders of capturing half the 36men and all the women and children, when they were able (Bandelier 1904:163). Within a decade after the fall of the Aztec capital city, Guzmán had carried the Spanish sword and slaver's brand to the southern Piman country, and the very approaches of northern Piman territory, pillaging and enslaving when he could and where he was able through the lands of all the civilized Indians between the fallen Aztec Empire and the northern Piman peasants. The Indians who escaped his slavers' chains-such as Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca's messengers saw in use (ibid., p. 165)-stayed free only by flight to the mountains and abandonment of their aboriginal civilized way of life. Civilization on the Mexican west coast was dealt its death blow by the nefarious exploits of a proud Spaniard, Nuño de Guzmán.

By the time Guzmán turned south again, the lines of communication between the former higher centres and the northern Piman peasants were completely disrupted. Moreover all the cultural centres which had influenced the northern Pimans over many centuries had toppled in the bloodbath and flames of Spanish conquest. The Mayas remained free, but no communication between those beleaguered natives and the northern Pimans was possible. The northern peasants were left to wither culturally like grapes on an uprooted vine, their cultural deterioration hastened by the seeping poisons of conquest exuded along the time-worn trade routes by the devastated provinces hounded by Guzmán.

37Biological Effects. For ten or more millennia since their ancestors crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia into North America, the Indians of the New World had lived in a state of isolation from Old World populations. The gene pools of the North American immigrants provided them with genetic potentials for independent development which were well on the way toward realization by A.D. 1500. This geographic isolation from the Old World also resulted in the development of two distinct groups of subhuman organisms preying on human populations. The Old World populations suffered the scourges of cholera, Bubonic Plague, epidemic smallpox and measles, and other microorganic threats to human survival. Over the centuries Old World populations developed either genetic physiological or psychological resistances to these threatening organisms. Shielded from those specific organisms by their isolation from Old World populations, American Indians developed neither organic nor psychological resistances. So when Christopher Columbus made his historic landfall in the Caribbean, he drew the curtain on one of the most grisly and bloody dramas of population decimation the world has ever witnessed.

Infectious epidemics, compounded with the forced labor imposed by gold-lusting Spaniards with concomitants of unaccustomed physical exertion, ideal infectious conditions in crowded labor compounds, and psychological despair produced by conquest, virtually wiped out the native populations of the Spanish conquests in the Caribbean before Cortez landed 38on the mainland in 1519. Conditions in North America were never as bad as in the islands, partly because of some amelioration of conditions of forced labor by royal edict, partly because there was more room in which threatened natives might manoeuvre to escape the worst effects of infection, and partly because the native populations were by and large already more sedentary than the islanders, and therefore better prepared by previous ecological experience to resist infectious epidemics. Most importantly, while the vast majority of tribes and individuals succumbed like the islanders to the apathetic psychology of conquered peoples, significant numbers of tribes-such as the Yaquis-and individuals somehow held to a psychology of resistance and successfully survived.

Sometimes the stresses of epidemic threats and Spanish control, which appeared most unpredictable and threatening indeed to the recently conquered Indians, grew too great for the natives to bear, and they rose in armed rebellions which were momentarily successful but generally disastrous. Such a revolt occurred in 1541, raging through much of the area north of Guadalajara. This nativistic movement was called the Mixton War. Native flight to mountain strongholds laid waste large districts. Battle losses in the thousands brought a marked acceleration in Indian mortality in the districts bordering the recently destroyed centres of civilization in the Aztec and nearby empires (Bancroft 1883:II:490 et. seq.).

By the time Francisco Vásquez de Coronado led his diminished expedition back to Culiacán in Sinaloa In 1542, the 39aboriginal epidemic region had certainly been destroyed by the wholesale disruption of aboriginal society and its communication lines.

The principal causes of this destruction had been: 1) the Spanish conquest with accompanying destruction of the governing elite and much of the manpower of the Aztec Empire, 2) the speedy and whole-hearted accession to the Spanish cause of major Tlaxcalan, Zapotec and Tarascan governing elites, to the detriment of aboriginal cultural sur-vival, 3) wholesale destruction of lives and birth of enmities during Guzmán's slave-raid of 1530-1531, 4) and the final futile spasm of civilized west central Mexicans in the Mixton War of 1541-1542.

By 1542 there was extremely little likelihood that a central Mexican epidemic could spread to the northern Pimans, since the close-knit fabric of commerce and social visiting of pre-Spanish peasant society had ravelled loose into tribal and village distrust and competitive isolation, where pathetic apathy had not paralyzed all social action.

2. Epidemics in the Aboriginal Region

Little can be said about infectious epidemics which occurred in the aboriginal epidemic region during prehistoric times. The nearly complete destruction of native documents by early Spanish churchmen has removed from the ken of man whatever documentation of such epidemics may have existed. What little can be said of the operation of this aboriginal 40epidemic region applies to the few final years of its existence, when infectious diseases introduced from Europe swept off hundreds of thousands of Indians.

a. Smallpox Epidemic of 1520

The first recorded infectious epidemic brought to North America by Europeans was the smallpox epidemic of 1520. The magnitude of this scourge will never be completely known, since it spread beyond the limits of the Aztec Empire. The dying empire was in no condition to keep records of it, and the conquering Spaniards were still too unfamiliar with the country to make more than very fragmentary records.

This epidemic was introduced by a Negro in the forces of Pánfilo de Narvaez, sent from the islands to arrest Cortez, who was operating in an extremely tenuous legal situation. This Negro landed with an infectious case of smallpox and, as he traveled from town to town infected exposed Indians and these their neighbors, until a full-scale epidemic was raging throughout the region the Spaniards had under observation (Ocaranza 1934:83) and beyond. The fearful mortality was raised by the total lack of knowledge of the disease and the principle of infection on the part of the Indians. The Spaniards laid many deaths to the native habit of frequent bathing (Días del Castillo 1956:293) and certainly the conjunction of infected and uninfected individuals in these baths (Ocaranza, 1934:83) created ideal conditions for the spread of the contagion. The epidemic caused numberless deaths among the Aztecs, beginning at the end of September and lasting for 41seventy days. So great was the mortality many families were left with no one able to prepare meals, so many died of hunger (Sahagún 1955:I:61-62).

There is no way of knowing for sure whether the contagion of 1520 spread as far northward as the upper Santa Cruz River Valley Pimans, but in all probability it did. It seems safe to assume that Aztec traders continued to carry their wares outward from the Valley of Mexico in 1520 before the final investment and siege of the city of Tenochtitlan by the Spaniards and their allies, for the Spanish retreat from their first occupation of the city had been far more of a bloody route than a defeat, and the Aztecs undoubtedly felt that they had won the decisive victory. Even though the raging epidemic tended to vitiate the fruits of this victory, the commercial drives of the petty traders probably sent them scurrying out along the trails leading northward from Tenochtitlan and dozens of other urban centres in central Mexico, just as they had been doing for centuries before the coming of the white man. After all, many a native war had been fought without stopping the traders. A certain proportion of those peripatetic traders undoubtedly carried the pox with them to infect the villagers whom they visited in their rounds until they dropped dead in their tracks or recovered.

The professional traders aside, inter-settlement communication was sufficiently frequent and intimate throughout the area of civilized influence in North America to virtually guarantee transmission of the disease to the frontiers.

42While it is impossible to say flatly that the smallpox epidemic of 1520 struck the native population of the upper Santa Cruz River Valley, the existing evidence indicates that chances are very high that it did. At the same time, the very same evidence suggests that the only immediate effect of the epidemic in this region, if it reached here, was biological. That is, it caused some reduction in population, but did not seriously affect native culture. That conclusion is implicit in the continued existence of a tightly-knit peasant society with abundant and friendly social contacts across significant language and culture barriers as late as 1540. The epidemic of 1520 was only a portent and a foretaste of years to come.

b. Measles Epidemic of 1531

Eleven years after smallpox struck the New World natives, the second major infectious epidemic spread through Mexico. This time measles was the mortal infection, again introduced by a European sick with the disease upon arrival. This time mortality was not as high as in 1520, either because the earlier smallpox epidemic had carried off most of the weaker natives, or because the latter had learned something already about escaping infection. At any rate, the Indians under Spanish rule desisted from bath ing in 1531 (Ocaranza 1934:84), evidence of the modification of a strong cultural trait in direct response to contagion and Spanish example-a cultural change in addition to those engendered by the great loss of manpower entailed in the earlier epidemic.

43As for the northern Pimans, the likelihood of their having been affected by this epidemic is almost nil. The conditions favoring their infection had ended in the destruction of Tenochtitlan by Cortez's command and the west coast civilizations by Guzmán's human bloodhounds.

In view of the vibrant peasant society which emerges, if dimly, from the accounts of northern Pimans in the Vásquez de Coronado expedition documents for 1540, it seems clear that neither the smallpox epidemic of 1520 nor the measles epidemic of 1531 affected northern Piman society seriously enough to impair its operation materially or to initiate the changes completed by the early 1700's. Those changes must have been brought about by later epidemics after the large epidemic region was re-established under Spanish auspices.

D. Epidemics of the Reduced Region

After the disruption of the aboriginal epidemic region, the Indians of central and southern Mexico under Spanish control continued to suffer from the high mortality of infectious epidemics. These are worth describing briefly, because it is possible that one or more of them may have jumped the devastated and depopulated regions and reached the northern Pimans especially since two of them were apparently the most severe epidemics ever experienced in Mexico (after the initial 1520 holocaust, at least).

1. Epidemic of 1545

The third great epidemic following Spanish conquest occurred in 1545. The infectious agent is unknown, but produced a hemorrhagic fever, possibly typhus (Zinsser 1934:256).  It could even have been the specific hemorrhagic fever recently identified in Korea, which may have existed for a long time previously. The mortality in central Mexico was estimated at 150,000 among the Tlaxcalan nation alone (Ocaranza 1934:84) which was a relatively small one in population terms. This epidemic has been termed one of the two most severe suffered in Mexico in historic times (Bancroft 1883:III:756).

2. The Matlazahuatl Epidemic of 1576

After 1545 the Indians enjoyed some respite from serious epidemics although introduced infectious diseases were undoubtedly becoming endemic. There was another epidemic of unknown severity and type in 1564 (Ocaranza 1934:85) but it was not until 1576 that another major epidemic carried off millions of Indians. The estimated mortality within the area under Spanish control was two million natives (Bancroft 1883:III:353). The disease was similar to the one which had caused the epidemic in 1545, and has been tentatively identified as typhus (Ocaranza 1934:85; Zinsser 1934:257).

Although this seems to have been the most severe epidemic of all in terms of total mortality in New Spain, there is some indication that its geographic spread was less than in 45other epidemics. Its worst effects may have been confined to the area of the Archdiocese of Mexico, lessening in Puebla and Michoacan (Alegre 1841:II:110) and perhaps not spreading much beyond.

3. The Measles Epidemic of 1595-1596

Another epidemic struck in 1538, but seems to have been localized in central Mexico (Ocaranza 1934:85). Then in 1595 measles reached epidemic proportions again, apparently in a particularly virulent form causing frequent complications. This may actually have been a multiple-cause epidemic, with typhus contributing to the mortality (Zinsser 1934:257), and may have been a multi-phase epidemic, since contagion was reported among the Sinaloa Indians in 1593 (Dunne 1944:111).

These were the final serious epidemics of which record has been found which occurred during the decades when the northern Pimans were so far as known cut off from the Spanish epidemic area.

E. Epidemics in the Enlarged Spanish Epidemic Region

With the colonization of New Mexico and other approaches of Spanish outposts to northern Piman territory the Spanish epidemic region neared its pre-conquest geographic extent and epidemics which originated in central Mexico began once again to affect the northern Pimans. These were the epidemics 46which materially altered northern Piman attitudes toward death, settlement pattern, house type and social organization.

1. The Smallpox Epidemic of 1607-1608
In the latter part of 1607 the Indians from at least Guatemala City to the Nahuatl region north of the City of Mexico were afflicted by a devastating epidemic. An Aztec town where scarcely 300 people lived in the 1760's had a mortality of 900 during this epidemic, and they were a small part of the population (Alegre 1953:II:145). This contagion was so widespread that it might have reached northern Piman country by way of the New Mexico road recently established. It certainly spread north beyond the Jesuit mission frontier at Parras in 1608, decimating the yet unconverted natives in the mountains of the Cordillera (Dunne 1944:109-115) and the Mapimi Basin.

2. The Epidemic of 1641

There was in 1641 a serious epidemic recorded by the missionaries working among the Tepehuanes, Sinaloa Indians and the Yaquis (Alegre 1841:II:235). Since these tribes were all on the borders of Sonora where Spanish officials were already operating and the former close to the New Mexican communication lines, the probability is high that this epidemic struck the northern Pimans.

473. The Epidemic of 1646

The contagion of 1641 was still fresh in the minds of the Indians when another struck the tribes athwart the long trail to New Mexico five years later (ibid., II:268). Still there is no way of knowing with certainty whether this particular epidemic spread into northern Piman territory, but it is even more likely that it did so than that the 1641 contagion did.

4. The Epidemic of 1662

Another epidemic struck the Indian tribes living along the New Mexico supply line in 1662 (ibid., II:427), and once again there is no certainty that it spread westward to the northern Pimans, but chances that it did so are very high.

5. The Smallpox Epidemic of 1710

Half a century later-and the gap in time is probably due more to incomplete historical records rather than any absence of epidemics-there is no doubt that epidemics were wrecking havoc among the northern Piman Indians. By that time Jesuit missionaries had established their beachhead among these Indians, and missions were operating over the watershed divide from the upper Santa Cruz River Valley people in the headwaters of the San Miguel and Magdalena Rivers.  Missionaries had occasionally traveled along the Santa Cruz River Valley itself off and on since 1691 (Bolton 1948:I:119).

48Toward the end of 1709 a smallpox epidemic began in Lower California which became serious there during the early days of 1710 (Alegre 1841:III:154). At San Ignacio de Caburica mission on the Magdalena River in Sonora, the resident Jesuit missionary recorded twenty-three deaths during 1710, seventy per cent of them during January and twenty-six percent in February-only four percent during the rest of the year (Libro de Entierros deste Pueblo de San Ygnacio desde 1697). While the missionary did not state any cause of death this mortality pattern clearly designates epidemic mortality conditions, and smallpox is the obvious candidate for indictment as the killer since it was present in Lower California at the same period. With an epidemic of this magnitude raging less than seventy miles away, the Indians of Tchoowaka and the rest of the upper Santa Cruz River Valley could hardly have escaped contagion in 1710.

6. The Smallpox Epidemic of 1724

Smallpox revisited the northern Piman Indians again early in 1724, and there can be no doubt that the residents of the upper Santa Cruz River Valley including Tchoowaka were infected and suffered heavy mortality from this contagion. Father Joseph Agustín de Campos recorded in his baptismal register "having departed from here-San Ygnacio- the twenty-fourth day of February to visit my children of the North because of the illnesses which are current and the smallpox 49which now comes-a journey in which I traveled 160 leagues" (Libro de Bautismos del Parito de San Ygnacio de Caburica). Father Campos traveled over the divide to the Santa Cruz River, and then downstream past Tchoowaka at least as far as San Francisco Xavier del Bac, cutting over to the San Pedro River for his return southward.

It was on the heels of this epidemic that measles struck in 1728-1729, and there is satisfactory direct historical documentation of the existence of the Spanish epidemic region including the northern Pimans. Since Tchoowaka had been identified by name for the first time by Father Campos on one of his northern trips in 1728 (ibid., p. 60), the particular history of Tchoowaka may be traced from that time onward.

F. Consequences

The consequences of the radically altered disease environment of North America created by the coming of the white man cannot be overestimated even though direct evidence for the early effects on the upper Santa Cruz River Valley Piman aborigines does not exist. On the other hand, the epidemic decimation of population in the centres of prehistoric civilization on the central Mexican plateau proceeding simultaneously with Spanish military conquest destroyed the various socio-political and theocratic elites so thoroughly in the south that the northern Pimans were left drifting insofar as 50cultural orientation was concerned. After centuries of looking southward for guidance in the correct and proper methods of social and religious behavior, and improved exploitative and other economic techniques, the northern Pimans were suddenly and without warning thrown entirely on their own resources. Historical behavior of the northern Pimans proves that these resources within the society have always been extremely meagre, and social sanctions exterior to the society have ever been necessary to initiate successfully and to implement social, religious or technological changes and prevent utter stagnation and deterioration. With the smashing of the fountainheads of cultural refinement and expanding complexity in the Mayan and Nahuatl and Zapotecan and Tarascan tribal states, the stream of culture from which the northern Piman peasants had drunk for centuries in a steady reformulation of their society and culture to approach civilized models rapidly dried up. As outside inspiration desiccated, the northern Piman emulators deteriorated, spurred on eventually by the goad of decimating epidemics.

In the south, military conquest accompanied or preceded population declines from infectious diseases. The apathetic psychological state of the conquered Indians was produced first by conquest and later reinforced by epidemic mortality. The two variables reinforced each other to the detriment of Indian survival. The most recent estimates of the loss of population suffered by the Indians in the most civilized 51regions indicate that where seven and one-third persons lived at the time of the conquest, only one survived by the time the population as a whole began to recover (Cook and Simpson 1948:38, 48). This ghastly diminution in manpower alone would have terminated the prehistoric position of the civilized tribes as generators of religious, political, social and economic innovations even without military conquest by the Spaniards. Moreover there is evidence suggesting that the losses both to diseases and in warfare were heaviest in the very elites which supplied native leaders-a fact of some significance in the ultimate conquest of the Aztec Empire. The energetic Aztec emperor who replaced Moctezuma II and drove the Spaniards from Tenochtitlan in bloody, broken disorder died from smallpox in 1520 (Díaz del Castillo 1956:328), and it was his younger successor who finally lost the city to the reinforced Spaniards. The ruler of Texcoco also succumbed to smallpox, and dying ended his resistance to the Spaniards (ibid., p. 349).

That either variable-military conquest or population declines due to epidemics-was capable of alone causing the death of native North American Indian cultures is indicated in the case history of the northern Pimans. Unconquered by Spaniards for two centuries after 1519, indeed not even in very close contact with them for at least one of those centuries, the northern Pimans nonetheless lived in a culture in decline in the early 1700's when the Spaniards began to live in the Santa Cruz River Valley. That decline set in 52primarily in response to the decline in available energy entailed in population losses during infectious epidemics reinforced by loss of sanctions for cultural improvement exterior to the society. Northern Piman culture was deteriorating in the 1700's because the northern Pimans were a dying people.  Not until Spanish rule gave their culture a new direction and epidemics had taken their full population toll did the northern Pimans begin to recover a measure of cultural elan and to increase in numbers.

The mortality among the northern Pimans by the time the epidemics had run their course was probably not less than that in central Mexico, and perhaps greater. The worst effects of infectious epidemics apparently struck the northern Pimans somewhat later than the central Mexicans because the Pimans escaped the worst epidemics which occurred during their period of comparative isolation between 1531 and 1600. In the end the result was about the same: where over seven northern Pimans had lived in the year 1520, probably only one remained by the time the population began to increase again late in the eighteenth century.

The attitude toward infections and deaths therefrom displayed by the people of Tchoowaka in burning their homes and moving to a new ranchería site when a leader died in 1732 might have been expected to result in further fragmentation of northern Piman social life. Settlements could conceivably have been reduced ultimately to family groups for fear of contagion. Two other factors in northern Piman life arrested 53any such tendency however, and in fact reversed it so settlement size remained relatively constant although the number of settlements greatly decreased.

One factor was the danger of enemy attack, primarily from the southern Athapascans, omnipresent after the New Mexican Pueblo Revolt in 1680 triggered these rapacious displaced Plainsmen who were under heavy pressure from militarily superior Plains enemies, by supplying them with an abundance of horses, firearms and other goods plundered from the defeated Spaniards, and a sharp object lesson in Spanish vulnerability. Apache raids on northern Piman settlements became a very serious threat shortly after the Pueblo Revolt, adding to the high mortality rate and placing a very real premium upon large settlement populations as a protective measure, fostering consolidation of rancherías declining from raids or epidemics.

The other factor in maintaining northern Piman settlements at something like their aboriginal size while decreasing in number was the Spanish conceptual model for suitable colonial settlements of subject peoples-an intellectual model which had not existed in the Peninsula since the Romans conquered the resident barbarians (Foster 1951:317). This model envisioned large numbers of Indians living in compact urban communities, following a sedentary agricultural life which left them abundant time to attend mass, learn the catechism, and wait on newly-noble Spaniards beneath whose dignity it was to labor with their hands except in warfare. This model was 54enthusiastically and effectively urged upon the northern Pimans by missionaries, military and civil officials. The more acculturated northern Piman leaders accepted this model as possessing intrinsic value and actively aided in realizing it (Oacpicagigua Mar. 24, 1752).

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