Quotes about the Indigenous Peoples of Arizona

Welcome to my page of quotations about the true Arizona natives, who were here long before any of us and long before Arizona was a territory or a state — from the prehistoric cultures of the Ancestral Puebloans, Hohokam, Mogollon, Patayan (Hakataya), and Sinagua, to the contemporary Diné (Navajo), Hopi, Hualapai, Havasupai, Southern Paiute, Nuwu (Chemehuevi), Apache, Yavapai, Tohono O’odham (Papago), Akimel O’odham (Pima), Maricopa, Mohave, Yaqui, Quechan, and Cocopah. –ღTerri

The land of the Navajos is a big land. It is a land where the horizon dances seductively in the distance, a beckoning sorceress tempting with promises unfilled. The land of the Navajos is a big land, big enough for the wind to romp in and to get lost in, big enough for the sun to assume its regal role as a pompous dictator, which it does in royal and imperious splendor. It is a color-drenched, sun-drenched land whose intense coloration can be hard on the eyes but pleasing to the soul. It is a land worthy of the people who live in it — the Navajos as colorful as their land… ~Raymond Carlson, “Delano: Beauty in Navajoland,” Arizona Highways, August 1968

Could I but speak your tongue
      I would sing of pastel colored cliffs
      Where, under sapphire skies,
      The raincloud gently drifts.
      Of wondrous sunlit valleys wide,
      Timeless home of your clan — your tribe.
Could I but speak your tongue
      I would sing a prayer that in future days
      You would ever honor your ancient ways,
      And that the Gods of health and peace
      In their boundless blessings, never cease,
      To be generous to these children here below,
      These children of the Desert.
~C. J. Colby, “Song to the Indian,” Arizona Highways, August 1973

You are between vast walls, that rise a quarter of a mile or less apart, made of brilliant red sandstone, the walls reaching up to the very stars… A thousand, two thousand, feet high, the walls surely must be. Wonderful. Awe-inspiring. Majestic. You see a Navaho camp-fire and dancers; the song you hear is a death chant, sung to aid the spirit on its long journey to the other world beyond. You are in the Canyon de Chelly, the home of the ancient Cliff-Dwellers and also of the present-day Navahos. ~George Wharton James, Arizona, the Wonderland, 1917

You know you’re an Arizona native when you were here before Marcos de Niza, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, Eusebio Kino, Tubac, Brigham Young, James Gadsden, Jefferson Davis, Jack Swilling, and Phoenix! ~Terri Guillemets, 2004 [Robert Orben: “Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.” –tg]