Yaqui


The Yaqui people, originally inhabiting the valley of the Rio Yaqui in the Mexican state of Sonora, now have communities in California, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada. The Pascua Yaqui tribe is based in Tucson, Arizona, and as their website suggests, Pascua Yaqui culture “bonds both Christianity and Yaqui spirituality in the hope for a better view of the world and morality. An example of Yaqui spirituality is the iconic symbol of the deer and the deer dancer, which mimics the connection the Yaqui people have with nature.” Unlike some Indigenous Nations, the Yaqui language is alive and spoken by young and old in Mexico and Arizona, and rarely, spoken by individuals who brought the language to other states in the U.S. Here, for example, Pbonchai Tallman (in his late sixties at the time of this recording in 2019) shares the ancient form of Yaqui he recalls from his childhood in Nevada. Many Native peoples have cross-cultural ancestry: Mr. Tallman has Blackfeet ancestry, was raised on a Paiute reservation, went to Stewart Indian Boarding School in Carson City, Nevada, and today has affiliation with some members of the Modoc tribe, while remembering his version of

the language taught to him by a Yaqui elder near Tonopah, Nevada.