Facts about the Yuma Native Indian
This article contains fast, fun facts and
interesting information about the Yuma Native
American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions
did the Yuma tribe live, what clothes did they wear, what
did they eat and who were the names of their most
famous leaders? Discover what happened to the
Yuma tribe with facts about their wars and
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Yuma
The Yuma tribe, sometimes referred to as the
Quechan tribe, were fishers, hunters and farmers
whose homeland was along the lower Colorado River
centered around its confluence with the Gila
what is now California and Arizona. The Yuma
Native American Indians consisted of various
tribes: the Quechan, Cocopah, Hualapai,
and some Maricopas. The
Yuma tribe were expert fishers who used
utilized nets and baskets to catch fish.
They traveled along the Colorado river on rafts and poles to
different fishing locations. The Colorado River
used to overflow seasonally, depositing rich
soil that the Yuma used for agriculture. In
the Yuma culture the women were subservient to
men, however it was the woman who chose who she
would marry. Either the husband or the
wife might declare divorce and the wife claimed
any matrimonial possessions. Each Yuma village had an elected chief
who was responsible for the overall government
of the people. The principal chief shared
responsibilities for the tribe with the war
chiefs, shamans and other religious leaders.
Where did the Yuma tribe live?
The Yuma are people of the Californian / Southwest Native
American cultural group. The location of their
tribal homelands are shown on the map. The
geography of the region in which they lived
dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Yuma
They mainly lived in the American states of California
and Arizona along the Colorado River
Land: Arid but with rivers
Climate: Mild temperate climate.
Animals: Rabbits, squirrels, quail and
Natural Resources: Mushrooms, roots, acorns,
nuts and grasses, seaweed
What did the Yuma tribe live in?
The Yuma (Quechan) tribe lived in houses near the banks
of the Colorado River. Simple Brush shelters
were used for fishing and hunting trips.
Their houses were in a
type of shelter called a Kiich. A Kiich was made using willow
poles and long sticks to create a frames that
were covered in brush and yucca fiber. A
typical rectangular kiich measured about 12 - 14
feet in width and length and was often dug about
2 feet into the ground. The insulation from the
ground helped to combat extreme temperatures
that were hot during the day but cold at night.
The Yuma also built ramadas, thatched roofs
supported by poles, that provided shade when
What language did the Yuma tribe speak?
The Yuma tribe spoke in the Yuman
What food did the Yuma tribe eat?
The food that the Yuma tribe ate included a
variety of fish and shellfish including salmon, trout, eels, clams
and crabs. Rabbits and fowl were in abundance in their
area and were used as a meat supplement to their
fish diet. They grew crops of beans, squash,
corn (or maize), melons and pumpkins and the women
collected roots, herbs and berries to add to
What weapons did the Yuma tribe use?
The weapons used by the Yumas included spears,
stone ball clubs, knives and the bow and arrow.
Enemies captured during raids and battles were
What clothes did the Yuma men wear?
The clothes worn by the men were limited to loin
cloths woven from grass or bark fibers. Cloaks made from rabbit skins were worn
if it grew cold at night. The Yumas were
usually barefoot, but occasionally wore sandals.
They adorned their hair with a pelican feather.
What clothes did the Yuma women wear?
type of clothes worn by the women were also
limited. They wore willow-bark, knee-length skirts
and, like the men, used rabbit skin cloaks at
night. Both the men and women of the tribe wore
jewelry made from shells and beadwork. They were
highly skilled at creating beaded collars and
elaborate designs and patterns.
What was the religion and beliefs of the
religion and beliefs of the Yuma tribe was based
that encompassed the spiritual or
religious idea that the universe and all
natural objects animals, plants, trees,
rivers, mountains rocks etc have souls or
spirits. The Yuma were a deeply religious
people. Their supreme deity was Kukumat, who
created the earth. His son, Kumastamxo took the
people to the sacred mountain Avikwame and taught the people how to live, how
to plant and taught them how to cure illness. "Dreaming" was the source of religious
power and the Yuma tribe underwent a form of a
Vision Quest or Spiritual
Journey which was sometimes accompanied by the inducement of a
for the purpose of attaining guidance or
knowledge from supernatural forces or spirits.
The Yuma tribe also had a highly elaborate
mourning ceremony. In order for the spirit of
the deceased to enter the world of the
Great Spirit, he had to be cremated. The
life of the deceased person was honored during
the cremation. All the possessions of the
deceased were also burnt so that they might
accompany the deceased into the land of the
Great Spirit. The mourning ritual lasted for
many hours, and when it was over, the deceased
person was never spoken of again.