Papago Women at the Well
detailsUnknown Unknown inpa1109pb.jpg IN-PA-1109 Color 1505.1109.0002 inpa1109pb Postcard 4x6 Historic Photographs 1900s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives
Papago women at the well with ollas in Tucson, Arizona.
The olla or water jar appears to be the most-used article among the present-day Papago. Many were observed beneath the ramadas of the houses, sometimes suspended from the cross-beams, sometimes placed in three-forked logs set upright in the ground. The majority of those now used are of a plain, unslipped earthenware in the natural color of the clay. Apparently a thin reddish wash is sometimes applied to the exterior. Several large storage ollas of a grayish or brownish buff, decorated in a brownish red and very suggestive of ancient Hohokam ware.
When the Spanish came upon them, they called them Papago, but the people themselves have rejected this name and officially changed it to Tohono O'odham in the 1980s. Tohono O'odham means “Desert People.”
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