February 27, 2014

Hia C-eḍ O’odham Tribe


The Hia C-eḍ O’odham have often been considered a “Papago subtribe” by anthropologists, along with the Tohono O’odham and several groups that vanished or merged with the Tohono O’odham.


Official Tribal Name:

Hia C-eḍ O’odham


Official Website:


Recognition Status:

The  Hia C-eḍ O’odham are currently unrecognized at both the state and federal level in the United States and Mexico, although the Tohono O’odham Nation has a committee for issues related to them and has land held in trust for them.

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning

Meaning: Sand Dune People

Common Name:

Sand Pimas or Sand Papagos

Meaning of Common Name:


Alternate names:

Areneños Pinacateños or Pinacateños(lived in the Sierra Pinacate, called by the Hia C-eḍ O’Odham Cuk Doʼag und den Cabeza Prieta Mountains in Arizon and Sonora).
Areneños (lived in the Gran Desierto around the mountains, which were home to the Areneños Pinacateños)

Alternate spellings / Mispellings:


Name in other languages:

Known by neighboring O’odham as Hia Tadk Ku:mdam , meaning “Sand Root Crushers”
Known to the Tohono O’odham as U’uva:k or U’uv Oopad, named after the Tinajas Altas Mountains



State(s) Today:


Traditional Territory:

Their traditional homeland lies between the Ajo Range, the Gila River, the Colorado River, and the Gulf of California


O’odham Tribes




While they don’t have their own reservation, the Tohono O’odham Nation has a committee for issues related to them and has land held in trust for them. They are represented by a community organization known as the Hia-Ced O’odham Alliance.  

On February 24, 2009, 642.27 acres of land near Why, Arizona, which were previously purchased by the Tohono O’odham Nation, were acquired in trust for the Nation. This was done with the intention of eventually creating a new district of the Tohono O’odham Nation for the Hia C-eḍ O’odham. On October 30, 2012, a new tribal law went into effect creating the “Hia-Ced District” as the new 12th district of the Tohono O’odham nation, with the trust land near Why as its initial land base. For three years after the effective date, previously enrolled members of the Tohono O’odham Nation had the right to request that their district designation be re-assigned to the new district. People applying for tribal enrollment may also request the Hia-Ced District as their district designation.

Tribal Flag:


Tribal Emblem:


Population at Contact:


Registered Population Today:


Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Anybody who can prove Hia C-eḍ O’odham ancestry meeting Tohono O’odham Nation blood quantum can apply for membership in the Tohono O’odham Nation. Some Hia Ced O’odham people are also enrolled in the Ak-Chin Indian Community.

Genealogy Resources:



Name of Governing Body:  
Number of Council members:  
Dates of Constitutional amendments: 
Number of Executive Officers:  



Language Classification:

The O’odham language variously called Oʼodham ñeʼokĭ, Oʼodham ñiʼokĭ or Oʼotham ñiok is spoken by all O’odham groups.

Language Dialects:

There are certain dialectal differences, but despite these all O’odham groups can understand one another.  

Number of fluent Speakers:






Bands, Gens, and Clans


Related Tribes:

The Hia C-eḍ O’odham are related to the O’odams of the Ak Chin Indian Community, the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Gila River Indian Community, and the Salt River Indian Community. At one time, these were all the same tribe. They were divided into separate tribes and locations after the Gadson Purchase split their traditional lands with the United States – Mexico border.

In 1927, reserves of lands for indigenous peoples, were established by Mexico. Today, approximately nine O’odham communities in Mexico lie proximate to the southern edge of the Tohono O’odham Nation, a number of which are separated only by the United States/Mexico border.

Traditional Allies:

Due to geographical proximity, certain cultural traits were borrowed from the Yuman peoples, with some sources implying that their culture was more Yuman than it was Piman, with the exception of their language. According to historical sources, the Hia C-eḍ O’odham were friendly with the Cocopah, the Quechan, and the Halchidhoma

Traditional Enemies:

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, their primary military rival were the Apache and Yavapai, who raided their villages at times due to competition for resources, although they also established friendly relations with the Apache.

Ceremonies / Dances:


Modern Day Events & Tourism:


Legends / Oral Stories:

Set speeches, which recited portions of cosmic myth, were a feature of many ceremonies and were especially important in the preparation for war. These speeches were adapted for each occasion but the general context was the same.

Art & Crafts:










Economy Today:


Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

From age ten until the time of marriage, neither boys nor girls were allowed to speak their own names. The Pima Indians believed this would bring bad luck to the children and their future. The names of deceased people were not to be uttered as well. The word or words in the name however are not dropped from the language.

Children were given careful oral instruction in moral, religious and other matters.

Burial Customs:

The names of the dead were never spoken. 

Wedding Customs


Education and Media:

Tribal College:  

Historical Leaders:











Drum Groups:




Other Famous Contemporary People:


Catastrophic Events:


Tribe History:


In the News:


Further Reading:


Unrecognized Tribes H-J
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