Pima, the S. E. county of Arizona, bounded N. by the Gila river, E. by New Mexico, and S. by Mexico, and intersected in the E. portion by the. Rio San Pedro and Rio San Domingo, tributaries of the Gila, and by the Santa Cruz river; area, about 20,000 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 5,716. The portion of the county W. of Tucson and S. of the Gila valley is uninhabited, except by the Papago Indians, who occupy a reservation near the Mexican border. This region consists of plains interspersed with broken or detached chains of mountains, and is covered with grass a part of the year, and considerable portions of it with mezquite, but it is deficient in water. The valley of the Gila, with irrigation, is very productive, and portions of it in this county are from 5 to 10 m. wide. The Maricopa and Pima Indians occupy a reservation 25 m. long in this valley, W. of the centre of the county. E. of Tucson the surface consists of plains, valleys, and broken chains of mountains. The greater part is covered with nutritious grasses, and live oak and mezquite abound. The valleys with irrigation produce two crops a year. Gold, silver, copper, and lead are found in the mountains.
The greater portion of this county has been subject to the incursions of the Apaches. The chief productions in 1870 were 27,052 bushels of wheat, 32,011 of Indian corn, 54,997 of barley, and 3,417 of peas and beans. There were 200 horses, 482 milch cows, 786 other cattle, 803 sheep, and 692 swine; 2 flour mills, 1 brewery, and 1 saw mill. Capital, Tucson, which is also the capital of the territory.
Pimas, a family of American Indians, including the Pimas proper, the Opatas, Eudeves, and Joves, and extending over Arizona, all of Sonora, and part of Sinaloa. The Opatas were the most advanced of these tribes, and showed the greatest aptitude for improvement, adopting white usages readily, and becoming mechanics. They have always been an agricultural people. They embraced Christianity at an early day and faithfully adhered to it. They still form an important part of the population of Sonora. The Eudeves and Joves were less advanced. The Pimas proper were divided by the Spaniards into Upper and Lower, and extended down into Sinaloa, a part of the tribe having emigrated thither in order to become Christians. The Pimas call themselves Otama (plural Ohotama). They were always restless, more savage and superstitious than the Opatas, and given to vice and drunkenness. They had a line of kings, the last of whom, Shontarlkor-li, was killed a few years ago by the Apaches. They have settled villages, with about 30 dome-shaped, earth-covered huts in each, and separate granaries.
They irrigate their fields by acequias, and raise and weave cotton, but force their women to do most of the field work, which is not the custom of the Opatas. They buried their dead in a sitting posture, burning their houses and goods. They make an intoxicating drink (tiswin) from the fruit of the cactus. Their pottery is rude, but their baskets are fine. Missions were established among the Pimas at an early period; but they frequently revolted against the Spaniards, especially in 1757, when the whole nation rose. They killed one Jesuit missionary in 1694, and two in 1751. Toward the end of the last century the Lower Pimas had 14 towns with 6 missions; the Upper, 22 towns with 8 missions; the Opatas, 27 towns; the Eudeves, 10 towns. The Pimas now within the limits of the United States in Arizona are on a reservation of 64,000 acres, set apart by the executive under the act of Feb. 28,1859. They have degenerated greatly since the whites from the north entered their country, the men being thieves and the women corrupt. They numbered in 1874 about 4,000, industrious, agricultural, self-supporting, living in houses built by themselves, wearing civilized dress, and demanding the rights of citizenship; but their individual title to land has never been recognized.
In the division of agencies the Pimas and Maricopas, who are on the same reservation, were assigned to the Reformed church, which appoints the agent, but has done little missionary work. A grammar of the Pima or Nevome was published in New York in 1862, and a grammatical sketch of the Heve language in 1861.