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People of the Legends

Indigenous People of North America - Papago (Tohono O'odham)

Life at Home

Tohono O’odham children speak their own language in school and adults are encouraged to keep the language alive at home. Children can go to the nation’s elementary, or primary schools, high schools and a community college to prepare for careers or university.

Doctor at a hospitalFamilies who live on their nation may raise cattle, or run small farms.

Others work as police officers and lawyers, nurses and doctors in their health centres, teachers in their schools, and as administrators for their government.


SaxaphoneAccoustic guitar Music is important when Tohono O’odham families get together. Especially dance music called chicken scratch or waila.

Chicken scratch bands often have saxophone, bass, guitar, drums and an accordion and the music sounds like a Mexican polka, waltz and mazurka.

The dancers glide and then kick their heels high in the air.

AccordianThere are two chicken scratch festivals each year in Arizona; the Annual Waila Festival in Tucson and the Rock-A-Bye-Music Fest in Casa Grande.

The Rock-A-Bye Record label is a famous for producing waila music and plays tracks on YouTube.


CDs of waila music are sold around the world.




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