Sobaipuri Tribe

Sobaipuri Indians. A Piman tribe formerly inhabiting the main and tributary valleys of San Pedro and Santa Cruz rivers, between lon. 110° and 111°, and the Rio Gila between the month of the San Pedro river and the ruins of Casa Grande, and possibly eastward of this area in south Arizona. Missions were established among them by the Spaniards in the latter part of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries at Guevavi, Suamca, and San Xavier del Bac, to which numerous visitas were attached. According to Bourke “the Apaches have among them the Tze-kinne, or Stone-house people, descendants of the cliff-dwelling Sòbaypuris, whom they drove out of Aravypa cañon and forced to flee to the Pimas for refuge about a century ago” 1; and Bandelier 2 states that “the Apaches caused the Sobaypuris to give up their homes on the San Pedro and to merge into the Papagos.” It would seem, therefore, that the extinction of the Sobaipuri as a tribe was due to depredations by the Apache and that their remnant was absorbed by the Papago, their western neighbors, of whom indeed they may have been but a part. In later years the Papago occupied at least one of the former Sobaipuri towns-San Xavier del Bac.

Former settlements ascribed to the Sobaipuri are:

  • Alamos
  • Aribaiba
  • Babisi
  • Baicadeat
  • Busac
  • Camani
  • Causac
  • Comarsuta
  • Esqugbaag
  • Guevavi
  • Juamalturgo (?)
  • Jiaspi
  • Muiva
  • Ojio
  • Optuabo
  • Quiburi
  • Quiquiborica
  • Reyes
  • San Angelo
  • San Clemente
  • San Felipe
  • San Salvador
  • Santa Eulalia
  • San Xavier del Bac
  • So-noita
  • Suamca
  • Tubo
  • Tumacacori
  • Turisai
  • Tusonimon
  • Tutoida

Alternate Spellings

  • Rsársavina – Russell, Pima MS., B. A. E., 16, 1902 ( spotted : Pima name).
  • Sabagui. Pimentel, Lenguas de Mex., II, 94, 1865 (given us the name of a Pima dialect; possibly Sobaipuri).
  • Sebaipuris. Aguirre (1764) in Doc. Hist. Mex., 4th s., I, 125, 1856 (misprint; also Sobaipuris).
  • Sobahipuris. Kudo Ensayo (1763), 17, 103, 1863.
  • Sobaihipure. Pimentel, Lenguas I, 377, 1874.
  • Sobaiporis. De l’Isle, Carte Mex. et Floride, 1703.
  • Sobaipotis. Kino, map (1702) in Stöcklein, Neue Wolt-Bott, 74, 1726.
  • Sobaipures. Mota – Padilla (1742), Hist. Conq. Nneva Galicia, 361, 1870.
  • Sobaipuris. Kino (1692) in Doc. Hist, Mex., 4th s., I, 226, 1856.
  • Sobaipuris Pimas. Villa -Señor, Theatro Am., II, 408, 1748.
  • Sobaypures. Venegas, Hist. Cal., II, 202, 1759.
  • Sobaypuris. Villa-Senor, op. cit., 396.
  • Subaipures. Arricivita, Cron. Seraf., II, 410, 1792.
  • Subaipuris. Garces (1776), Diary, 386, 1900.


Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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  1. Jour. Am. Folk-lore, 114, Apr.-June 1890[]
  2. Arch. Inst. Papers, iii, 102, 1890[]

1 thought on “Sobaipuri Tribe”

  1. I work with the tribes of the Southwest, and we live in that area today. The pottery shards, the ruins where they once lived surround us, it is mind boggling to imagine how prolific their civilizations were. Good to see they are given credit for living in an area that today is a reflection of their culture.

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