1710 John Senex Map

The Moqui Tribe in History 1865-1890

The Moquis in 1865

During 1864 the Moquis were confined to their homes by the hostile Navajos and their crops failing for want of’ water a famine ensued. United States Indian Agent John Ward who visited the Moquis at this time reported on them as follows:

Pueblo Agency New Mexico
Pena Blanco New Mexico April 1865

One of my first official acts after receiving the appointment of Indian agent in 1861 was to make a trip to the Moqui Pueblos at which time I visited every one of the 7 pueblos. I found them very poor and badly in need of assistance; they had scarcely any implements worthy of the name; they had no hoes no spades that I could see; the corn which is usually their main crop; they planted by the aid of sticks by digging holes in the ground into which they dropped the seed. They principally depend on the rain for their crops having no permanent running water in their vicinity; thus they are comparatively speaking at the mercy of the seasons. A short time previous to my visit to them they bad been attacked and robbed by the hostile Navajoes; and to make their condition worse the independent campaigns from this territory against the Navajos had also gone to their village and taken from them even the vary corn they had in store for their subsistence. This was done as I afterward learned under the plea that the Moquis were in league with the Navajos against us.

All these facts as well as their true condition I reported on my return to the then superintendent and did all in my power to impress upon him the necessity of relieving their wants; but strange to say my honest appeal in their behalf had no effect whatever and nothing was done toward it.

The only succor worthy of notice, which those people have received from this superintendency so far as I am aware, is that which has been extended to them during this winter. I can safely say that there never was a tribe of Indians so completely neglected and so little cared for as these same Moqui Indians; indeed for some time they seem to have belonged nowhere. For several years previous to the creation of Arizona territory they were not mentioned in the annual reports of my predecessor.

From personal observation and the best of my judgment the aggregate population of these Indians does not exceed 3,000 souls.

April 21, 1865, M. Steck superintendent of Indian affairs for New Mexico in a communication to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, forwarding a report by John Ward United States Indian agent writes from Santa Fe:

I have the honor herewith to enclose copy of communication from John Ward Pueblo agent relative to the Moqui Indians. There has heretofore been but little known of these Indians. A few travelers have visited them in passing hurriedly through the country. Their description and the fabulous accounts of the Spanish conquerors savor more of fiction than reality.

John Ward under instructions from my predecessor Colonel Collins visited these villages in 1801 and reports the names and population of each viz:

Oraiva (Oraibi)800

The Moquis in 1866

D. N. Cooley, Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1866, in his annual report for 1865-1866, wrote of the Moquis as follows:

In regard to the Moquis, the interesting village Indians living in the northeastern part of Arizona, near the borders of New Mexico, and very similar in character to the Pueblos of that territory, but little is known in addition to that presented in former reports. They are, however, peaceable and self-sustaining, costing the government nothing except in cases of’ extreme necessity resulting from failure of crops.

Names of Moqui Pueblos by Various Authorities

Moqui Country, Arizona
Moqui Country, Arizona

The names of the 7 Moqui pueblos have been given by good authorities in a number of ways as follows: E. S. Clark supervisor and F. M. Zack census enumerator 1890: first mesa Tegna, Sichumniva and Walpi; second mesa Mishonginivi, Shepauliva and Shimopova; third mesa Oriabe. Thomas V. Keam old resident and Julian Scott special agent: first mesa Tewa, Sichumnevi and Walpi; second mesa, Mishong-na-vi, Shipaulavi and Shi-mo-pa-vi; third mesa Oraibi or Orabi. J. W. Powell: first mesa Te-wa, Si-choan-avi and Walpi; second mesa Mi-shong-i-niv, Shi-pan-i-luv-i, and Shong-a-pa-vi; third mesa Oraibi. A. F. Bandelier: first mesa Tehua, Sichomivi and Gualpi; second mesa Mishonginivi, Shipauilavi and Shimopavi; third mesa Oraybi. Prof. Otis T. Mason Smithsonian Institution: first mesa Tewa, Sechumavi and Walpi; second mesa Meshongnavi, Shepolavi and Shemopavi; third mesa Oraibi. Captain John G. Bourke: Tegna also called Hano; Suchonguewy, Hualpi, Mushanguewy, Shupowlewy, Sumopoy and Shupowla. A. M. Stephen old resident: first mesa Teh-wa Si-tchom-ovi and Wa1pi; second mesa Mi-shong-in-ovi, Shi-powl-ovi and Shung-op-ovi; third mesa Oraibi.

The following are the names of the 7 Moqui pueblos given by Don José Cortez an officer of the Spanish engineers in 1799 stationed in New Mexico: Oraibe Taucos, Moszasnavi, Guipaulavi, Xongopavi, Gualpi and a village which has no name situated between the last town and Tonos (Taos). The unnamed village is probably Tewa.

Lieutenant A. W. Whipple in 1853 while near Zuñi noted the names and population of the Moqui pueblos. (Pacific Railroad Whipple’s Report volume III, page 13.) The population is probably largely overestimated as it was the period of the smallpox epidemic, and the figures were given him by Mr. Leroux one of his party, who had visited the Moquis some years before. The. Moquis refer to the smallpox year as the year of their decline.

Population Of Moqui Pueblos Lieutenant A. W. Whipple 1855

Moquis PueblosIn Zuñi LanguageNumber of WarriorsTotal Population
Té-quà 1Té-é-wŭn-nà100600

P. S. G. Ten Broeck assistant surgeon United States army who visited the Moquis in 1852 gives the names of but 2 pueblos: Oraivaz called Musquint by the Mexicans and Harno.

Lieutenant Jones in 1857-1858 while stating that there were 7 Moqui pueblos names but Oraybe (Oraibi), Mooshahneh (Mishongnavi) and Tegua (Tewa).

The caciques (governors) of the 7 Moqui pueblos visited special agent James S. Calhoun at Santé Fe October 6, 1850 and gave the names of the 7 pueblos as follows: Oriva, Samoupavi, Inparavi, Mausand, Opquivi, Chemovi, Tanoquibi.

John Ward United States Indian agent who visited the Moquis in 1861 gives the names of the pueblos as follows: Oraiva, Sho-mon-pa-vi, Tano, Ci-cho-mo-oi, O-pi-ji-que, Mi-shan-qu-na-vi, Sha-pan-la-vi.

H. H. Bancroft thus writes of the Moquis:

The Moquis who speak a distinct language and who have many customs peculiar to themselves inhabit 7 villages named Oraibe, Shumuthpa, Mushaiina, Ahlela, Gualpi, Siwinna and Tegrua.

On a map of southwestern New Mexico compiled and drawn by Seth Eastman, Captain, United States Army, 1853 and found in Schoolcraft volume iv page 24 the names of the 7 Moqui pueblos are given as “towns”: Harno, Sheeourkee, Hoepeekee, Shomoparvee, Sheepon-arleeve, Mooshongeenayvee and Orayvee.

In 1872 J. H. Beadle an experienced traveler and author who spent much time with the Indians gave the names of the 7 Moqui towns as follows: Moqui pronounced Mokee; Moquina pronounced Mokeenah; Tequa pronounced Taywah; Hualpec pronounced Wallpake; Shepalawa pronounced Shapalawah; Oraybe pronounced Orybay; Beowawe pronounced Baowahay.

The Moqui Pueblos in 1890

The purely Indian names of the Moqui pueblos or villages are not attempted and for census purposes the following will be the names used:

First mesa Sichumnavi, Tewa and Walpi; second mesa Mishongnavi, Shimopavi; and Shipaulavi; third mesa Oraibi.

The Moqui. Pueblo Indians are in Apache county, northeastern Arizona. This country which was called by the Spaniards “The Province of Tusayan” is from 95 to 100 miles north of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad. The station nearest to them is Holbrook. They are located on what is known as the Moqui reservation their old lands in fact, which were set aside to them out of the Navajo reservation by the President by proclamation of December 16, 1882. It contains 2,508,800 acres or 3,920 square miles. (a) Of this enormous acreage only 10,000 are estimated to be tillable and these only with irrigation, the water being entirely the property of the Moquis. This reservation is merely tentative and was to give the United States authority over the Moquis and to protect them from white people and the Navajos. The name, which they call themselves by, is Ho-pi or Ho-pi-tuh-le-nyu-muh meaning “peaceful people”. The Zuñi knew them in 1540 and prior as the A-mo-kwi. The Spaniards changed this to Moqui or Moki. In the Moqui language moki means “dead”. Their homes consisting of 7 pueblos or villages are situated at an elevation of from 700 to 800 feet above the valleys on the almost level tops of 3 long mesas or tables. These 3 mesas project in a southwesterly direction from the main tableland into the desert south. On the first or eastern mesa about 3 miles long and from 6 to 200 feet wide are the pueblos of Sichumnavi, Tewa and Walpi; on the second or middle 3.5 miles long and from 50 to 300 feet wide those of Mishangnavi, Shimopavi and Shipaulavi; on the third or western is Oraibi which is the largest and which contains almost as many inhabitants as all the rest combined namely 905. At Walpi the mesa is hardly 200 feet wide on top and a short distance beyond toward Sichumnavi it narrows to 8 or 10 feet.

From Walpi on the first or eastern mesa all the other villages can be seen. There situation upon these 3 narrow stone arms, or long fingers, that project front the main plateau into the desert, was selected for defensive purposes no doubt as a view of the country for 50 miles about is assured. There was plenty of timber about them when the villages were first built, and more water probably near the base of the mesa; but the timber has disappeared for miles, and the appearance of the towns is that of decay and dreariness. They are remote from water and still more remote from wood from 7 to 10 miles. Their fields are scattered far away along the washes below them in the valleys, where they depend upon the retained moisture after rains for a crop, and their orchards are interspersed among the sand hills at the foot of the mesas. Their flocks and herds are driven daily from the rock corrals, built on the sides of the mesas into the distant valleys for grazing and water, and at night they are returned.

The life of the Moquis is one of great toil yet they find time for their ceremonies, dancing, visiting and other amusements. They are entirely self-sustaining. Their blankets, baskets and pottery find a ready market the proceeds from which and from the sale of some sheep and horses with their crops yield them support.

Shimopavi, Second Mesa, Miqui
Shimopavi, Second Mesa, Miqui

Indian time records are usually given by “snow flies” and minor events and are not reliable. The Moquis years are recorded by the sun’s declination which is observed by watching the shadows.

The ruins of Awatubi and those east of it are on the same mesa. As shown on the map old Shimopavi, was built about the springs under the east side of the mesa. The town was destroyed during a war hundreds of years ago; its ruins indicate that it was much larger than Oraibi and must have contained 2,500 or 3,000 people. From these ruins the mesa where the present Shimopavi is, is very imposing. Near the springs under Mishongnavi are the ruins of the old town, which was destroyed during one of the wars. These are almost the only ruins of note around the Moqui country off the mesas.

Stock And Language

The people of all the Moqui pueblos speak the same language except those of Tewa who speak the language of the Tewan or Tanoan family.

Ancient Maps of the Pueblos

On a map published by Bolognino Zaltiexi at Venice in 1566 which was engraved on copper can be found a pueblo called “Civola” (Cibola). This Civola is located on the map near the present Moqui pueblos and Zuñi. The information was of course obtained from the Spaniards as the map was published 15 years after Coronado’s march in 1541, the Spanish permanent occupation occurring in 1591.

On a map published in the third volume of Purchas’ Pilgrims London 1625 is a picture of a castle with the legend 44Pueblos de Megan” with no reference to Zuñi or other pueblos or “Cibola”. This castle is placed on the map near the present Moqui pueblos.

1710 John Senex Map
1710 John Senex Map
Map contains Taos and other New Mexican Pueblos and Moquis Pueblos

The John Senex map of North America a reduced copy of which is given herewith was published in London in 1710. Senex was a Fellow of the Royal Society. His map purports to give data up to 1710 and from the observations communicated to the Royal Society of London and the Royal Academy at Paris. It will be observed that Taos and other pueblos are given and Zulu is marked as Zuni or Cibola. To the west and north of Zuñi,10 Moqui pueblos are noted under the general title of “The Moqui” as follows: Quiana, Orawi, Macanabi Iogopapi, Aguatubi, Aguico, Alona, Masaguia and Quaguina. Aguatubi (Awatubi), which is now known and given on modern maps, is an extinct Moqui pueblo of 1.700-1701; Gualpi is probably the present Walpi and may have been removed to the site now occupied since 1710. From the present location (including the above) and comparing this map with the location of the Moqui pueblos in 1890, Iogopapi was near Shimopavi, Aguico was near Walpi, Alona near Sichumnavi and Masaguia near Tewa. The country adjacent to the present Moqui pueblos contains numerous ruined and abandoned pueblos covering a space of country 40 miles square. With so much unoccupied territory without a recorded history speculation has a vast field. Oraibi as has been noted is probably the ancient Orawi. It is the most ancient looking of the pueblos and from the amount of dirt in its streets one would give it great antiquity. Many of the other towns were removed because they became so dirty as not to be habitable or the water or fuel supply gave out others were destroyed by war. It will be noted that the present names are those given the Moqui pueblos by white nun and in some cases changed to meet the views of new comers.


Espejo estimates the Moquis in 1583 at 50,000. They received him cordially he writes giving him feasts and dances. His imagination seems to have developed with their hospitality.

In 1745 two friars claimed to have counted the persons in the Moqui pueblos and they numbered 10,846.

In 1775 Governor Auza gave them as 7,497.

Escalante in 1775 gave the population of the Moqui pueblos at 7,494.

In September 1780 Governor Anza gave the Moqui population as 798 No rain had fallen for 3 years and in that time the Moqui deaths were given at 6,698.

Governor Charles Bent of New Mexico November 10, 1846 gave the population of the Moquis as 350 families or 2,450 persons.

In 1852 Surgeon P. S. G. Ten Broeck who visited the Moquis gave the population at 8,000.

Early in 1853 Lieutenant Whipple United States Army, in charge of an exploring party for surveying a railroad to the Pacific gave the population of the Moqui (Moqui) pueblos at 6,720 and follows Governor Martinez in his estimate of the population of the 19 pueblos in New Mexico. This was prior to the smallpox of 1853-1854.

In 1861 John Ward United States Indian agent, estimated the population of the Moqui pueblos at 2,500.

The various agents of the Moqui pueblos in 1864 made estimates of their number varying from 2,000 to 4,000.
In 1865 Mr. Ward stated the Moquis to be 3,000.

In 1809 Vincent Colyer estimated their population as 4,000.

The Eleventh Census gives the 7 pueblos a population of 1,096.

Number of Pueblos

The number of Moqui pueblos has been variously given at one time as high as 11. Seven Tusayan Moqui pueblos are noted in 1541; in 1580 and 1683 5; in 1590 and 1599, 7; in 1605, 7; in 1680 5; in 1710 the names of 10 are given on the Senex map, but after 1700 in the surrounding country they were known as the “7 Moqui pueblos” and have so continued to be known because there are only 7 pueblos.

The Moqui Indians have quantities of garnets, Arizona rubies and pieces of turquoise the latter from near Los Cerillos, uncut or in the rock which they wear for ornaments.

The period at which the Moquis built their houses on the tops of the mesas must be very remote long anterior to the advent of the Spaniard in 1530-1541. The footpaths worn in the rock from the pueblos or from the mesas, to the springs below by the almost constant procession of people going for water indicate extended use.

The houses are built from 2 to 4 stories high in terrace shape the roof of the front lower story being the balcony of the second story, and so on up the upper story being but a small apartment. The lower story is generally from 8 to 10 feet high the second about 8 feet, and each one above that slightly decreasing but not to less than 6 feet. These terraced houses are built in rows forming long streets as at Oraibi in a square with a large center court or plaza, which is reached from the outside by narrow and low covered ways as at Shipaulavi, or on 3 sides of several rectangles as at Mishongnavi, or 3 sides of a square and long streets as at Shimopavi. There is however little regularity at Walpi the town having been built to conform to the uneven surface of the mesa at that point. Sichumnavi and Tewa are rectangular with their houses facing the east. Entrance to these abodes were, formerly made by ladders and through openings in the tops these openings being covered with blankets or skins during a storm or when it was cold. With the advent of the Spaniard came doors; windows of gypsum and the fireplace. Every dwelling has still 2 or more ladders and by them the different stories are reached.


The chief priest of the Moquis is chosen by his predecessor and resides at Oraibi. The principal or head chief Shigeo of the Moquis resides at Walpi. He inherits his position and Walpi may be said to be the governing or controlling town of the 7 Moqui pueblos.

The governors of the several pueblos are elected from time to time by the priests or medicine amen in council with the principal chief; and are chosen for an indefinite term and continued in office as long as they prove efficient and useful. Each of the Moqui pueblos has a war captain called “capitane” after the Spanish The priests of the different orders called “medicine men” seem to have a greater power than the chiefs or governors.

Careful investigation shows that the Moquis have an almost ideal form of government administered on one side by the high priest or perhaps priests; and on the other .by the council. It works harmoniously and is fitted to the daily wants of this people. Such disputes as there are about a donkey a field crops or melons are settled by the officers.

Social Orders Religion and Customs

The Moquis have a religion of their own with mach ceremony and many dances games and amusements of a religious and social character. Their chief god, who name they never speak is their Jehovah and they at times supplicate him by raising both arms with extended hands and face upturned. Massau is their King of Death.

A M. Stephen writes of the social orders, religion and customs of the Moquis as follows:

Ancestry and inheritance are about on the same general lines as with the Navajo but in their kind property there aye still traces that it was once divided on a communal basis for the use of the families composing the gentes and not as individual holdings They still count many gentes and there are about 26 of these extant but some of them are only represented now by 1 or 2 persons. Their gentes are named after the sun, clouds, animals, plants, mythologic and common objects deriving their names either from mythic ancestors or traditional incidents in their early history. The priests and chiefs are not privileged personages. The former are the leaders in all religions ceremonies, and the latter preside at councils, decide matters of controversy and to some extent conduct the affairs of the village. They are not hereditary but most of them nominate their own successors. They engage in the same labors and lead precisely the same life as the other villagers, and no actual difference in social rank is recognized.

Their thronged mythology has given rise to a very complex system of worship which rests upon this theory: in early days certain superhuman beings called Katcheenas [Cachinas] appeared at certain seasons, bringing blessings or reproofs from the gods, and as indicated by their name they listened to the people’s prayers and carried back their desires to the gods. A long while ago they revealed certain mystic rites to a few good men of every clan by means of which mortals could communicate directly with the gods after which their visits ceased amt this the Moquis say was the origin of their numerous religious or Katcheena societies. To a limited extent certain woman were also similarly endowed; hence the membership of some of these societies consists entirely of men others of women only and in many both sexes bear a part. The public aeronautics of these societies are participated in by all the members fancifully dressed in cotton tunics kilts and girdles and wearing large masks decorated with the emblems pertaining to the Katcheena whose feast they celebrate. Emerging from the kiva the maskers form in procession and march to the village court where they stand in line rattle in hand and as they stamp their feet with measured cadence they sing their traditional hymns of petition. The surrounding .house terraces are crowded with spectators and some of these celebrations partake much of the nature of dramas. Feats of war are mimicked or the actions of wild animals and hunters and many mythic incidents are commemorated, while interludes afford an opportunity for a few grotesquely arrayed buffoons to crack coarse jests for the amusement of the rude audience. Every moon witnesses sonic celebration.

There is no Christian church in any of the 7 Moqui pueblos and but little evidence of the Catholic faith whose clergymen were once with them save the rough shrines and altars still remaining.

Customs of the Moqui Tribe

A noticeable trait of the Moquis from their first mention by the Spaniards to this clay is their traveling on foot; one reason for this stronger than any other is the poverty of the country through which they move in the matter of forage and water for animals. The Moqui, when he starts out for a journey always carries rations enough to last several days. Moquis are not generally horsemen: the men of Tewa are the horsemen of the tribe the cavalry. These Tewas are hired fighters who were employed and settled by the 6 Moqui pueblos as soldiers to aid them against the Navajos after 1680 to 1700.

The Moquis cling to the high mesas. The fear of sudden floods and consequent danger to life and property keeps them out of the valleys or away from the low lands about the mesas. The altitude of the 7 Moqui villages can not be given and that of Oraibi alone 6,730 feet is noted. Shimopavi isolated and standing clearly above the mesa has the appearance of being the highest. An instrument only can settle this point.

Habits And Health

The Moquis are a temperate people rarely indulging in anything to excess. Very few of them use intoxicants, and such intoxicants as they have are brought to them by outsiders.
In relation to the health of the Moquis Special Agent Scott says:

There are evidences of scrofula now and then but as a rule the Moquis are healthy. The great elevation at which they live prevents many of the ordinary diseases. It has been “the survival of the fittest” for hundreds of years and the generations now living are healthy considering all things. The wonder is considering their crowded state, that they are not more sickly than they are and the death rate greater. There is scarcely a home in the towns on the first mesa but what I have not entered. I don’t remember seeing a sick person except a young woman just recovering from childbirth; she was lying on the ground or earth floor of her house covered with blankets, with her head toward the fire. She was very proud of the new little Moqui stranger and showed it to us as if it were the prettiest child ever born. I don’t think a Moqui finds out he is sick until he is dead. In none of the 7 Moqui pueblos do you see any half-breeds; they are a pure stock of people with no indications of intercourse with the whites and have but little if any syphilis.

Moqui Boarding School

The government school at Keams Canyon which is on the Moqui reservation was opened in July 1887. The establishment of this school is due to the efforts of Mrs. Harriet R. Hawley wife of Senator Joseph R. Hawley of Connecticut. It is a boarding school with a capacity for 50 children. During the year ended June 30, 1890 it cost the government $11,716.46. The enrollment of pupils was 45. The average attendance was 27. The session was 10 mouths. The average cost to the government per capita per month was $36.16. The pupils cultivated 25 acres of ground. In all cases board and lodging were furnished.

The school was managed by 8 white and 5 Indian employees 10 males and 3 females (position and salary of 3 not given) as follows: 2 superintendent and principal teacher $1,200; clerk and physician $1,000; teacher $600; industrial teacher $840; matron $600; seamstress $480; two laundresses (each $480) $960; herder $180; carpenter $840.

The Legal Status of the Moquis

The Moquis were considered the same as other pueblo Indians by all Spanish Mexican and early American officials.

In 1849 after the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, James S. Calhoun special United States Indian agent in a report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs notes the pueblos of New Mexico as far west as Zuñi and the Commissioner of the General Land Office of date August 24, 1849 in giving William Pelham surveyor general of the territory of New Mexico instructions and a form of procedure in cases of proof and proceedings in private land claims in said territory (New Mexico then embraced the present territory of Arizona), cited Calhoun’s report and copied the census of the pueblos from Taos on the north to Zuñi on the west saying “this statement has no reference to pueblos west of Zuñi” thus conceding that there were such pueblos and of course they were the Moqui pueblos.

The act of Congress of July 22, 1853, made it incumbent on the surveyor general of New Mexico to “make a report in regard to all pueblos existing in the territory showing the extent and locality of each stating the number of inhabitants in the said pueblos respectively and the nature of their titles to the land”.

When the agent Mr. Calhoun reported on the pueblos of New Mexico (October 4, 1819) he omitted the 7 Moqui pueblos then in New Mexico but in October 1850 he reported them and advised that they receive the same treatment as the pueblos on the Rio Grande. Arizona was not erected into a territory until 1863. In the case of the Moqui pueblos then in New Mexico (now in Arizona) they were not reported on in 1849 because they were in the country of the fierce Navajo where Mr. Calhoun dared not venture to make an examination.

The claim of the Moquis to their pueblo sites and the land adjacent used for agriculture and grazing of the same area granted to other pueblos is a title originating under the Spanish and Mexican governments preceding the United States in sovereignty and it is the obligation under treaty of the United States to deal with such title or claims or pueblo claims precisely as Mexico would have done had the sovereignty not changed.

The statute of limitation has not as yet expired in the matter of the Moqui pueblos. There is no lathes their part. Open and notorious possession since 1539 surely should give the Moquis ownership.

The eighth and ninth articles of the treaty of Gaudalupe Hidalgo expressly stipulates for the security and protection of private property. The law on this point was settled by the Supreme Court of the United States (United States v. Percheman, 7 Peters’ Reports) in the following language:

The people change their allegiance their relations to their sovereign is dissolved but their relations to each other and their rights of property remain undisturbed.

The Supreme Court of the United States (United States v. Arredondo et al.) also declared that Congress have adopted as the basis of all their acts the principle that the law of the province in which the land is situated is the law which gives efficacy to the grant and by which it is to be tested whether it was property at the time the treaties took effect.

The private land titles including pueblos in New Mexico were derived from the authorities of Spain as well as of Mexico. Under this system there are many imperfect and mere inceptive titles. The Supreme Court of the United States has always decided such claims with liberal equity and has always held that an inchoate title to land is property.

In the case of the United States plaintiff in error v. Antonio Joseph (Supreme Court) 4 Otto 614-619 argued April 20, 1877 decided May 7, 1877; also United States Supreme Court Reports 94-97 page 295 Mr. Justice Miller in deciding that the Pueblos of New Mexico were not a tribe of Indians in the legal or governmental sense and in considering the question of their citizenship having in view of course the fact that the United States had appointed an agent for the Pueblos of New Mexico (as it has at times for the Moqui Pueblos of Arizona, formerly of New Mexico), and also the fact that acts by executive officers of the nation (such as the President creating a reservation for the Moquis) held that such acts do not alter or change the legal status of Indians; and the court further held that the Pueblos of New Mexico (and necessarily those in Arizona once in. New Mexico) were citizens of Mexico by reason of that government having given them all civil rights including the right to vote and that the United States was not a proper party to this action having no legal control over them and that the TROS Pueblos must bring their own action in the proper court of New Mexico.

Situated far from traveled routes the Moquis have been visited by few white men.

Water Supply and the Country of the Moquis

A casual view of the country of the Moquis from a mountain top shows probably the most uninviting landscape in the west; still where water can be obtained to apply to seeds the most abundant yield follows. Small irrigated areas sustain large numbers of people.

What the Moqui ancestry did for flesh food or other food in variety (there is now no fish) prior to the arrival of the Spaniards who brought horses goats sheep and burros and melons and peaches to the southwest one can only conjecture. Jack rabbits and rabbits, deer and antelopes or mountain sheep and game in the distant mountains or on the far off plains must have been more plentiful than now. Corn the common food of the North American Indian which now makes 90 per cent of their food other than meat must have been their staple along with flesh obtained in the distant mountains.

Notwithstanding the desolation in and about the mesas on which the Moqui pueblos are situated humming birds and mocking birds are found. The mocking birds are also found in great numbers in the pueblos of New Mexico. The Moquis as do the Pueblos of New Mexico cage the mocking bird which thrives in captivity. Doves are found in great numbers anywhere on the American desert.

The Moquis are not reservations Indians in the general acceptation of the word. They were not wild Indians roaming at will over the country gathered up by the government and placed on a reservation to protect the whites from them. They have been town dwellers and cultivators of the soil since the Europeans first came to the country. The definition of their reservation by the President December 10, 1882 was for the purpose of drawing the line over which the Navajos were not to cross. This was also done in the case of the Zuñi. Water was protected by this action and the President increased the area of the reservation to save it.

The United States has never had a treaty with the Moquis

It has never assumed any direct control over them other than the naming of an agent for them and presenting them with a few useful articles from time to time. It has however agreed through the agents to keep the Navajos from murdering and robbing them. They can only live in community on the land they occupy. There is not water enough to irrigate a very large area. It would sink in the land before reaching any broad surface of ground. There are no streams only springs and water holes.


While the Moqui is stationary in many things he is progressive in adopting articles of comfort or utility. He was cunning enough to stop weaving cotton cloth when he found he could buy it of the traders cheaper than he could weave it. It is true that there is not much more evidence of progress toward a real Anglo-Saxon civilization among the Moquis in 1890 than there was in 1,540. In 1540 they were of the Stone Age in utensils and tools and never since by their own exertions have they advanced from this condition. They are however quick and ready imitators and the evidences of European and American influences are now seen on every hand in dress, implements and furniture but not in customs or ceremonies. According to the general belief of the Spaniards, at the time of their discovery in 1540 they had made progress from a wild condition and were in a progressive state.

Some 20 years ago a distribution of various supplies was made by the United States to the Moquis. Among the articles distributed were some cultivators but the Moquis having no harness for their horses (very indifferent ponies), these cultivators were useless, so they concluded to make charms of them, and many of these charms are now to be seen lying on the roofs of the Morph dwellings, called “good medicine”. At this distribution a number of grindstones were also issued. The Moquis had always used a short slab of stone or the surface of a large stone to sharpen knives or other like instruments upon, and the grindstones amused them for a time, but now several may be seen in the various pueblos as tops for the estufas.

The Spaniards quickly relinquished their hold upon the Moquis in 1540 and after, because in their country they found but little rage for their horses and poor food for their soldiers. 3

The Moqui civic government is relatively the same as that of the New Mexico pueblos along the Rio Grande. Their religion of materialism has evidences of former phallic worship. Their isolation has preserved their forms and customs and their primitive virtue, and they live uncontaminated by the vices of civilization; they are still children of nature.

What Should be done for the Moquis

The Moqui has but little property estimating from an Anglo-Saxon standpoint; still he has more than he requires excepting watering places, which should be improved and developed. He could be taught more stringent laws of health and economy and made to guard against disease and famine.

His condition in 1890 was good and his wants but few were well supplied by himself. His great needs are water and timber. These people should have a competent irrigating engineer sent to them for a few months to show them how to construct reservoirs in which to preserve their water, how to run levels and grades for their ditches, and how to develop springs or water holes. They should have issued to them quick growing trees for timber and fuel; a few head of stock to improve their herds and flocks and a small number of improved agricultural implements. Twenty thousand dollars is ample to do all this, and when done the Moquis should be let alone and given to understand that they must take care of themselves as they have done for centuries.

An industrial school or a few day schools could be established among them, but its officers should see to the school only. A physician could be utilized as one of the teachers and be of much service to the Moquis. The civil policy government and daily lives of these people should be let alone. With their water supply properly developed they are better located in the villages where they area on the mesas than they would be in the valleys. Considering their smallholdings of land no allotment of an equitable nature can be made. The water in the vicinity of the mesas is now the property of the Moquis and has been for centuries. Its ownership commands an enormous area of grazing lands in the vicinity, which whites are now anxious to utilize for their herds and flocks with the water of the Moqui. The Moquis leaving the mesas would terminate in their being driven from the water and from the land. Allotment, the granting of small areas of land in fee, would place the springs in the hands of individual owners.

These people were town or pueblo Indians and citizens under the republic of Mexico, and by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 with Mexico, they as well as the Pueblos of New Mexico, became citizens of the United States. They have no friend at court, are remote from railroad or white settlements, in a barren country, holding the Navajo at bay and keeping him from making inroads upon the whites of the south. Precedent and usage and a long occupancy demand that their land holdings by metes and bounds be given them by patent and in community, as has been don in the case of other pueblo Indians in New Mexico. Their claims, embracing all the pueblos and springs, should be surveyed and a patent issued to them in fee; above, all, let one of the 4 sections of Indians in the United States who now sustain themselves continue to do so.

Statistics of the Moquis, 1890

The statistics of the population, wealth and social condition of the Moqui Pueblos show that, although isolated from the Anglo-Saxon, the Moqui Pueblo is amply able to care for himself if aided merely by an issue of those things which will multiply in the future to his advantage.

The enumeration was made by Francis M. Zuck, under the direction of E.S. Clark, supervisor of census for Arizona, as a special census, and the numbers are not included in the general census. The statistics of property and values were secured by Julian Scott, special agent, and the special agent in charge.

The population of the 7 Moqui pueblos in 1890 was 1,996; males 999; females 997; over 18 years of age, 1,118; under 6 years of age, 288; over 5 years of age and to 18 inclusive, 590; heads of families, 364; house owners, 364; farmers and weavers, 456; day laborers, 6; medicine men, 2; pottery makers, 366; governors, 7. One thousand seven hundred and forty-nine speak nothing but the Indian language’ 6 speak Spanish, 51 speak English, 33 read it, and 25 write English. This does not include the 44 children at the United States Indian boarding school at Keams Canyon. The Indians noted as writing Indian are able to represent Indian words with the Roman letters.

History, Moqui,

Department of the Interior. Report on Indians Taxed and Indians not Taxed in the United States, Except Alaska at the Eleventh Census: 1890. Washington DC: Government Printing Office. 1894.

Search Military Records - Fold3
  1. Probably Should be Tigue, one of the Ancient Tribes of Rio del Norte[]
  2. Brevet Major General A. Mcd. McCook commanding the department of Arizona in his report for 1890-1891 wrote of this school “The children looked neat and clean and are well fed and cared for by the principal and employees of the school The children are nearly of an ago; consequently they will leave the school at the same time, carrying with them an education and habits of life far superior to any they had heretofore enjoyed, and no one can fail to believe, or to hope at least that the 103 children now present in the school, returning to their homes imbued with another and better civilization will produce much good. To the casual visitor the efforts made by these handsome children to speak our language is pathetic. The location is a good one the parents and relatives can visit the school and meet there children during the term, which is humane and proper. The children take great interest in their work, with their practical lessons as well as with their books. Nothing but good can come from this school. If there were greater facilities of accommodations, there would be a greater number of children in the school. I am glad to report that 44 of the pupils are from the Areibe [Oraibi] village and not the least comely of the pupils gathered there.[]
  3. The Moquis are Pueblo Indians to all intents and purposes their language excepted which has been classed with the Shoshoni or Numa group of American Indians. Nothing can be said about them as they appeared in the past centuries to the first European visitors that does net apply to the Now Mexican Pueblos also. The differences are purely local and can at once be explained by physical causes. Thus the Moquis raised cotton whereas the Zunis did not and the reason for it is found in the southerly exposure of the lands which the Moquis cultivate. The blankets of rabbit hair which Fray Marcos was informed were made and worn at Totoutenc, were not exclusively Moqui; the Zuñi made them also There is one point however that attracts our attention in regard to the Moquis, and that is the feeling of coldness, not to say hostility; which prevailed between them and their nearest neighbors, the Zuñi Indians. As early as the time of Coronado the 2 clusters were not on good terms. There was comparatively more intercourse between the Moqui and some of the Rio Grande pueblos than between the Moqui and Zuñi. Up to the present day this feeling strengthened by events subsequent to the reconquest of 1894 is very marked. Another curious fact which may be defined from the report of Fray Marcos and which is corroborated by Moqui and Zuñi tradition is the existence of a cluster of 12 pueblos inhabited by people of Moqui stock, the ruins of which villages exist today and which have given rise to the name of Tontonteac. We are led to infer in this case as well as in that of the ancient villages at the salt marshes near Zuñi, that the said cluster of 12 was abandoned but shortly before the sixteenth century. One of their number, Altman even remained occupied until the first half of the past century. These are among the few historical data that seem be gathered from manly Spanish records now at my disposal, and which relate to a period anterior to the coming of the white man.-A. R. Bandelier 1890.[]

1 thought on “The Moqui Tribe in History 1865-1890”

  1. I’m a member of the Hopi Tribe (Moqui) and was raised and lived on the Hopi Reservation. I just turned 75 years old and was a product of the BIA boarding school in Phoenix. I need copies of written history, especially the written English version of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. I have been writing our migrations from South America and want to establish a history class for our students. Can you help with information.

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