Historians disagree on the origin of the state name "Arizona," but the traditional consensus is that the name is derived from the O'odham term, "Ali-Shonak" or "Aleh-zon," the native name of an area in Arizona, which sounds like the word for "small spring." Another theory is that the name is derived from a Basque word that means "the good oak tree."Continue Reading
The area comprised of southern Arizona and northern Mexico, which was originally known by the Spanish as Pimeria Alta after the native inhabitants who the Spanish called Pima, had a small area that was called Arissona, Arisona or Arizona by the Spanish settlers. Historian Donald T. Garate notes that the place name Arizona was used by Basque settlers in an area below what later became the Mexican border, and places called Arizona have been referenced in Basque settlements well beyond the geographical reach of the O'odham natives, adding credibility to the Basque theory.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, Arizona was home to numerous native tribes, such as the Mogollan and the Hohokam. Spanish explorers scouted the area in the mid-1500s, and Spain founded fortified towns at Tubac and Tuscon in the 1700s. Arizona became part of the territory known as Alta California in 1821 when Mexico achieved independence from Spain.Learn more about US History
The first major European settlement was built in Arizona in 1752 at Tubac by the Spanish; it was a military outpost on the Santa Cruz River, north of Nogales. This settlement was a response to unrest among the Pima, one of several Indian tribes.Full Answer >
Examples of American Indian tribes native to Arizona include the Hopi Tribe, Yavapia-Prescott Tribe, Cocopah Tribe and Havasupai Tribe. Other tribes include the San Juan Southern Paiutes, the Navajo Nation and the San Carlos Apache Tribe.Full Answer >
The Hohokam Indians historically lived in the desert area of central and southern Arizona. Early archaeologists suggested the Hohokam Indian culture may have developed in Mexico. The Hohokam people left their settlements between 1350 and 1450 due to strenuous conditions.Full Answer >
Arizona is a state well known for its dude ranches, some of the most notable being Rancho de los Caballeros, the Tombstone Monument Ranch and the White Stallion Ranch. Each ranch gives visitors the opportunity for relaxation, solitude, great scenery and outdoor activities for all ages.Full Answer >