...it has not forgotten its past, evidenced by it's Southwestern architecture and Native American cultural influences that are interwoven with the sophisticated lifestyle of it's residents.
Phoenix earlest inhabitants were the Hohokam Indians. This tribe thrived in the region until about 1450 A.D. There is no record of the Hohokam after that, although they are believed to be ancestors of the Pima Indian. In the Pima language ,'hohokam: means' those who have gone.
For almost 25,000 years, Native American were alone in what is now Arizona. Archaeological evidence supports the existence of three major tribal groups: the Anasazi of the state's northern plateau highlands; the Mogollon people of the northern and eastern mountain belt; and the Hohokam.
Today there are 23 Native Americans reservations in
Arizona- more than in any other state.
These reservations are home to an estimated 300,000 Native Americans from 21 different tribes.
In the mid 1500's, the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Arizona , searching for the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola. Although they found little gold, they introduced the native people to cattle and horse raising and a variety of new agricultural crops and techniques. Until the mid-1850s, the Native American tribes accepted the few miners, traders and farmers who settled in Arizona. As the number of white settlers grew, however, the Apache, Navajo, Yavapai, Hualapai and Paiute tribes of the mountains and plateau resented the encroachment on their land and battles broke out.
The military was called in and eventually the tribes were confined to government reservation.The ensuing decades
were an ordeal for Arizona's natives, but they survived with the same diligence that enabled their ancestors to thrive
in the Southwest.
The present city of Phoenix originated in 1860 as a small settlement on the banks of the Salt River. One of the city's first settlers gave Phoenix it's name, predicting that a great city would arise from the ancient Hohokam ruins like the legendary phoenix bird that was said to have risen it's own ashes.
Mythology suggested the phoenix bird was immortal, rising from it's ashes every 500 years.
With the construction of it's first railroad in 1887, Phoenix drew settlers from all over the United States. In 1889, it was declared the capital of the Arizona territory. Statehood was celebrated on Feb. 14,1912, and George P. Hunt was elected Arizona's first governor.