Oodham means “desert people,” but they were once called Papago. For hundreds of years, they lived in what is now Sonora, a state in northern Mexico, and Arizona, USA. They grew crops and hunted wild game. The Spanish Empire ignored their “barren” land until the Spaniards discovered silver nearby. Then the Oodham were used as silver miners. After the US defeated Mexico in the Mexican-American War, they were usually left alone. Then came the Gadsden Purchase in 1854. The US paid Mexico 10 million dollars for land in southern Arizona where they hoped to build a railroad. That land was the Oodham homeland. From then on, their homeland was split between the two countries. A simple card was enough to allow them to go back and forth across the border until the 1990s. At that time, drug cartels and human traffickers started using their tribal land for criminal activities. Violence was common. Oodham police became effective in turning the tide on the criminals, but there are serious unresolved issues they face in the 21st century. Most live in the US, but some of their relatives are south of the border in Sonora, Mexico.
Since their homeland straddles the Mexico-US border, the Oodham people are very much affected by issues pertaining to illegal immigration. They do not want illegal immigrants, human traffickers or drug carrying “mules” passing through their homeland, and their tribal police are very active in stopping criminals. On the other hand, having a firm border between the two countries restricts their ability to see relatives on the other side of the border. They do not want a wall running through their tribal land or surveillance cameras, which would violate their privacy.
The traditional religious beliefs of the Oodham involve medicine men. They are buried in mountains that they believe are sacred. Because of the sacred status of those mountains, the Oodham people will not live there. Each July there is vikita, where tribal members pray for the earth and all who live on it. Yet there is a strong Christian presence among the Oodham, especially on the US side of the border.
The Oodham people are caught in the middle of international border issues. Their homeland can potentially be used by drug cartels; therefore, they have to be vigilant. These two matters make them vulnerable.
Pray for Oodham disciples to disciple others in the ways of Christ, leading to a spiritual blessing for their community.
Pray for the Oodham people to find Jesus in the midst of their many trials.
Pray for the Lord to abundantly bless the Oodham people, and that they will respond with gratitude and worship.
Scripture Prayers for the Oodham in United States.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|People Name General||Oodham|
|People Name in Country||Oodham|
|Alternate Names||Papago; Papago-Pima; Tohono O'odham; Upper Piman|
|Population this Country||21,000|
|Population all Countries||23,000|
|Progress Scale||5 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|GSEC||5 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed|
|Region||America, North and Caribbean|
|National Bible Society||Website|
|Persecution Rank||Not ranked|
|Location in Country||Arizona: south central. 60 villages on 7 reservations. Source: Ethnologue 2016|
|Primary Language||Tohono O'odham|
|Language Code||ood Ethnologue Listing|
|Dialect Code||15308 Global Recordings Listing|
|Language Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
Primary Language: Tohono O'odham
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1975-2010)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name||Source|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching||Global Recordings Network|
|General||Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text, audio, video||Faith Comes by Hearing|
|General||Gospel resources links||Scripture Earth|
|General||YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio||YouVersion Bibles|
|Mobile App||Android Bible app (Wycliffe)||SIL|
|Mobile App||Android Bible app: Tohono O'odham||YouVersion Bibles|
|Mobile App||Bible app direct APK download||SIL|
|Mobile App||iOS Bible app: Tohono O'odham||YouVersion Bibles|
|Text / Printed Matter||Download scripture in this language||eBible.org|