Where the Earth and Sky Are Sewn Together

Sobaípuri-O’odham Contexts of Contact and Colonialism

The Sobaípuri-O’odham occupied the San Pedro and Santa Cruz valleys of southern Arizona from the 1400s. Their descendants reside at the contemporary community if Wa:k (San Xavier del Bac). Most of the protohistory and history concerning the Sobaípuri-O’odham has been gleaned from documents written by the early Spanish colonizers and other Europeans and emphasizes the influence of Father Eusebio Kino; there are few accounts of the indigenous people themselves.

In recent years, however, archaeological surveys and excavations in southern Arizona have revealed new information about this group. Where the Earth and Sky Are Sewn Together includes these archaeological findings to provide an enhanced interpretation of the Sobaípuri-O’odham lifeway, addressing questions that have been unanswerable by historical documents alone. Seymour considers new methods and theory for tackling the difficulties of working with a sparse archaeological record and proposes some very different answers. This book represents a much revised rendition of the historian’s Sobaípuri-O’odham, a people who once dominated southern Arizona’s landscape.

Deni J. Seymour is a research associate at the University of Arizona and a research archaeologist for Dos Locos Consultores, LLC. She has been studying the archaeology of the protohistoric and historic Sobaípuri-O’odham, Apache, and others for more than a quarter century.

Author Website

Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Tables
1. The Fertile Fields of the Sobaípuri-O’odham
2. Background and Basis
3. Integrating Sources
4. Distinguishing the Sobaípuri
5. O’odham Housing
6. O’odham Domestic Space
7. Sobaípuri Foodways and Hearth-Related Practices
8. Sobaípuri Land Use
9. Dating Sites
10. Ranchería and Community
11. Sobaipuri Occupational Duration
12. Contrarian Perspectives on Sobaípuri Transformation
13. A Relation to the Sobaípuri Past
References Cited

Praise and Reviews:

Where the Earth and Sky Are Sewn Together provides a unique perspective on the Soba’puri, O’odham, and Hohokam not captured in other books. The author provides a compelling amount of new data from her recent fieldwork. This is an extraodinary and exciting achievement.”—W. Bruce Masse, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico

"Well-documented, written, and illustrated. Seymour has prepared a synthesis that makes a strong effort to bring her thoughts and ideas from nearly 25 years of Sobaipuri research together in one volume. This volume presents an archaeology of the Sobaipuri that actually enhances the documentary record. Extensive new archaeological fieldwork carried out by the author provides new insights on Spanish documentary sources, sometimes supporting, sometimes correcting, and most often expanding our knowledge base. This well-thought-out and extensively documented book represents a significant new contribution to our understanding of the Sobaipuri-O’odham."–Historical Archaeology

"A major contribution to the study of the prehistory and early history of southern Arizona. The quality of the photographs is outstanding and the maps enhance the discussions of the historic and archaeological sites. A fine example of the value of a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates multiple sources of information to obtain a better understanding of the deep and varied heritage of Arizona."—The Journal of Arizona History

“This work will remain the definitive source on the San Pedro Sobaipuri for many years. Not only does it elucidate what can be said about them, it provides a broad range of information of a general nature about this division of the Upper Pimans and their neighbors.”—Sierra Vista Historical Society Newsletter