In the wake of the wheel: introduction of the Wagon to the Papago Indians of Southern
American Indians know nothing of the wheel and its uses until white men
Did not make use of wheeled vehicles until before 1900
Adoption of the use of wheels was because of the result of a deliberate
program of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs
Program was successful and had reached effects on the simple routine of life
in desert villages
The course of events
1. 1687, Spanish missionaries first came into contact with the Papago Indians.
Missionaries and soldiers brought metal tools, cattle, horses, Christianity and
some ideas of political and military organization.
Horses were introduced, fact is not recorded.
2. Papagos live at the extreme margin of Spanish influence in the New world.
Papagos moved into the villages around the mission churches for longer or
shorter periods and learned something of new agricultural techniques and
3. Middle of 19 century, new era began for the Papagos.
Joined as allies with the Americans against their old enemies.
4. 1860s, Papagoes in the 1860’s, agents of the bureau of Indian Affairs expressed
deep concern for the “poverty-stricken Indians”.
5. Plan was put into effect for giving a farm-wagon to everyone who would agree to
build a house in the Mexican adobe style.
6. Majority of Papagos lived far to the west of the agent’s village and were not
reached by this first program, only in the eastern villages that wagons came into
7. Brothers of the headman of the village of Choulik, thrown into ra