March 27, 2017

3002 UNITED STATES (Arizona) - Maricopa people

3002 Maricopa girl

The Maricopa are a Native American tribe, who live in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (since 1879) and Gila River Indian Community (since 1859) along with the Pima, a tribe with whom the Maricopa have long held a positive relationship. The neighboring Pima (Akimel O'odham) called them Kokmalik'op (enemies in the big mountains), and the Spanish rendered it as Maricopa. They call themselves Piipaa, Piipaash or Pee-Posh (people). Their heritage language is Maricopa language, which belongs to the Yuman language family.

They formerly consisted of small groups of people situated on the banks of the Colorado River for centuries. In the 16th century, they migrated to the area around the Gila River, to avoid attacks by the Quechan and Mojave peoples. During the 1840s, epidemics took a toll on the tribe. In the 19th century, the Maricopa formed a confederation with the Pima, and in 1857 they successfully defeated the Quechan and Mojave at the Battle of Pima Butte near Maricopa Wells.

They became successful farmers, and in 1870 they produced three million pounds of wheat; however, drought and water diversion by non-Indians brought widespread crop failures. In the 19th and the 20th centuries, the Bureau of Indian Affairs implemented policies to try to assimilate the Maricopa into mainstream society. In 1914, the federal government broke tribal landholdings into individual allotments. The Pima Advisory Council was formed by the BIA in 1926 to speak on behalf of the Pima and Maricopa communities.

In 1936 the Pimas and Maricopas agreed on a constitution to restore some measure of self-governance. Through the 1930s, surface flow on the Gila River was reduced to nothing, and the tribe suffered greatly due to the loss of their river; however, the BIA ignored water issues. The tribe resorted to using brackish well water, incapable of growing edible crops, so the tribe switched to growing cotton. The Maricopa are known for their basket weaving and textiles, but in particular, they are known for their highly burnished red-on-redware pottery.

Their traditional pottery practices enjoyed a revival from 1937 to 1940. A US Home Extension Agent, Elizabeth Hart works with a leading Maricopa pottery, Ida Redbird, formed the Maricopa Pottery Cooperative. Redbird served as president of the cooperative, which had 17 to 19 master potters as members. Swastikas were a common traditional motif that was abandoned in the 1940s, due to the Nazi usurpation of the symbol. The paddle and anvil method of construction is used, and, while utilitarian cookware is tempered, decorative Maricopa pottery has no temper.

About the stamp

The stamp is one of the two designed by Mihail Vămăşescu and issued on March 10, 2017 to celebrate Easter. Because in 2017 Easter is celebrated on the same day, both for Orthodox Christians and Catholics alike, Romfilatelia issued one stamp for each. Both stamps have the same face value (1.30 RON).
• Crucifixion of the Savior, from Radu Voda Monastery in Bucharest - It's on the postcard 3002
• The Lord’s Crucifixion, from Saint Joseph Cathedral in Bucharest - It's on the postcard 3009

About the postmark

Romfilatelia - First day postmark of the issue Easter 2017 - 10 March 2017

Maricopa people - Wikipedia
Maricopa pottery - ClayHound website

Sender: Eugen Mihai (direct swap)
Sent from Bucureşti (Bucureşti / Romania), on 10.03.2017
Photo: Edward S. Curtis

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