Opinion: Photos document O'odham history

"For those who think the Tohono O'odham are all about casinos and fry bread, this book should be a real eye-opener.

Authored by archaeologist Allan J. McIntyre, "The Tohono O'odham and Pimeria Alta" is the first photographic history book written about the people formerly known as the Papago.

Close to 200 photographs, illustrations and maps fill the book. Works include saguaro-harvesting photos taken by Edward Curtis, renowned North American Indian photographer, and several studio shots by Henry Buehman, Tucson pioneer photographer.

Dates range from the mid-1870s to barely 1940. "I tried to stay before 1940," says McIntyre, who plowed through thousands of images, mainly at the Arizona Historical Society. Many have never been published.

Among the more striking images: young men painted for a ceremonial dance in front of Mission San Xavier del Bac, women balancing huge burden baskets at the backs of their heads, and the obvious damage to San Xavier following an 1887 earthquake that shook Tucson and the vast desert lands known as the Pimeria Alta — home to the Tohono O'odham."

Get the Story:
Bonnie Henry : O'odham history (The Arizona Daily Star 6/9)