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Glossary of Spanish and Indian Words

Apache(Uh-PATCH-ee)Indian Nomadic and warlike Indians of the American Southwest.
Aztec(AS-tec)Indian Indians of central Mexico. Early settlers thought Aztecs had built Montezuma Castle and other ruins in the Southwest.
Espejo, Antonio de(Es-PAY-ho, On-TON-eeyo day)Spanish Spanish explorer who visited central Arizona in 1583.
Hohokam(Ho-ho-KAHM)Indian Early Indian inhabitants of the Verde Valley.
Hopi(HO-pee)Indian A Pueblo Indian tribe of northeastern Arizona.
Kiva(KEE-vuh)Indian Ceremonial chamber or room.
Mano(MAH-no)Spanish Hand; applied to grinding stone held in hand.
Mesa(MAY-suh)Spanish Table; hence a tableland.
Mescal(Mess-KAHL)Spanish from Indian A small plant (agave); quids of this plant were chewed as a stimulant.
Mesquite(Mess-KEET)Spanish from Indian A spiny tree or bush bearing bean-like pods used for food by Indians.
Metate(Meh-TAH-tay)Spanish from Indian A concave grinding stone used for grinding corn.
Montezuma(Mon-teh-ZOO-muh)Indian Last Aztec emperor of Mexico.
Navajo(NAW-vuh-ho)Spanish from Indian A tribe of seminomadic, herdsmen Indians of the Southwest. Related to the Apaches.
Pueblo(Pooh-EB-lo)Spanish Village; hence the Indians who built the large dwellings in the Southwest. Also applied to the dwellings themselves.
Sinagua(Sin-AH-wah)Spanish Prehistoric Indians of the Verde Valley who built Montezuma Castle. The word means literally "without water."
Verde(VER-day)Spanish Green; hence Verde Valley.
Yavapai(YAH-vah-pie)Indian Indians occupying Verde Valley when it was visited by the Espejo Expedition. Possibly descendents of the Hohokam.
Yucca(YUK-uh)Spanish, probably from Indian A desert plant of the lily family with long, fibrous, green leaves and a tall stem bearing a cluster of white blossoms.

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Last Modified: Mon, Jan 1 2001 10:00:00 pm PDT

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