The Tohono O'odham (Papago) nation's native word papah, beans, is the source for being called the "bean people." They belong to the Piman branch of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic family, and are closely related to the Pima tribe southeast of the Gila River and south of Tucson, Arizona, and extending west and southwest across the desert Papagueria on into Sonora, Mexico. In 1694, Father Kino became the first white man to visit the Tohono O'odham (Papago) nation, finding a very large population into the thousands. Census figures in 1937 listed 6,305 members of the Tohono O'odham (Papago) nation. They have their own printed alphabet and language studies.
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