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American Indian people living in southern Sonora state on the west coast of Mexico. They were settled agriculturalists who offered stubborn resistance to the first Spanish invaders and only gradually came under mission influence. In the 19th century they fought against Mexican encroachment on their fertile lands, and they were finally quelled with difficulty in 1887. Thousands were subsequently deported. In the 1930s much of their land was returned to them. Irrigation projects have led to a shift from subsistence agriculture to cash cropping (wheat, cotton, and crops for vegetable oil). They number about 25,000 in Mexico and more than 9,000 in Arizona.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Yaqui, visit Britannica.com.