noun \ˈpē-mə\
plural Pimas or Pima

Definition of PIMA

:  a member of an American Indian people of southern Arizona and northern Mexico
:  o'odham 2
Pi·man \-mən\ adjective

Origin of PIMA

American Spanish, short for earlier Pimahitos, Pima Aytos, from O'odham (18th century) pimahaitu nothing
First Known Use: 1829

Rhymes with PIMA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

North American Indian people living mainly in Arizona, U.S. The Pima language is of Uto-Aztecan language stock, and the name Pima was given by the Spanish, who may have derived it from the phrase pi-nyi-match, meaning “I don't know.” They call themselves Akimel O'odham, meaning “river people.” Their traditional lands are located in the core area of the prehistoric Hohokam culture, from which they probably descend. The Pima originally were sedentary corn farmers who lived in one-room houses and used the Gila and Salt rivers for irrigation. Some hunting and gathering were also done. Their villages were larger than those of the related Tohono O'odham (Papago) Indians, and they possessed a stronger tribal unity. The Pima were long friendly with settlers but enemies of the Apache. At the turn of the 21st century they numbered some 11,000.


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