Spanish   Contact

 ~1528~  Spanish explorers first enter what is to be Arizona​


 rationing system Begins

 ~1821~  Mexican independence and end of the rationing system


jesuits record being attacked by apaches and possibly yavapais


The Pueblo revolt 


Spanish province of new mexico founded


de niza first passes through yavapai territory

The earliest written records about Native people in the Southwest come from accounts of Spanish explorers in the 16th-18th centuries. The Yavapai acquired the name "Cruzados" for the cross-like crowns worn on their heads, which the Spanish interpreted as a sign of peace. The first wave of Spanish exploration through the Verde Valley was predominately focused on finding gold, silver, and passage to the Gulf of California. After the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the Spanish did not come into contact with Yavapai again until 1743 when Jesuit priests traveled through the area.


The Spanish were the first to incorrectly name the Yavapai as Apaches. This case of mistaken identity would follow the Yavapai until the 20th century. The Apaches and Yavapai raided the Spanish for weapons, horses, food, and other goods. At first the Spanish tried to forcibly quell these hostile natives but in 1786 Spain initiated a new plan in which hostiles would be relocated near presidios and supplied with rations, inferior firearms, and alcohol. The plan was to gain their trust, and over time force them to make them dependent and docile towards their Spanish overlords. This continued until Mexico gained their independence in 1821 and subsequently could not afford to continue the rationing system. As a consequence, Apaches moved away from the presidios and once again resumed raiding.​