California Aztec-Tanoan Phylum

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     The Aztec-Tanoans may be descendants of the Desert or Cochise Culture which existed in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico as early as 10,000 years ago. The phylum eventually ranged from Idaho south to Nicaragua. 
     The great Aztec culture of Mexico is in this phylum as well as numerous other Mexican ethnies. Many of the Aztec-Tanoan languages remain spoken today, and almost all have been preserved for linguistic analysis.
     The cultures represented in the phylum in the United States include the:


     Pueblo sedentary agricultural culture: Hopi, Pecos, Piro, Tanoan, Tewa, Tiwa, Towa
     Nomadic Great Basin hunter/gatherer foragers: Koso, Northern Paiute, Southern Paiute, Western Shoshoni
     Southern California semi-sedentary hunter/gatherers: Takics, Tubatulabal
     Nomadic Headwater Plains culture Bannock, Northern Shoshoni, Ute
     Nomadic Great Plains culture Comanche, Kiowa


     All of the California Aztec-Tanoans are of Uto-Aztecan stock, inaccurately termed by some as Shoshonean.  While all of California's Uto-Aztecans have inhabited the state for 5 or more thousand years, the people of the Takic family originally inhabited the area of the Colorado River and traded territories with Yuman speaking peoples about 2,500 years ago, thereby acquiring the territories they owned at the time of European arrival.
     There seems to be no dispute among linguists relative to the linguistic classifications of the California Uto-Aztecans.
     The above commentary on Uto-Aztecan prehistory is based on archeological evidence.  It is important to note that this evidence is inconsistent with the traditions and stories of many of the ethnies who believe they were always in their aboriginal territories.


Stock Family Language Ethnie
Uto-Aztecan Numic Central Numic Koso
      Western Shoshoni
    Southern Numic Chemehuevi
      Southern Paiute
    Western Numic Northern Paiute
  Takic Northern Takic Gabrielino
    Southern Takic Cahuilla
  Tubatulabal Tubatulabal Tubatulabal