Quechan - Settlements

The Quechan lived in settlements or rancherías scattered along the Colorado to the north of the Gila confluence for about sixty miles and to the southwest for about ten miles, and for about twenty-six miles eastward along the Gila itself. But the number and precise locations of these rancherías shifted from time to time, perhaps partly in response to warfare with other groups. In the nineteenth century there were six Quechan rancherías, each located on an elevated area above the river floodplain, safe from the spring floods. For much of the agricultural season from spring to fall, the people of the rancheria dispersed to family farm plots along the river-bottoms, where they lived in dome-shaped arrowweed shelters. The rancherías were gradually abandoned after the Reservation was created in 1887, and families moved within the reservation boundaries to receive individual ten-acre plots of farmland allotted to them by the federal government. Today households are scattered primarily along the main roads linking the reservation with the nearby city of Yuma, Arizona, and the smaller town of Winterhaven, California.

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