- Ann T. Keene
Chona, Maria (1858–1936), oral autobiographer, was born in the village of Mesquite Root, part of the Papago Indian Reservation west of Tucson, in what is now the state of Arizona. At the time of her birth, the reservation was part of the Gadsden Purchase, a large parcel of land in the American Southwest that had been acquired by the United States from Mexico in 1853. Chona was the daughter of José Marie, chief of the Tautaukwañi Papago, who were known to English-speaking settlers as the Bean People or Desert People; the name of Chona's mother is unknown. José Marie was the principal war chief among all the Papago tribes and led frequent raids against neighboring Apaches. He was also a lover of gambling, according to his daughter, who nicknamed him "Con Quien" ("the Gambler")....