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Pathways of Water

Songs and Stories of Arizona’s Waterways

Water sustains life and has a significant role in our state’s history. The myths and stories of Arizona’s Indigenous tribes are rich with references to streams and rivers.

Immigrants trod and floated the state’s waterways, enduring great peril. Government surveyors explored and mapped our river systems. To control flooding and serve agriculture, huge dams eventually changed the rivers’ flows, creating vast reservoirs.


This program will share some of these great adventures and the music and stories that accompany them.


Olive Oatman was captured by Yavapai Indians then sold to the Mohave, with whom she lived for years.

Sea shanties were popular entertainment for river boatmen.

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Ives' map.


Several early expeditions used paddleboats to navigate the rivers of Arizona. 

“…a truly wonderful presentation! I believe everyone was enthralled with it and I felt it is one of the best presentations that I have witnessed from the AZ Humanities.”
     Kevin Fahey, Librarian
     Casa Grande Public Library

"The combination of music and lecture - particularly tribal songs - really makes for a compelling presentation.  The presenters also were great to stick around and visit with an enthusiastic attendee."

     Steven-Librarian, Burton Barr Library

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