Toward the end of the 19th century the Gila River was diverted
for use by non-Indians. The Akimel Oodham people, who counted on
the river for survival, suffered poverty and starvation. By 1900 much
of their traditional culture had disappeared except for basketry, which
generated income. The few Akimel Oodham basket weavers who are active
today are located on the Gila River Reservation in Arizona. They produce
high-quality work in both traditional and contemporary designs.