Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden
VIOLA JIMULLA

Viola was born on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and was named Sica-tuva, "Born Quickly," by her parents, Who-wah, "Singing Cricket" and Ka-hava-soo-ah, "Turquoise Bead in Nose."

She chose June 15 as her birth date and the year of 1878. She took the name Viola and her stepfather's last name, Pelhame, when she attended Rice Indian School and Phoenix Indian School.

Viola married Sam "Red Ants" Jimulla, chief of the Yavapais, in 1901 and came to Prescott. They had five daughters: Daisy (1902-1902), Grace (Mrs. Don) Mitchell (1902-1976), Lucy (Mrs. Jim) (1906-1984), Amy Vaughn Gazzam (1912-1940), and Rosie (1913-1914).

Upon the death of her husband in 1940, Viola became chieftess of the Yavapai Tribe. She said, "I had to help my people in whatever they needed." Her firm but benevolent rule brought new industry and dignity to her tribe.

Two of Viola's daughters, Grace Mitchell, who is represented in the Rose Garden, and Lucy Miller also became chieftesses. Viola was responsible for bringing the Presbyterian Church to Prescott and was the first Yavapai Indian to be baptized there.

A plaque at Yavapai College reads: "Homage to Viola Jimulla, Yavapai Basketmaker, 1878-1966." Viola's mother, Who-Wah Pelhame, is also represented in the Rose Garden.

Viola was elected to the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame in 1986. A statue of Viola teaching basketry to a young Yavapai is in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel, now known as The Prescott Resort. The young girl in the statue is her granddaughter Pat. The Sharlot Hall Museum has examples of her work in its collection.

Viola died on December 7, 1966, and was buried on the Yavapai Reservation.

Donor: Museum Rose Garden



Additional documentation and photographs may be available in the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives and Library.