The word "Maricopa" is from mariposa, the Spanish word for butterfly, which references the painted faces of these people, which resembled butterfly wings. Currently the Maricopa Tribe consists of several hundred individuals who still live near Phoenix, Arizona. The Maricopa earn their living by subsistence farming, growing cotton, commuting to various jobs and professions in metropolitan Phoenix and by leasing their land for non-Indian agricultural and commercial developments.
Mary Fernald's book Dirt for Making Things is the definitive book delving into the development of Maricopa pottery. Mary names three periods of Maricopa pottery: Early (1885-1910), Middle Revival (1937-1940) and Later Period (1970-1972). Currently there are Maricopa potters creating new pottery as well.