• Who are the Pueblo?

        x         x          x                         xResearch #3


    Pueblo means village: Pueblo is not the name of a tribe. It is a Spanish word for village. The Pueblo People are the decedents of the Anasazi People.

    Historians switch from Anasazi People to Pueblo People the year 1300.





















    Migration: Around 1300 CE, the Anasazi (Ancient Ones) left their cliff villages and moved to the desert floor. It was then that the Anasazi people started to be called the Pueblos.

    One of the reasons they moved was that there had been a terrible drought that hurt the crops.

    The two new tribes who had moved into the area also concerned them - the Apache and the Navajo. These new tribes were not at all like the Pueblo. The Pueblo were peaceful. The Apache and Navajo were warriors.

    The Pueblo were farmers. The Apache and Navajo were hunters and gatherers.

    The Pueblo lived by growing crops. The Apache and Navajo kept stealing their crops. Rather than go to war with either of these warriors groups, the Pueblo Council decided the most peaceful solution would be to move. So they did. They moved to the desert floor.

    Common Bonds: There were (and are) many Pueblo. A strong love for the land, a common language, and a deep commitment to their religious beliefs hold the many Pueblo people together.

    Pueblo People: Acoma, Cochiti, Hopi, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Picuris, Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Dimingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zia, Zuni

    Food: In olden times, the Pueblo People were probably the best farmers. They grew many crops including corn, squash, beans, peppers, and wheat, as did their ancestors, the Ancient Ones.

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    Fire Stones: Pueblo woman made a wonderful bread called paper bread by spreading a thin layer of corn paste (a mix of corn meal and water) on a flat baking stone. They set the stone at the edge of the fire to cook the bread.


    Clothing: In olden times, men wore shirts and kilts. A kilt is a man's skirt. In more modern times, men wore shirts and pants made of fabric or wool.

    Women wore colorful cotton dresses. Both used blankets as wraps.

    Jewelry: They used a lot of turquoise in their jewelry. They made beads and necklaces from pieces from bones and rocks. They used natural things in everything they wore.

    Headdresses/Face Painting: On special occasions, they wore headdresses. They looked like huge layered blonde wigs made of yarn and other materials.

    Also, on special occasions, they painted their face with one black streak down each side of their nose and mouth. It could be any color but it was usually black.

    As their ancestors, the Ancient Ones, did before them, each Pueblo village had its own government. Each clan chose a leader to represent them in the Village Council.

    When a decision was needed on a broader scale, each village selected a representative to speak for their village at a tribal council.

    Women taught the girls to cook and to make pottery. The men taught the boys how to hunt and weave.

    The kids had strong bonds with both parents, and a huge extended family that included grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Pueblo families shared their belongings. Kids did not have anything of their own. Everything belonged to everyone in the family.
















    Nature Worship: The Pueblo got everything they needed from nature. It is not surprising that they would wish to say thank you.

    Pueblo Gods: They had powerful gods. Father and Earth Mother had two sons - the War Gods - who both had magical powers. The Sky Serpent was the god who brought rain. The Spider Woman was the goddess of weaving. There were many, many more.

    Kachinas: Kachinas are strong spirits that control nature. There are over 300 different Kachinas in the Pueblo religion. The Pueblo pray to the spirits for help in their daily life. They thank the Kachinas for their families, their homes, their crops, and their health every day.

    Kivas: In olden times, a kiva was an large underground chamber or room used for secret religious ceremonies. The Pueblo prayed to kachinas in the kivas. Today, modern kivas are circular or rectangular in shape. They have a fire pit in the center and a timbered roof. There is an opening in the floor - a hole - that represents the entrance to the lower world. The Pueblo believed that all life climbed up from the lower world to enter this world. Hopi tradition tells of their people inhabiting three underworlds before finally moving into their present one, in this world. Most Pueblo people believed the same.

    Kivas were the center of Pueblo religious life. The Pueblo believe that people must live in harmony with nature. They believe that things will work out, if they conduct ceremonies correctly.


    Ruler Priests: In olden times, thewere conducted corrected, so that harmony could be achieved.  most important members of the village were the priests. Priests were not concerned with war. Their job was to make sure that all religious ceremonies


































































































    Pueblo Indians (Spanish pueblo, village), these people are American Indians living in small, apartment like villages that are made of stone or adobe. These homes are located in the northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona.

    They belong to four distinct linguistic(language) groups, but the cultures of the different villages are closely related(very similar).


    The eastern villages are located along the upper Rio Grande near Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

     Two slightly westward Keresan pueblos, Acoma and Laguna, along with the Zuni and Hopi pueblos, make up the western villages.

    Since about 1700 the Zuni have been concentrated in one large village in westernmost New Mexico. Their language shows no certain relation to any other language.

    The Hopi live on or near three mesas in northeastern Arizona. Their language is part of the Uto-Aztecan language family.


    Archaeology and Prehistory
    Archaeologists(people who study the past) relate the Pueblo to an older Southwest culture known by the term Basket Maker.

    The entire cultural sequence is called the Anasazi (Navajo, ìancient onesî) culture.

    During the early Basket Maker phase (circa 100 bc-ad 500) prehistoric settlements were established in the northern part of the Southwest.


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    They lived in caves or built shelters of poles and adobe mud.


    Pumpkins and corn were grown as a supplement to hunting and the gathering of wild plants.

    Food was stored in undergound pits, often lined with stone slabs, to keep cool.

    With the addition of a bean crop and the domestication of the turkey, agriculture became more important than hunting and gathering during the Modified Basket Maker period (500-700).

    Pottery was introduced.

    The food storage pits developed into semisubterranean houses and ceremonial chambers, and buildings began to take their present connected form.


    The transition from the Basket Maker to the Pueblo culture occurred about 700.


    Stone construction was adopted, and the connected, now-aboveground houses became larger. The ceremonial chamber developed into the kiva, an underground chamber used for rituals and as a male lodge.

    Several kinds of corn were grown, and the cultivation of cotton may have been introduced.

    Pottery was produced in a diversity of shapes and styles. During this period the Anasazi made their greatest territorial expansion, reaching as far as central Utah, southern Colorado, and a large part of northern Mexico.

    During the Classic Pueblo period (1050-1300) the northernmost regions were no longer occupied, and the population became concentrated in large multistoried, terraced pueblos and in similar villages built in recesses in cliffs.

    Notable advances occurred in pottery and weaving. At the end of this period many large centers of Pueblo life were abandoned, possibly because of drought or because of invading bands of Navajo and Apache.

    During the Regressive Pueblo period (1300-1700) many villages inhabited today were founded. Houses became less elaborate, but pottery and weaving continued to develop.


    Historic Period
    During the Modern Pueblo period (1700-present), cattle, goats, horses, and sheep were introduced by the Spanish, and wool replaced cotton as the principal textile.

    The Pueblos, probably the Zuni, were first encountered by the Spanish in 1539, by the Spanish Franciscan missionary Marcos de Niza (1495-1558). A year later the Spanish explorer Francisco V·squez de Coronado, searching for the legendary Seven Cities of CÌbola, led an expedition among the Hopi; failing to find any treasure, he withdrew.

    In 1598 the Spanish occupied the Pueblo country, and by 1630 Spanish missions were established in almost every village.

    A mass Pueblo revolt in 1680 drove the Spanish from the territory. No other Indian group succeeded in doing this, and the Pueblo were not reconquered until 1692.

    Few of the missions were reestablished, and most of the villages continued their ancient religion. The number of villages during this time was reduced from about 80 to about 30.

    The Pueblo remained under Spanish, and then Mexican, domination until the close of the Mexican War in 1848, when they came under U.S. jurisdiction.

    Throughout this time, they preserved their traditional culture to an unusually high degree, often adopting superficial religious or governmental changes but maintaining the old ways in secrecy. The western villages, in particular, resisted Spanish influence; in the eastern villages, some Spanish elements were assimilated into the underlying Indian ways.

    Present-Day Life
    The  buildings of a present-day pueblo is a solid structure of adobe bricks or stone set in clay and mortar.

    The rooms are square, with thick flat roofs; they are built in terraced stories, and the roof of one level is reached by a movable ladder from the level below.

    Descent is matrilineal, and women own the houses.

    Marriage is monogamous and must be to someone outside the clan or group of related clans; divorce can occur at will.


    The Pueblo economy is based on agriculture, supplemented by raising livestock and, often, by the sale of handicrafts. Each village cultivates fields in common. The crops include corn, beans, cotton, melon, squash, and chili peppers.

    Men generally work the fields, weave, build houses, and conduct ceremonies; women prepare food, care for children, make baskets and pottery, and transport water. They often help with gardening (as they did in ancient times when hunting was important) and in building the houses.

    Each community has an individual style and technique of basketry. Pueblo pottery is characterized by a beauty of decoration and shape that is unmatched among modern North American Indians; the work of Pueblo potters such as Maria Martinez (1887-1980) is prized by Indian art collectors.

    Pueblo men continue to be skilled weavers, producing cotton and woolen clothing and fine woolen blankets.

    In the 20th century, low incomes, poor health care, poor schooling, and in some pueblos, unemployment, together with a clash of values with the dominant white culture, have led to significant anger and social distress. Most Pueblo who have left their villages return from time to time to regain contact with the social and religious values of their tradition.

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Last Modified on October 22, 2007