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Southwest Indians - Pueblo Illustration

Who are the Pueblo?
Native American in Olden Times
for Kids

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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. But to keep things straight, many historians use the year 1300 CE to make the switch from Anasazi People to Pueblo People.

Migration: Around 1300 CE, the 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 and Crops

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.

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 and Costumes

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.

Village Councils & Representative Government:

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.

Pueblo Kids

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.

Meet the Ancestors Pueblo People (interactive)

Pueblo Religion

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