Who are the Pueblo peoples?
When the Spanish came to the Southwest in the sixteenth century, they encountered at least seventy villages of indigenous peoples living in a complex social system that revolved around the practice of intensive maize agriculture. These villages, or “pueblos” as the Spanish called them, were made up of stone- or mud-walled houses. In addition to agriculture, the Indians were skilled in pottery-making, basketry, weaving, and other crafts.
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Descendants of these earlier peoples, today’s Pueblo Indians live in thirty-one villages: nineteen in New Mexico and twelve in the northeastern Arizona area known as Hopi country.
Because today’s Pueblos have inhabited the same geographic region for thousands of years, they share a similar life style, philosophy, and spiritual tradition. However, each Pueblo’s rituals and ceremonies are distinctive, and each is a separate nation with a unique identity that extends to their native languages and dialects.
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