Ancient Puebloans Facts: Who They Were, Where They Lived And More | Kidadl


Ancient Puebloans Facts: Who They Were, Where They Lived And More

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The United States of America is a remarkably diverse country.

The USA is home to people of every possible race, ethnicity, and culture. Before it became an international hub, indigenous people named Native Americans, or American Indians, called this vast land home.

The title Native Americans applied to a vast number of tribes and cultures that spanned across the country. This population drastically decreased over the centuries because of diseases, droughts, killings during colonization, and wars. Now only a few tribes and cultures are standing. One such culture is the Pueblo culture.

If you like this article, also read ancient civilizations facts and ancient Corinth facts here on Kidadl.

Pueblo Indian House

Puebloans, Pueblo people, or Pueblo Indians are people of Native American tribes local to southwestern USA who share a common culture, religious beliefs, agriculture practices, and lifestyle. Contemporary Puebloans come from different tribes of Taos, Acoma, Zuni, Hopi, and Laguna, all centered in states of New Mexico and Arizona. Each Pueblo tribe had its language and customs. Present-day Puebloans are believed to be descendants of the prehistoric Ancestral Pueblo culture. Ancestral Puebloans were named Anasazi, meaning ancient enemies, by the Navajo, another prominent Native American tribe. The present name, Pueblo, was given to these people by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. The Spanish word Pueblo means a village.

Ancient Puebloans lived in caves and shallow pit houses in early stages. By the 8th century, Puebloans started building large complexes. These were multipurpose, multistoried structures built around a central open space. Ancient Pueblo buildings were built with limestone or abode. Abode is a brick-like material made of mud, dirt, and straw mixed with water and dried. Each complex had hundreds of rooms, built in a step-like fashion. Ladders were used to climb each floor. The center of each complex had a kiva, an underground chamber used for ceremonial purposes. As time passed, the number of Puebloans increased, combining many complexes to form villages and towns. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, Puebloans built unique cliff dwellings. These are buildings of the Puebloan complex built in sheltered recesses of cliffs or along canyons and mesa walls. Cliff dwellings offered protection, as well as a larger land for agriculture. Modern Pueblo Indians still live in similar structures. Some ancient village structures like the sky city built on top of a mesa have been inhabited by Puebloans for over 1,000 years now. It was said that from 1275 AD to 1300 AD, a severe drought probably made ancient Puebloans abandon these cliff dwellings.

Pueblo Indian Clothing

Some Pueblo people grew cotton on their fields, while others bought them from Hopi people. Before the Spanish invasion, men used to weave clothes when they were not farming. Women managed domestic tasks.

Pueblo men wore cotton breeches or skirts. Pueblo women wore cotton dresses called mantas, which were draped over one shoulder and held together at the waist by a sash. Mantas were made of wool too. During cold weather, Pueblo men and women wore fur cloaks. They wore footwear made of deerskin. Puebloans also wore jewelry made of turquoise, shells, and feathers.

Life Of Ancient Pueblo People

Ancestral Puebloans are estimated to date back to 100 AD or earlier. Their evolution is observed by historians over six stages up to the 16th century, after which Spanish colonization began. Scattered Puebloans after the Spanish period are contemporary Pueblo people consisting of many tribes.

Very early Puebloans that didn't come under any evolutionary phase were nomadic hunter-gatherers. They eventually settled in southwestern US states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado and began farming. Though Pueblo settlements were in harsh regions, they adapted well by digging irrigation channels to farm and selecting crops that grew well in those harsh climatic conditions. Main crops of Pueblo Indians were corn, beans, squash, and cotton. Ancestral Puebloans hunted small game and birds for meat. They used spears initially and later bows and arrows for hunting. War clubs were another weapon used by Pueblo Indians to fight and protect their lands.

The diet of ancient Pueblo tribes consisted of dishes made of their primary crops, like cakes made of corn flour, soups, stews, meat, and cheese. Pueblo tribes indulged in games of darts, using variations of corn husk shuttlecocks; and hazard games with pa-tol sticks. Pueblo women and men alike took part in music, artwork, dance, and traditional medicine. Ancient Puebloans had a Pueblo religion and culture and often performed ceremonial rituals. Ancestral Puebloans lived like a large family in unity and harmony.

How was the life of ancient Puebloan people?

Ancestral Puebloans Art And Pottery

Every ancient civilization in the world has used pottery to cook and to serve and store food and water. Hence, pottery often serves as an important artifact for archeological study.

Ancestral Puebloans were excellent basket makers and pottery makers. Baskets they made were used for cooking and storage purposes. These ancient people made pottery from locally sourced clay for various utilitarian and ceremonial purposes. The pottery was made in different shapes and sizes to be used as storage jars, water canteens, serving bowls, and pots. Some utilitarian potteries were plain with very simple designs, but most other potteries are known to have beautiful patterns and abstract designs. These pieces of pottery are now considered antique artworks. Pueblo people were also master weavers and cloth makers. Puebloan turquoise jewelry is also a famous artwork made by Pueblo Indians.

Ancient Puebloans Of The Southwest

Pueblo is an ancient culture native to America that is preserved and cherished by the country. As many as 100 Pueblo communities are present today in the USA, with most of them located in New Mexico. Some of them are Acoma Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo, Santa Clara Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo, and Zuni Pueblo. Hopi Pueblo is situated in Arizona.

Ancient Pueblo Indian culture, dating from 100 AD to 16th century AD, was divided into three branches based on geography: the Kayenta in northeast Arizona, the Chaco canyon in northwest New Mexico, northern San Juan with Mesa Verde in southwest Colorado, and the Hovenweep National Monument in southeastern Utah. Native Americans of Pueblo lived in these regions until environmental degradation due to extended drought in the 12th and 13th centuries forced them to migrate to places with better water availability. What mostly exists now are ancient ruins left behind for history lovers to visit and marvel at.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for ancient Puebloans facts, then why not take a look at ancient Ghana facts or ancient Japan facts.

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

Sridevi's passion for writing has allowed her to explore different writing domains, and she has written various articles on kids, families, animals, celebrities, technology, and marketing domains. She has done her Masters in Clinical Research from Manipal University and PG Diploma in Journalism From Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She has written numerous articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories, which have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. She is fluent in four languages and likes to spend her spare time with family and friends. She loves to read, travel, cook, paint, and listen to music.

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