chapter  1
9 Pages

Introducing the Southwest

ByZdenek Salzmann, Joy M. Salzmann

The definition of what makes up the US Southwest as a region has changed in the course of US history. After the Mexican War and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the term Southwest came to include Arizona and New Mexico and the adjacent parts of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas. Two terms that are frequently used when talking about Native Americans of the Southwest are culture (or cultural) and society (or social). In anthropology, culture takes in all human behavior that is learned (is not instinctive) and all its tangible and intangible results. Of the various Native American societies assigned to the Southwest culture area, many have distinctly different lifeways. Visitors to the Southwest who are willing to explore the area by taking some of the less traveled roads are likely to hear a variety of languages besides English and Spanish.