chapter  3
18 Pages

The Pueblos

ByZdenek Salzmann, Joy M. Salzmann

The Pueblo peoples of the Southwest have lived in villages for many centuries. They are the descendants of the prehistoric Anasazi and Mogollon peoples, whose traditional cultures included growing maize, beans, and squash, making basketry and pottery, and performing the elaborate ceremonies that supported their religious beliefs. The Hopi share a distinctive lifestyle and language, even though traditionally they lacked a centralized political organization. Instead, Hopi political life has been characterized by factionalism that at times has resulted in serious disruption to village life. All Pueblo societies have always carried on a rich ceremonial life, and the Hopi are no exception. The ever-present possibility that the crops could fail for lack of rain has focused Hopi culture on the need for supernatural help. The Pueblo peoples are talented artists and craftspeople, producing wood carvings (kachinas), pottery, and silver and turquoise jewelry.