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Pueblo people

The Pueblo People are a group of Native Americans who live in New Mexico and in Arizona. When first encountered by the Spanish in the 1500s they were living in adobe and stonework towns, mainly in the Rio Grande valley and thus were called "Pueblos," pueblo being the Spanish word for town. About 25 pueblos exist today, Taos, Acoma, Zuni and Hopi the most well known.

The Pueblo Indians consist of six distinct groups, each with its own language:

  1. Hopi language group
  2. Keres language group
  3. Tanoa language group
    1. Tewa
    2. Tiwa
    3. Towa (only Jemez Pueblo)
  4. Zuni language group

They are believed to be descended from the three major cultures that dominated the region before European contact:

  1. Mogollon
  2. Hohokam
  3. Anasazi

Historically, they were the only group of Native Americans that supported themselves entirely by agriculture, which is ironic given that they live in one of the most arid regions in North America. Though European settlement began in the early sixteenth century, the desert conditions precluded masssive intrusions into Indian land until the mid-ninettenth century. As a result and despite forced conversions to Catholicism by the Spanish, the Pueblo tribes have been able to maintain much of their traditional lifestyle. There are now some 35,000 Pueblo Indians, living mostly in New Mexico and Arizona along the Rio Grande and Colorado River.

List of Pueblos

In 1924 these peoples were granted US citizenship. In 1948, they were granted the right to vote in New Mexico.

See also: Native American languages

Further Reading