Native Americans for Kids
The Pueblo Tribe consists of twenty-one separate Native American groups that lived in the southwestern area of the United States, primarily in Arizona and New Mexico. They get their name from the Spanish who called their towns "pueblos" which means village or little town in Spanish.
A Pueblo village made from stone and adobe
There were at least 70 different Pueblo villages when the Spanish first arrived in the southwest in 1539. The Spanish took over much of the Pueblo lands. They forced the people to become Catholic and to work the fields for them. In return they offered the Pueblo protection from the Apache and Navaho.
As time passed, the Pueblo people began to feel like they were being treated little better than slaves. When the Spanish arrested a number of the traditional Indian medicine men, the Pueblo decided to revolt. In 1680, under the leadership of a medicine man named Popé, the Pueblo planned their attack. They coded their plans in knotted ropes and sent the signal to revolt throughout the many towns. Soon 8,000 Pueblo warriors attacked the Spanish and kicked them out of their land. They kept the Spanish out of the land for twelve years. The Spanish returned and took back control in 1692. However, this time they allowed the Pueblo to practice their traditional religion.
What kind of homes did they live in?
The homes of the Pueblo Indians are world famous. They made multistory buildings from stones and adobe clay. Adobe clay was made from water, dirt, and straw. Many of their towns were built right into the sides of cliffs. They used ladders to climb from one level to another.
The Pueblo Kiva
What was their clothing like?
Women wore cotton dresses called mantas. A manta was a large square cloth that was fastened around one shoulder and then tied at the waist with a sash. In the hot summer the men wore little clothing, usually just a breechcloth. The men also wore cloth headbands around their heads. In the winter they would wear cloaks to keep them warm.
What did the Pueblo people eat?
The Pueblo people were excellent farmers. They grew all sorts of crops, but the main crops were corn, beans, and squash. They ground the corn into flour and used it make thin cakes.
A Pueblo man
The kiva was a special religious room for the Pueblo Indians. In the kiva the men of the tribe carried out ceremonies and rituals. The typical kiva was built underground and was entered through a hole in the roof using a ladder. Inside the kiva was a fire pit and a sacred hole in the ground called a sipapu.
The Great North Road
The Pueblo built many roads. They ran between towns and to water sources. However, archeologists think that some of their roads were built for religious purposes. This is because a lot of their roads appear to go nowhere. The most famous of these roads is the Great North Road. It is 30 feet wide and runs for 31 miles until it ends at the edge of a canyon.
Interesting Facts about the Pueblo
- The Hopi are a Pueblo people, but are often considered a separate tribe.
- Some Native Americans still live in ancient pueblo buildings that were built nearly 1000 years ago.
- In Pueblo religion all things had a spirit called a kachina. They carved kachina dolls that represented different spirits.
- They did not have a written language.
- The Pueblo Indians are known for their artistic pottery. One of their most famous artists was pottery maker Maria Martinez.
Take a ten question quiz at the Pueblo Tribe questions page.
For more Native American History:
Native Americans for Kids