Pueblo Indians

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Pueblo Indians

The pueblo people, sometimes called the Anasazi. Began to build mud-brick houses for themselves in the south-west part of America about 100 BC. They were also known as the Basket Maker people.

These people built houses of wooden poles and mud-brick, often dug into pits in the ground, or they lived in caves. People hunted and gathered most of their food, but by 1 AD they also grew pumpkins and corn, which they had learned about from Maya people to their south. They did not use pottery, but mainly baskets. Around 500 AD, the Anasazi people also learned how to grow beans and domesticated turkeys. It then became easier to get their food from farming and herding turkeys than from hunting and gathering. They mostly became farmers and once farming set in they starting making pottery.

By 700 AD these people began to build big apartment houses out o mud-brick and sometimes out of stone. People’s houses became much bigger that they had been before. They built their houses up on top of high cliffs called mesas. The houses are called pueblos, and their mud-brick is called adobe. People also began to grow cotton for clothing, and their pottery got more complicated and had more different shapes like jugs, jars, plates, bowls, and cups.

The south-west is very dry. People needed to be careful to get every last bit of water they could find. They learned to build systems of dams and stone cisterns to store water from melting snow up in the mountains. This was not just for drinking, but they used it to irrigate their crops.

By 1300 AD, the Anasazi Indians stopped building houses altogether and moved away from their homes. They probably moved because of the extreme heat and they couldn’t grow food anymore.
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