The Pueblo were well-known for the
striking black-and-white designs on their
The Pueblo Indians planted corn, beans, squash, cotton, tobacco, and sunflowers. To store their food, the Pueblo grew gourds (that were later hollowed out) and made pots with creative designs. Though they depended mostly on their crops to survive, the men did hunt animals such as deer, antelope, bear, and rabbit with bows and arrows; women gathered berries and nuts. Women were in charge of keeping the house and taking care of the children. They also took part in the political and religious part of the tribe. Men in the Pueblo tribe farmed, hunted, fought, and participated in the government. The Pueblo government was unusual because it was a theocracy (a government that is influenced by religion). So, the chief of the tribe was also the head priest, called the cacique (pronounced kah-seek).
Pueblo men gathered in the town's "kiva"
to discuss the village's troubles and problems.
Pueblo life was centered around religion and culture. For example, the Pueblo built a "kiva" in the center of each town. This was a place where rituals and ceremonies were performed and where men could come together to meet each other and talk about the current troubles. Marriages and divorces were common, but women were also considered more important than in other tribes. Women owned the houses, and property was passed down from mother to daughter. The Pueblo Indians did not live by rivers or ocean, so they did not have canoes or rafts. They walked everywhere, and used a dogsled to carry supplies. They used these to trade with other tribes around them, including the Navajo and the Comanche. Usually, the Pueblo would trade for shells, corals, and turquoise that they could use in their crafts.
Pueblo clothing was mostly
made out of cotton fiber, but
the Pueblo sometimes wore
rabbit or deer fur. They usually
wore paint and feathers
for religious ceremonies.
The Pueblo Indians were famous for their delicate necklaces and their amazing pottery, on which they drew detailed and colorful designs. They also wove cloth from the cotton they grew, and used animal hides as blankets, aprons, and breechcloths. Men only wore breechcloths or kilts and a cloth headband, and women wore dresses (they were called "mantas). Both men and women put their hair up into a bun (known as a "chongo"), and used paint and feathers for religious ceremonies. When the Spanish came to the Pueblo region, they brought goats, horses, cows, and sheep, so the Pueblo Indians substituted much of their cotton clothing with wool. They also forced Pueblo women to wear blouses underneath their mantas.
When the Spanish missionaries arrived, they tried
to convert the Pueblo Indians to Christianity.
The first Europeans to encounter the Pueblo were the Spanish missionaries in 1539. Soon, the Spanish took over the entire area, and established missions in every Pueblo village to try to convert them to Christianity. Unfortunately for the Spanish, the Native Americans of that area showed resistance, and in 1680, the Pueblo Revolt saw the Spanish out of Pueblo territory. The Pueblo Indians are the first Native American tribe to ever have accomplished anything like this, and they continued to live in peace until 1692, when the Spanish returned. The Pueblo religion was suppressed, and many Pueblo Indians were sold into slavery. Later, Pueblo territory came under the Mexican government, and soon afterward, the American government. Throughout, the Pueblo Indians pretended to obey all their country's laws, but secretly kept all of their ancient traditions alive.