The Pueblos lived in villages near rivers in the Southwest. This area covers what is now Utah and Colorado through Arizona and New Mexico into parts of Texas and California. The land varies between steep-walled canyons, plateaus, and sandy deserts. To the south are mountains. Four rivers run through this area: the Rio Grande, Colorado, Gila, and Salt. The days in this area are hot and the nights are cold. Rain is uncommon except during the rainy season which lasts about six weeks during the summer.
Model of a Pueblo Built by a Student
In their early history the Pueblos slept in natural caves and on cliffs. About the year 700 they began to build homes out of sand and adobe next to rivers. The homes called pueblos were also built on mesas, cliffs, and in canyons. The village was built around the kiva. The kiva was a round building with steps going up to the roof entrance. The men met in the kiva to discuss problems and to worship. The houses were owned by the women. Logs from long trees were used to support the roof. Each family lived in a room that was only 12 by 24 feet in size. The outer walls were built first. Poles were then placed on top of the outer walls. Next willow branches were piled on the beams that supported the roof. A layer of grass and weeds followed then a layer of earth. Houses shared walls and were often stacked on top of each other. One’s porch was often the roof of the house below. Ovens were built on roofs. Doors and windows were small to keep out the heat. The Pueblos entered their homes by ladders through the roof. The ladders could be moved if enemies attacked. Inside the pueblo, ledges on walls were used as shelves. The people sat on blankets. Beds were rugs or sheepskins. The Pueblo village had about 500 people or less living in it.
The Pueblo men dressed in kilts of cotton. They wore ankle-high moccasins. For warmth they used wool or cotton blankets. Around their waists were branded cotton sashes. Rabbit-fur and turkey-feather robes were also worn. The women wore cotton or wool dresses with one shoulder free. They dressed in embroidered cotton or wool shawls and sashes. For warmth the women used wool robes and high moccasins boots.