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The Pueblo are a diverse people and speak many different languages. There are three main languages spoken; each containing several subgroups. The main languages include: Uto-Aztecan, Keresan, and Tanoan. Though there are differences in the way the people speak their languages, it does not put a barrier between them. Dialectal differences between Pueblo speakers are common and more of a novelty than a problem.
external image taosphoto.gifPueblo people (sometimes called the Anasazi) began to build mud-brick houses for themselves in the south-west part of North America (modern Colorado, northern Arizona, and New Mexico) about 100 BC, during the Middle Woodland period (the time of the Han dynasty in China, and the Roman republic). At this point they are known as the Basket Maker people.

Basket Maker people built houses of wooden poles and mud-brick, often dug into pits in the ground, or they lived in caves which were easy to find among the sandstone cliffs. 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 (even though Maya people did), but mainly baskets.

Around 500 or 600 AD, people also learned how to grow beans and domesticated turkeys (or maybe got domesticated turkeys from Maya people), and then it became easier to get their food from farming and herding turkeys than from hunting and gathering. So people mostly became farmers. Now that they were settled down, they began to make pottery to keep their stuff in instead of baskets.

By 700 AD these people began to build big apartment houses out of mud-brick and sometimes out of stone. People's houses became much bigger than 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. Pueblo people got rich and powerful, and spread out to take over more land as far north as central Utah and southern Colorado, and as far south as a good part of Mexico. They were trading their turquoise for pretty parrot feathers and other things which came from as far away as the Maya in Central America.

There are four main groups of Pueblo people, who all spoke different languages - they are the Zuni, the Hopi, the Tanoans, and the Keresans. The Hopi language was related to Ute and to Aztec.

The South-west is very dry, and so 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 water, but also they needed water to irrigate their corn and beans and pumpkins so they would grow.
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