Anasazi Descendants: Ancestral Puebloans

Who Are The Anasazi Descendants

The descendants of the prehistoric Anasazi are generally believed to be the various Puebloans which include the Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna. Similar to the regional diversity among the Anasazi, the contemporary Puebloans showed the same diversity, both in the cultural and linguistic sense. These groups are customarily described as belonging to either the western or the eastern division.

The western Pueblo villages include the villages of the Hopi (northern Arizona) and the Acoma, Zuni and Laguna villages (western New Mexico). Both the Acoma and Laguna people speak Keresan while the Zuni speak Zuni which has Penutian affiliation. The Hopi speak the Uto-Aztecan language of Hopi except the village of Hano wherein the inhabitants are Tewa speakers.

The eastern Pueblo villages are found in New Mexico along the Rio Grande. They are made up of groups who speak Keresan and Tanoan languages.

The Hopi

The Hopi are one of the several Native American cultures who thrived in the Southwestern United States. As descendants of the Anasazi, the Hopi constructed huge apartment-house complexes in southwestern Colorado, northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona. They have inhabited along the Mogollon Rim particularly between the 12th and 14th century.

Traditionally, the Hopi economy was focused on farming and sheep herding. While corn was grown as the chief crop, the Hopi also grew melons, squash, beans and other fruits and vegetables.

The Acoma

The Acoma people lived in what is known as the oldest inhabited community in North America, the Acoma Pueblo. They are also referred to as the Keres people and are known to belong to a cluster of Native American Indian groups who speak the Keresan dialects.

The Acoma are best known for their unique pottery method and style. Their pottery forms normally include drinking pots, effigy pots, seed jars and bowls. Just like most traditional pottery makers, the Acoma created their potteries based on functionality which includes eating, drinking, storage and other ceremonial uses.

The Zuni

The Zuni belonged to a society that is organized by way of kinship which includes 13 matrilineal clans. Similar to other Puebloans, the Zunis are deeply religious and are known for their complex ceremonial organization. Their religious way of living is centered on worshiping gods or spirit-beings known as kachinas.

Most Zunis are farmers who raised corn, beans, here and squash. They are also famous makers of pottery, animal fetishes, beadwork, baskets, and silver and turquoise jewelry. A huge majority of the Zunis maintained much of their traditional culture and have adopted only some aspects of modern American life.

The Laguna

Laguna people now has a population of more than 7,000 which makes them the biggest Keresan-speaking group. They valued intellectual activity as well as education. Well-educated Lagunas include authors such as Paula Gunn Allen and Leslie Marmon Silko.

The name Laguna means “small lake” in Spanish. The people have a long history of living and farming along the Rio San Jose located in west-central New Mexico. Just like the other Puebloans, the Laguna people are skilled pottery makers.

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