The Anasazi People: A Native American Tribe

Their tribes
evolved from
nomadic to
They are the
ancestors of the
modern- day
Pueblo Indians.
They were
made up of
about 20
Tribes found
in Arizona,
Utah, New
Mexico and
• Archaeologists identified the Anasazi culture
through artifacts found in the ancient
• The earliest traces of the Anasazi were
discovered to be from year 1 A.D. to 1300 A.D
• By 1000 AD the Anasazi
People were establishing
permanent villages
• Between 1275-1300 AD
they had abandoned their
Mesa Verde dwellings and
moved south, east and
west along the Rio Grande
The Anasazi created what Archeologists refer to as “Kivas”.
Kivas are communal, above ground buildings that belonged to
an individual families or entire clans
Probably used as working and/or sleeping quarters
• Switched from Kivas between 1200-1300 AD
to the “Cliff-Dwelling” style of architecture
• Large storerooms became prominent features in
Anasazi villages in order to store surplus crops
• It is believed they were governed by Clan Elders.
• Their society is matriarchal, meaning that homes
and farm land are owned by and inherited from the
• However, some kinds of civil and religious authority were
reserved for men. The village chief or kikmongwi was
usually a man.
Anasazi Farming Practices
• At first, they were only hunters and gatherers.
• The Anasazi improved their techniques by using terrace
farming along Rio Grande River.
Symbol for fertilization
• They farmed mesa tops, plains and canyon bottoms
• They captured rain water runoff for agricultural uses
• Farming supported as many as 20,000 people
• Primary food sources- corn, beans and squash, grown
during 7 months.
• The Anasazi relied heavily on hunting mountain
sheep, elk, mule deer, black bear, antelope and
squirrels. Hunting parties also brought back wild
plants to supplement the tribe's diet.
• They wove blankets, shirts, robes, aprons, kilts,
breechcloths, socks, and belts using various plant fibers,
animal hair, and human hair.
• Shoes- sandals, moccasins, and possibly snowshoes.
• Jewelry defined social status- Necklaces, earrings,
bracelets, arm bands, hair combs, and pins were made
from wood, bone, shell, coral, coal, and stone beads.
• Pueblo religion-maintaining harmony with the natural
world, which was the key to survival for ancient people.
Pueblo Feast Day in NewMexico
• Religious
concepts/events linked
with seasonal tasksfarming (in spring and
summer), hunting (in
fall and winter)
• Animal figures pecked
or painted on rockpossibly prayer/rituals
for successful hunting.
•Public and Private Ceremonies
were held.
• YES, the Anasazi Did
trade with Other
• They were not isolated
from other tribes and
participated in trading
with other tribes from as
far as the Pacific Coast,
Gulf of Mexico and the
Great Plains.
• Theories- starvation, war,
civil war, poor sanitation
and environmental
• A major drought between
1275 and 1300 possibly
forced the Anasazi to
abandon their Mesa
Verde villages.
• The Anasazi Mystery
Website- Further
Mesa Verde National Park Website
Anasazi State Park Museum Website (in Utah)
Present day Pueblo cultural center