UTO-AZTECAN Hopi First Mesa

Walpi Sichomovl

Hano (Tewa language)

Polacca Second Mesa




Toreva Third Mesa

New Oraibi

Hotevilla (recent settlement) Bacabi (recent settlement)



Laguna Zia

Santa Ana San Felipe Santo Domingo Cochiti

TANOAN (Aztecan-Tanoan, a proposed larger family than Uto-Aztecan, taking in very distant connections.) Towa

Jemez (and descendants of old Pecos)


Tesuque Pojoaque Nambe Santa Clara San lldefonso San Juan



Picuris Sandia Isleta

ZUNIAN (Probably related to Uto-Aztecan) Zuni

The language element is important in a classification of crafts, for the speakers of one tongue can often be grouped together, as the Hopi can in weaving or the Tewa in costume. Still, geography is often as important as language. Most of the pueblos, in their present situation, are clustered in the drainage basin of the Rio Grande, New Mexico's one large river. Only a few steam off westward into the desert, like the tail of a T turned sidewise. TheSe dwellers in a barren country find a real difference in materials and living conditions from those in the river valleys. A distinction which can be made almost oftener than any other is that between desert pueblos and river pueblos.

Hopi and Zuni are the chief desert pueblos. They are nearest to the home of the ancient pueblo people, before the great drought of 1276. Perhaps they have retained more of the customs of those days. Moreover, in Spanish times, they were so far from the center of government that they were left practically alone. They had much to do with each other but little to do with the Spaniards or the river people. Especially in describing ceremonies or government, we should find that they stand out like sister villages, in contrast to all the rest. Yet two others belong partly in the desert. These are ancient Acoma, on its mesa, and Laguna, a comparatively new settlement-at least it was new in Spanish times. These belong to the Keresan language group so that they share many customs of government and ceremony different from Hopi and Zuni. Nevertheless, their situation in barren country near to the great desert pueblos seems to have cut them off somewhat from their kinsmen. In speaking of the desert pueblos, these two are included.

All the others count as river pueblos. Some, like Santo Domingo, Son-ta Clara and Isleta are in the fertile valley of the Rio Grande itself Some, like Jemez and Santa Ana, are on tributary creeks. Taos and Picuris are on a mountain plateau, whose tiny streams run into the youthful Rio Grande before it has tumbled into the valley. Naturally all these circumstances alter the possibilities of craft. The valley villages have much communication. They were able to get the same kind of pottery clay. They received the same amount of influence from Spaniards and from White Americans. The plateau villages, on the other hand, were near to the Plains and the buffalo hunting Indians. They were users of skins like the more eastern tribes and, moreover their climate was too cold for the raising of cotton. Their costumes were influenced as much by that of the Plains Indians as by that of their pueblo kinsmen, and so is their pottery. So are their habits of war and hunting and even of family life. In fact, it might be possible to set apart these two Tiwa villages, Taos and Picuris, as plateau pueblos, with San Juan as a transition point between them and the valley.

We could go further and further with these differences. Anyone studying the crafts of a particular pueblo will find it most absorbing to consider its sources of supply and its contacts with neighbors, past and present. These help to show how each has built up a personality which may make it stand out from a neighbor as distinctly as Boston from New Orleans. There is plenty of printed material on the subject and a glance at the classified bibliography at the end of this volume will show how varied it is. On one hand, there are the findings of the archaeologists, growing more complete every year. Again, there are the hints and descriptions to be dug cut of Spanish writings. To the sorrow of the craft student, these writers were all men and usually warriors. They cared little about crafts, and a weaver puzzles her head in vain as to whether a garment described as "pintado" was really painted, embroidered, or had the pattern woven in.

In 1879 White Americans began to visit the pueblos, bringing craft work back to the National Museum in Washington. Since then, there has been a succession of reports, short and long, dealing with one detail or many. Some are now out of print and some are hard to get. It has seemed worthwhile to the Indian Bureau to have the authentic material collected, classified and brought up to date by descriptions from modern Indians. The result has been checked by experts at the Laboratory of Anthropology, Santa Fe, at the University of Mexico, the Denver Art Museum and Columbia University. The work has suggested several craft problems, noted in the various chapters. Students, white and Indian, may find them interesting subjects of study and so add to our knowledge of pueblo activities.

A companion volume, "Workaday Life of the Pueblos," also published by the Division of Education, Bureau of Indian Affairs, presents a similar panorama of their material culture. The following chapter headings indicate its contents:



II Cultivated Crops, Storage and Cookery

III ;Wild Crops and How They Were Used

IV ;Hunting the Meat Supply


V ;Houses and Furnishings

VI ;Clothing and Style Changes


VII Life in the Village, Games, Trade, War

VIII Life in the Family, Birth, Childhood, Boy and Girl, Marriage, Death