- from Southwest Peoples
The American Southwest is beautiful to look at. It has flat-topped mesas, steep canyons, and towering buttes (byoots). But the area also has dry, hot deserts, which make it challenging for people to live there. For many years, though, Native Americans of the Southwest have lived in harmony with the land. They value it and use its resources wisely.
Long ago, these people were nomadic hunters and gatherers. Over thousands of years, they evolved to become farmers living in settled villages. Spanish explorers arrived in 1540. At that time, thousands of Native Americans lived in separate communities scattered around present-day Arizona and New Mexico. Different groups spoke different languages and had different customs and beliefs. But all treasured the land they lived on. Come meet the people of the Southwest, from prehistory to today.