History and Culture of the American Indian

Native Americans have a long standing history that has grown and endured over the years. Over that time, the American Indian has remained first and foremost true to their culture and heritage. Generation by generation these traditions and values have been kept alive even with the world around them changing ever so swiftly.

In the Southwest, ancient Pueblo tribes made high desert and forest regions their home and eventually broke off into several tribes, each with their own American Indian culture. The Zuni tribe settled into northwestern New Mexico, where they remain to this day, living a spiritual and peaceful life, much as they did hundreds of years ago.

In Native American Indian history, the Hopi are known as “the peaceful ones.” Aside from a few skirmishes with the Navajo tribe and Mexican soldiers, the tribe has remained true to their name, living a harmonious life and taking care of the earth that provides for them.

There are several important things to know about Native Americans in the Southwest. While they share a common ancestry, each tribe developed its own language and religion over time. Yet many common themes and symbols crossed cultural lines. This can clearly be seen in many different forms of Zuni turquoise jewelry as well as the symbolism used in tribal art.

Currently, the Navajo tribe is the largest Native American population in the United States. They live on the Navajo Nation, more that 27,000 square miles of land in the Four Corners region in parts of  Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.