What Is the Culture and History of Southwest Indians?

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The Southwest Indian culture groups are divided into three main categories: the farmers consisting of Yuma and Pima, the villagers consisting of Hopi, Pueblo and Zuni, and the nomads consisting of Navajo and Apache. Southwest Indian native languages include Athabaskan, Uto-Aztecan, Caddoan, Algonquian and Siouan.

Southwest Indians are the American Indian tribes located in the southwestern states of United States, including Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Yuma, Pima, Zuni, Pueblo, Navajo, Hopi and Apache are the Southwest Indian culture groups. Majority of the Southwest Indians are inhabitants of villages, with their main occupation being farming.

Southwest Indians based their beliefs, ceremonies and religion on animism. It is a belief or doctrine based on the philosophy that all natural objects, including the whole universe, have spirits or souls. The tribes considered turquoise stones to be sacred and used them to promote prosperity, health and happiness.

Traditionally, Southwest Indians primarily wore dresses made of feathers and flowers. Clothing was one of the primary art skills of the tribes. Naming newborn babies is an important event in the culture. The tribal leaders and relatives of the family name the newborn babies; not the parents. Summer and winter solstice festivals are an important part of Southwest Indian culture. The tribesmen perform snake dances as part of ceremonial rituals during festivals.