Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Basketmaker culture of the pre-Ancestral Puebloans

"Pueblo" is a Spanish term meaning "village" or "town." This word is used both to describe a style of building (adobe-and-stone pueblo) and to refer to specific groups of American Indians who live in pueblos and come from an agricultural tradition. The Basketmaker culture of the pre-Ancestral Puebloans began about 1500 BC and continued until about AD 750.

In this first major period they are called the Basketmaker Puebloans because of their highly refined basket making. They used yucca, apocynum, bark and other plant fiber to make things like sandals and baskets to store food.

In the Mesa Verde region, Basketmaker peoples settled mostly in the western and eastern borderlands. For these peoples, baskets were commonly used to gather, store, cook, and serve food; or as water containers when lined with clay to create waterproof bowls. Actually, baskets were used as molds for some of the earliest pots.

The Basketmakers who lived to the west (called the "Western Basketmakers") are thought by some archaeologists to have been the descendants of Archaic peoples who migrated to the area from southern Arizona. Those who lived to the east (called the "Eastern Basketmakers") may have been descendants of the original Archaic inhabitants of the Colorado Plateau.

Pueblo people living in the Mesa Verde region during this time had not yet learned how to make pottery vessels. Instead, they used other kinds of containers, including baskets made of woven plant materials.

In the second major Ancient cultural period, beginning around A.D. 750, they are called the Pueblo People. They began to settle down, rely even more on agriculture, and stay in one place much longer. They gathered together in larger and larger communities. For more than 700 years they and their descendants lived and flourished here, eventually building elaborate stone communities in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. Then, in the late A.D. 1200s, in the span of a generation or two, they left their homes and moved away.
Basketmaker culture of the pre-Ancestral Puebloans

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