How much do you know about the history of Native Americans in the U.S. Southwest?

The Anasazi, also known as the Ancestral Puebloans, form an important part of the history of the U.S. Southwest. Let’s test you knowledge of them by answering the following questions.  Need help? Use American Indian History Online, American Indian Culture or Native American Tribes

  1. The word ‘Anasazi’ was not used by the Ancestral Puebloans to describe themselves. It is actually a Navajo word used to describe them. What does it roughly translate to in English?
  2. What region of the southwestern United States did the Anasazi inhabit?
  3. The Anasazi had various tools used for daily life as well as for hunting. One of the tools they used for hunting was a type of dart or spear thrower. What is it called?
  4. As with many cultures, religion played a big role in the life of the Anasazi. What were their religious buildings called?
  5. Once the Ancestral Puebloans began to settle into more permanent settlements, they also began to cultivate crops. What did their staple foods consisted of?
  6. How did the great houses of Chaco Canyon communicate with their outlying settlements?
  7. The Hopi are one of the modern-day tribes descended from the Ancestral Puebloans. What term do they use to refer to their ancestors?
  8. During the Pueblo phase of Anasazi history, what farming techniques did the people begin to develop?
  9. The Anasazi used a system of ‘roads’ or pathways. Is this true or false?
  10. Which of the following is NOT true of Anasazi pottery?

    A. It was often painted with black or red geometric designs.

    B. Many elaborate designs were used to decorate the pottery.

    C. It was usually very simple in design and brown in color.

    D. It was made from sandstone and shale clay.

    How did you do?

    0 – 1 Mmmm, not exactly brilliant.
    2 – 5 A reasonable stab.
    6 – 8 A good showing. But there’s still room for improvement!
    9 – 10 You really know your stuff. Well done!


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