Peoples of the Mesa Verde Region
The Historic Period: Late A.D. 1700s to Mid-1900s
Pueblo people did not live in the Mesa Verde region during the Historic period, but they did make pilgrimages to the area. Sherds from vessels made by Pueblo Indians in the Rio Grande valley of New Mexico have been recorded on a few sites in the eastern part of the Mesa Verde region, but this pottery appears to be Pueblo trade ware that made its way onto Navajo sites.
The lifestyle of the Historic-period Pueblo Indians reflected a blend of Pueblo and Spanish traits, with growing influence from American culture through time. In their homes in New Mexico and Arizona, the Pueblo people planted agricultural fields using traditional methods, raised turkeys, hunted wild game, and gathered wild plants. They also raised sheep, goats, and chickens originally obtained from the Spanish. Pueblo peoples maintained their traditional way of life, but also adopted some aspects of Spanish and American governmental systems, as well as elements of Christian religion. The arrival of the railroads in the early 1880s provided some Pueblo Indians the opportunity to work for wages, and rail transport was a means to deliver Pueblo arts and crafts to American markets.