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The American Indians
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This culture area is first of all a geographical region , it has characteristic climate , land forms and fauna and flora. The America may be divided into many culture areas and these divisions may be determined in different ways. There are nine areas used for North America , one for Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America) , and four for South America. The culture areas of North America are the Southwest , the Eastern Woodlands , the Southeast , the Plains , the California-Intermountain region , the Plateau , the Subarctic , the Northwest Pacific coast and the Arctic.
Culture areas of North America:
The Southwestern culture area includes Arizona , New Mexico , southern Colorado , and nothern Mexico (the states of Sonora and Chihuahna). All this can be subdivided into three sectors :
Northern sector - here are Colorado , northern Arizona , northern New Mexico , with good-natured vallyes and pine forests.
Southern - southern Arizona , southern New Mexico , also part of Mexico, the nature here is covered with cactus and it is desert.
Western - Arizona-California (bonder area) , a smaller area with desert , cut by the valley of the lower Colorado River.
The firstknown inhabitants of the Southwest hunted mammoths , but when the Ice Age came and when it ended (about 8000BC) , mammoths became extinct , what made people to turn to hunting bisons (buffalo – Indian word for bison) , also they started gathering wild plants for food. After Ice Age the climate gradually became warmer and drier , and their way of life started changing. Except buffalos they started hunting deer , and birds and also they gathered fruits and nuts for food. The seeds of wild plants were also collected , because they wanted to try to make flour from them , in which they succeeded. They started making their own flour.
About 3000 BC , the Southwesterners learned to grow maize (Indian word for corn). Maize was domesticated in Mexico and it was minor food for centuries. Mexicans who migrated into southern Arizona brought with them their customs and traditions. Their economy was based on cultivating maize,beans , and squash. These people were named HOHOKAM.They lived in houses made from earth (the bricks of walls were made from earth) , around public plazas. This took place about 300 BC. HOHOKAMS were and are the ancestors of present day PIMA and PAPAGO , who preserve much of their way of life.
Zdroje: Encyklopédia historie sveta – Kingfisher Publication , Londýn 1999, Mexička I srednjoamerička mitologija – Irene Nicholson , 1967, Aztékovia, ríša krvi a lesku – Time Life Books , 1992, Mythology (an illustrated Encyclopedia) – Richard Cavenidsch , 1980, Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia – 2002, National Geographic (1491 America before Columbus) – October , 1991