The Anasazi Indians

Published on January 16, 2012 by Amy

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Anasazi Chimney Rock
Anasazi Chimney Rock

The Anasazi Indians are probably best known for the cliff pueblos found throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. The name “Anasazi” comes from the Navajo Indians and roughly translates to “enemy ancestors.” To this day, the Hopi Indians claim that the Ansazi Indians were their ancestors. This has never been proven or disproved to date.

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The Anasazi Indians were very smart. They have always built their homes into the side of cliffs. These cliff dwellings were safe because they could only be reached by climbing and made for a great defense system against traveling Indian tribes. Many researches speculate that they had a very good, and even sophisticated security system in place in the rocky cliffs they called home. Not only were they brilliant in where they built their homes, but they were one of the pioneers in creating roads and water systems for effective crop irrigation.

They also gathered wood from many miles away; just how this was done is still a mystery to this day. If you look at the pottery that the Anasazi Indians created, like other Indian tribes of the times, it tells a story. There is probably a lot that can be learned from studying this ancient art form. In fact, the popularity of the pottery of the Anasazi Indians is probably only second to the Southwestern Indians.

Eventually, the Anasazi Indians left the cliff dwellings. The reason why has never been proven, but there is much speculation that the Anasazi left due to a shortened crop growing season, it was getting too hard to survive in a climate that was not yielding enough food. Others say that it was because their “security” was threatened. This too, has never been proven and is just speculation. No matter what the reason was, the Anasazi Indians have remained the center of Native American research.

Source: native-net Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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