So far, the most difficult problem I’ve found is trying to figure out what to call these native people. The historic word used to discribe them is Anasazi. This term has recently gone out of fassion. It is a Navajo word that means “ancient enemy”. Pollitical correctness dictates that we can’t call these people enemy, so the term Ancient Puebloan has been applied instead.
I find it very entertaining that a Spanish term has been used to replace an un-politically correct native term. I guess the justification is that the Ancient Puebloans moved out of their cliff dwellings about 700 years ago, and Europeans didn’t arrive in this continent until 200 years later. So the Spanish were never the “enemy” of these people, they just oppressed their decendents.
So who are the decendants of these ancient people? Clearly not the Navajo. The Navajo are actually Athabaskan people, and are very closely related to the Chippeway. The Navajo didn’t migrate from the Northeast to the Southwest until after European settlers began moving into the Northeast in large numbers. So the Spanish may have actually arrived on the Colorado Plato before the Navajo.
The people that did desend from the ancient cliff dwellers are the Hopi, Taos, Zuni, Keres, and other modern Puebloan peoples. The most logical term used to discribe the ancient cliff dwellers is “Hisatsinom”, which means “ancestor” in Hopi. The problem is that calling the Ancient Peobloean people “Hisatsimom” would liguistically exclude the Taos, Zuni, and others from their lineage. So for the time being the politically correct term for a native peoples who “disappeared” centuries before Europeans arrived on this continent is Spanish.
Here is another fun names for native peoples fact I’ve learned. The term “Navajo” is a Hopi word that means “newcomers”. It’s not quite as bad as “enemy” but it’s still a big streatch from “Dine” the word the Navajo use for themselves, which means “the people”.
I have no idea what I’m going to call the people in my book once I get around to writing it. But I am having a good time learning about them.
Joke of the Day
New evidence has come out to prove that dog is man's best friend. Put your dog, your cat, and your spouce in the trunk of your car and drive around for an hour. Then open the trunk and see which one is happy to see you.