We refer to our region as the “Southwest,” but is it? Arizona has been in the southwestern United States only since 1847 when the U.S. annexed more than half of Mexico in the Mexican War. To understand the culture and history of the “Southwest” we need to go deep into Mexico and look north.
Wednesday, July 2, at 3:30 p.m., in the second of a three-lecture series, John Ware, executive director of the Amerind Foundation, will argue that for thousands of years all the major influences on our history and culture came from the south.
Corn, beans, squash and cotton, along with irrigation agriculture all came from the south. Ceramic pottery and several architectural styles also came from the south. The religion and important elements of social and political organizations of native peoples have southern origins. Even the dominant ecosystems of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts expanded from Mexico at the end of the last ice age. And, of course, the Spanish Empire expanded northward in the 16th Century.
Ware is an anthropologist and archeologist whose research and teaching focus on the prehistory and ethno-history of the northern Southwest, where he has worked for over 40 years. He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Colorado. Ware has been with the Amerind Foundation since 2001. His most recent book, “A Pueblo Social History: Kinship, Sodality and Community in the Northern Southwest” was published in March of this year.
The third and final lecture in the series, “Chaco Mystery Solved?” is scheduled for July 9.
Submitted by Priscilla Moore, Academy Village Volunteer