The Pueblo Indians stand out sharply from other culture groups of North America. They have an urban existence and consequently have developed sedentary habits. They live indoors, rise late, and stay up on winter nights and gossip. Their entire life is influenced by their almost complete dependence upon agriculture for their food supply. Even their architecture is predetermined by the necessity of storage rooms for the harvest. The destructive forces of nature must be controlled, they believe, by magic, and the maturing of the crops is due to a pantheon of all-powerful spirits, including the Sun, the Earth, the Wind, and the Clouds.
Their permanent homes allow room for storage of produce, clothing, and sacred ceremonial paraphernalia. Compared with other semipermanent or roving peoples, they are rich in worldly goods. However, their concern is with tribal unity and not with personal prestige. Their lives are thoroughly formalized and highly ritualized, and they are greatly influenced by what we call superstitions. "Despite centuries of white contacts, they preserve their native culture perhaps more completely than any other Indian group in North America. Particularly is this true of their religious life, about which the eastern Pueblos ... have built up an almost impenetrable wall of secrecy."