Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/351

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The Pueblo area.

The plateau bounded by the Colorado and the Rio Grande was long the home of the clay and adobe worker. The men were short, and the height of the women in the pueblos was 93 per cent, of that of the men. Rabbits, mountain sheep, antelopes, coyotes, mountain lions, hawks and rattlesnakes were the useful and mythical animals. The vegetal kingdom furnished poor timber, but good textile fibers and a varied diet of corn, melons and beans. As in the Ohio valley, though in different materials, artificial food production was associated with defense. The cliff home and the pueblo solved the problem of architecture and fortifications in the best possible situations and materials.

The artificializing of this pueblo life can not be divorced from water culture and cult, woman's prerogative. In a region whose life is a perpetual sigh for water, the nymph and the potter are one. Women are pack beasts for clay; modelers, decorators, burners of pottery. The water seeker, carrier, storer, user, server, is the potter. The tempting foods set before the gods of the elements were served in baskets and vessels of clay. The feminal life of the pueblos, therefore, was higher than the virile, and it is so to-day. Gushing says that the men's efforts were concentrated on activities connected with maintenance and the worship going therewith. Most of the fine art, however, excepting the little painted dolls, in the service of religion, is feminal; it is on pottery and basketry, not on shields and manly costume.

The Mexican area.

At the genial southern extremity of the same plateau, reaching from Quimbawa, in Zacatecas, to Nicaragua, lie the Mexican uplands, man's best friend in all aboriginal North America, as the region about Quito was in South America—a climate whose daylight varied little throughout the year, whose temperature was so equable that food plants, like the trees of the Apocalypse, bore their fruit every month, a region whose elevation and proximity to the gulf and the ocean gave the largest yield of land and sea food for the smallest effort, especially, however, a region abounding in architectural stone in which men might fix their epics and their dreams, and in hard rock for stone cutters' tools.

Mean temperature of the City of Mexico.

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
75 80 80 79 75 69 69 66 63 66 70 73

Such a land was favorably situated for leisure, for organization, for unbroken cooperation in economic social and religious activities on a large scale and, proportionally, to develop the manliness of men. One