Newspapers called the Santa Fe exhibit the “Painted Desert”; but people called it the “Indian Village.” Semi-nomadic Navajos in the “desert” lived in hogans, Apaches in dome-shaped wickiups, and Havasupais in brush- covered shacks with dirt-covered roofs. A cliff house, whose walls looked as though they had been blackened by centuries of smoke, harkened back to the prehistoric Anasazi, who are believed to be the ancestors of Hopi and Pueblo Indians.
The Navajo hogans were divided into summer and winter varieties, the summer being constructed of cottonwood and leaves, the winter of cedar and earth. The Indians soon adjusted to a routine. Navajo women sorted and carded wool and wove it into blankets and rugs. Navajo men pounded out copper and silver ornaments. Pueblo women shaped pottery.
Clerks at the trading post gave the Indians clothes, groceries and money for the goods they made. The Indian barter system had already taken a back seat to the needs of a cash economy. In the evenings, men and women on both sides of the mesa conducted ceremonies inside and outside the kivas.