What is Oasisamerica? – Characteristics, location and cultures
Oasisamerica was a large territory in the American continent where many indigenous peoples settled before the arrival of the Spanish, therefore, it is very important in the history of the region. So, in this article, the definition of Oasisamerica and the characteristics of this territory are explained. In the same way, it is mentioned where it was located and what was in that place, in addition to specifying the geographical distribution with respect to Mesoamerica and Aridoamerica.
What are the characteristics of Oasisamerica?
The pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures had a lot of variety in their characteristics but, despite the differences, there were also elements that they shared such as inhabitants of the American continent. In this sense, some peoples got together and created important civilizations at strategic points or places throughout the continent. One of these territories was Oasisamércia, a large piece of land where certain Mexican and American indigenous or aboriginal cultures developed.
Oasisamerica is the name that designated a cultural area that was located in what is Mexico and the United States today, it is a vast territory controlled by the indigenous people of the region long before the arrival of the Spanish in the conquest. It is thus known by the combination of the name of the American continent with the word oasis. Said territory bordered on other aboriginal spaces such as Mesoamerica and Aridoamerica.
Among the characteristics of the peoples of Oasisamerica, it should be noted that they were sedentary, therefore, they did not have a nomadic life like their neighbors in Aridoamerica. There they lived on farming, hunting and fishingin addition to collecting the fruits of the trees.
The exact date on which the peoples settled in this region of America is unknown, however, its point of maximum growth and development was between the years 1205 and 1261. Likewise, the origin of the peoples that inhabited this territory is not known, however, it is believed that the first inhabitants were migrants from Mesoamerica who sought greater comfort.
What period is Oasisamerica from?
The beginning of the American oasis culture is uncertain, since there is very little information about the American peoples prior to the arrival of the Spanish on the continent. There is no definition or exact date of the beginning of Oasisamerica, since in any writing it is described as a territory associated with the pre-Columbian period. In this sense, there are towns like the anasazi who began to form their civilization in the year 1 BC
The period of maximum splendor of the territory of Oasisamerica was shortly before the Spanish conquest, since from 1200 there was an expansion of the territory. On that date, many people from the Aridoamérica region began to arrive, since this area had better conditionsboth in climate and in the development of agriculture.
Where is Oasisamerica located?
The location of what was Oasisamerica was very important, because this region was close to two other important cultural areas: Mesoamerica and Aridoamerica. In this sense, being located in the northernmost part, the territory of Oasisamerica has combined characteristics of the other two places. Thus, it is possible to affirm that the exact region is located in northern present-day Mexico and the southern United States of America.
The largest villages were in present-day New Mexico, but the area that contributed the most evidence to the study of this culture was Casas Grandes in Chihuahua. The territory of Oasisamerica was among the Rocky Mountainsin addition to the Sierra Madre Occidental, making it a mountainous valley.
In present-day Mexico, the cities of Sonora and Chihuahua comprise part of Oasisamerica, while in the United States it encompasses New Mexico, Utah, California, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado.
What is the climate in Oasisamerica?
Oasisamérica grouped an extensive territory, which was formed in a large part by valley, however, the other half included various deserts such as those of Arizona, Sonora and Chihuahua. In this sense, it is valid to say that in Oasisamerica they felt a dry and arid climateso that it did not let the vegetation abound.
However, this land housed several important tributaries of water that improved the thermal sensation of the place. Among the rivers that flow in this territory, the Yaqui, the Colorado, Rio Mayo, the Bravo and Casas Grandes, in the same way, there were several large lagoons that are already dry today.
What’s in Oasisamerica?
In Oasisamerica there was a variety of natural resources, so it was a little better to live in than Aridoamerica, but not as much as Mesoamerica. There, it is possible to enjoy the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, which is a beautiful landscape formed by a group of mountains. Likewise, there are the Rocky Mountains, another group of mountains that are located in the northernmost region of the territory.
In the same way, it should be noted that in Oasisamerica there was a large amount of minerals, which were used for trade. The main mineral was the turquoise, a precious blue-green stone that in Mesoamerica was widely used by its inhabitants. So, the peoples of both territories had negotiations and exchanges to obtain the desired resources.
What traditions were there in Oasisamerica?
One of the main traditions of the people in Oasisamerica was to practice agriculture to survive and satisfy their basic nutritional needs. However, agriculture in this region was not very efficient due to weather problems, as this it was very dry. So, many of the foods or products were not very abundant, in addition to which there was not much knowledge about what period of the year a crop was best.
Water was another problem in this area, so they collected rain water for agricultural production in the fields to work. In the same way, the tradition of these workers was to create channels from the rivers to take advantage of the liquid resource, however, people had to complete their food with fishing and fruit gathering, they also used trade to obtain products.
Although the towns had elements in common, each culture had its own traditions and lifestyle. In this sense, one of the best-known peoples that inhabited Oasisamerica were the Anasazi. It is believed that this indigenous group was the precursor of the indigenous peoples Hopi and Zuni and date from 1 BC The Anasazi lived on the pottery and basketryof which they traded in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The Hohokam were a tribe from the Sonoran desert, of which there is not much information collected, however, they are known for their apipes and irrigation systems. For their part, the Mogollón were located in the Sierra Madre, near the mountains and their main source of resources was mining. Two other minor cultures also belonged to Oasisamerica, such as the Fremont and the Pataya.
How is the distribution of Oasisamerica, Mesoamerica and Aridoamerica?
Mesoamerica, Aridoamerica and Oasisamerica are territories that were very close to each other, so their peoples shared characteristics in their culture. By cartographic definition, it is estimated that Mesoamerica comprised the southern area of present-day Mexico, as well as Honduras and Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize. So it is the largest territory and the most information about which is known, the Mayan, Zapotec and Teotihuacan cultures developed there. It was a very fertile territory, which generated an abundance of food.
For its part, Aridoamerica was located in the northeast of Mesoamerica, which includes the eastern section of Mexico, there was a lot of drought, so its inhabitants were nomads. Oasisamerica was the northernmost region of the three, including part of the territory of the present United States. This place was more similar to Mesoamerica, but it had certain features of Aridoamerica, therefore, it received many migrants from both lands.