The indigenous peoples of the North American Southwest are those in the current states of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada in the western United States, and the states of Sonora and Chihuahua in northern Mexico. An often quoted statement from Erik Reed (1964) defined the Greater Southwest culture area as extending north to south from Durango, Mexico to Durango, Colorado and east to west from Las Vegas, Nevada to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Other names sometimes used to define the region include "American Southwest", "North Mexico", "Chichimeca", and "Oasisamerica/Aridoamerica". This region has long been occupied by hunter-gatherers and agricultural people.
Many contemporary cultural traditions exist within the Greater Southwest, including Yuman-speaking peoples inhabiting the Colorado River valley, the uplands, and Baja California, O'odham peoples of Southern Arizona and northern Sonora, and the Pueblo peoples of Arizona and New Mexico. In addition, the Apache and Navajo peoples, whose ancestral roots lie in the Athabaskan-speaking peoples in Canada, entered the Southwest during the 14th and 15th century and are a major modern presence in the area.
Main article: Classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas
Main article: Oasisamerica
The Pre-Columbian culture of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico evolved into three major archaeological culture areas, sometimes referred to as Oasisamerica.
In addition, three distinct minor cultures inhabited the eastern, western, and northern extremes of the area. From 1200 CE into the historic era a people collectively known as the La Junta Indians lived at the junction of the Conchos River and Rio Grande on the border of Texas and Mexico. Between 700 and 1550 CE, the Patayan culture inhabited parts of modern-day Arizona, California and Baja California. The Fremont culture inhabited sites in what is now Utah and parts of Nevada, Idaho and Colorado from 700 to 1300 CE.
Agriculture in the Southwest was based on the cultivation of maize, beans, squash and sunflower seeds.  The Tepary bean Phaseolus acutifolius has been a staple food of Native peoples in the Southwest for thousands of years on account of their tolerance of drought conditions. They require wet soil to germinate but then prefer dry conditions, so they were generally grown on floodplains that would dry out after heavy rains. 
Foraging for wild foods also played a major role in the diet of Southwestern peoples. For example, the fruit and seeds of the Saguaro cactus were collected and eaten both fresh and dried, and made into preserves and drinks by tribes such as the Tohono O'odham and Pima. The flower buds of the Cholla cactus were also collected and roasted in clay lined pits  Another important food for indigenous peoples living in mountainous areas of the Southwest are the seeds of the Pinyon pine, known as "pine nuts" or "piñóns"  The nuts were a vital source of protein in the winter for the Ute and Paiute peoples.
The agave plant was considered a vital food source, which was also useful to indigenous people in other ways.  Agave hearts were roasted and relished for their sweetness, and dried agave was eaten during the winter months. The tough fibers of agave were also used in making baskets and mats. In addition, agave is famously used for distilled spirits such as tequila and mezcal.
The indigenous peoples also raised turkey for food and hunted deer, antelope and rabbit. After European contact they also kept sheep, goats and cattle 
Main article: Puebloans
Contemporary Pueblo Indians continue to be organized on a clan basis for pueblo activities and curing rituals. The clans of the eastern Pueblos are organized into the Summer people and the Winter people (Tanoans) or as the Turquoise people and the Squash people. The western Puebloans are organized into several matrilineal lineages and clans. Many Pueblo peoples continue to practice the kachina (katsina) religion,