The term pueblo is used specifically to refer to Native American communities in the Southwest. Spanish explorers were the first to use the term to refer to the signature apartment-like stone and Adobe mud residential structures characteristic of Native American villages in the area. The word pueblo is Spanish for town or village.
Communities designated as pueblos at the time the King of Spain ceded the Southwestern territory of the U.S. after the American Revolutionary War fall under the legal term Pueblo under the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Thus, there are 21 federally recognized Pueblos that are home to the Pueblo people. This umbrella term refers to several different peoples and language groups in the Southwest. These groups are divided among two major cultural distinctions-- those that practice matrilineal descent and those that practice patrilineal descent. Included in these people groups are the Hopi of Arizona, the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh in New Mexico, and the Pueblo of Ysleta Del Sur in Texas, among others. The Sandia Pueblo people are near Albuquerque.