AP EXAM TIP You should be aware of the characteris-tics and locations of societies in North America, particularly Chaco and Cahokia. 250 CHAPTER 6 • COMMONALITIES AND VARIATIONS, 600 B.C.E.-1200 C.E. in a cleansing ceremony, a sacrifice to an ancestor, the activation of a charm, or the elimination of a witch?1° Unlike the major monotheistic religions, with their "once and for all" revelations from God through the Christian Bible or the Muslim Quran, Bantu reli-gious practice was predicated on the notion of "con-tinuous revelation"—the possibility of constantly receiving new messages from the world beyond through dreams, visions, or trance states. Moreover, unlike Buddhism, Christianity, or Islam, Bantu reli-gions were geographically confined, intended to explain, predict, and control local affairs, with little missionary impulse or inclination toward universality North America: Ancestral Pueblo and Mound Builders If the Americas hosted civilizations, cities, and empires in Mesoamerica and the Andes, they also housed var-ious alternative forms of human community during the second-wave era and beyond. Arctic and subarc-tic cultures, the bison hunters of the Great Plains, the complex and settled communities of the Pacific coast of North America, nomadic bands living in the arid regions of southern South America—all of these represent the persistence of gathering and hunting ways of living. Even more widespread—in the eastern woodlands of the United States, Cen-tral America, the Amazon basin, the Caribbean islands —were societies sustained bv village-based agriculture. Owing to environmental or technological limitations, it was a less intensive and productive agriculture than in Mesoamerica or the Andes and supported usually much smaller populations (see Map 6.4 and Map 12.5, page 515). These peoples too made their own histories, changing in response to their unique environments, their interactions with outsiders, and their own visions of the world. The Anasazi of the southwestern United States, now called the Ancestral Pueblo, and the mound-building cultures of the eastern woodlands provide two illustrations from North America. The southwestern region of North America, an arid land cut by mountain ranges and large basins, first acquired maize from its place of origin in Mesoarnerica during the second millennium B.C.E., but it took roughly 2,000 years for that crop. later supplemented by beans and squash, to become the basis of a settled agricul-tural way of living. As maize was adapted to the local environment, permanent village life gradually took hold, with people initially living in pit houses belcus ground level. By 900 C.E., many of these villages also included kivas, much larger P". structures used for ceremonial purposes, which symbolized the widespread hebet AP' In Comparison To what extent are these North American societies similar to the African Bantu-speaking peoples?