What was it like to live in a rock shelter or cliff dwelling in the ancient southwest? More or less the same as it is now for the people who still do it. The Tarahumara are of the same Uto-Aztecan (Uto-Nahuatl) stock as the original natives of the North American southwest. Remember, Mexico and United States have only been two countries for about 150 years. Before that, the southwest was just one big continuous region with Mexico.