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Experience Zuni: The A:shiwi

  • 19 Mar 2020
  • 22 Mar 2020
  • Zuni, New Mexico
  • 0


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Experience Zuni: The A:shiwi    March 19, 20, 21, 22

This is a carpool trip limited to 15 individuals. Download the event flyer HERE. Cost covers all expenses except for meals and lodging.

Join us as we spend 4 days (2 full and 2 half-days) and 3 nights of quality time learning the history, culture, food and arts of the Zuni People. Due to the shortness of time before the event, refunds will not be available for cancellations but you can find a replacement.

We will have the privilege of experienced Zuni archaeologists, guides and teachers as we venture to archaeological sites, enjoy hearing their migration story, dine on traditional foods, understand about the use of woven and embroidered textiles, and visit local artists known for their intricate jewelry and sculptural stone fetish carvings.

The Zuni, a Puebloan People, are considered the most traditional of the 19 New Mexican pueblos, with a unique language, culture and history. Zuni is a sovereign, self-governed nation, continuing their sacred ceremonial activities throughout the year, as they have for millennia.

For over 1,200 or more years, the Zuni have been living in their current New Mexico location. They call this homeland Halona Idiwan’a, or Middle Place. It is the largest of the 19 pueblos, covering over 700 square miles, and with a population of over 10,000 people, most of whom live in the main village of Zuni and the surrounding community of Blackrock.

Day 1 Intro, Afternoon After settling in from your drive, the tour will begin this afternoon. We will meet at the Visitor’s Center. Zuni Archaeologist Kenny Bowekaty will provide us with an oral history overview of the Zuni people, their pueblo, and their migration.  

Dinner together at Village Bistro. Menus will be sent with the itinerary after registering.                                 

Day 2 In the field all day This morning after breakfast, we’ll board a Zuni shuttle, as Kenny will take us to visit the Village of the Great Kivas, a Chacoan-outlier prehistoric site, inhabited until the 1400’s.  There are two “great kivas”, many rooms, and extensive rock art (petroglyphs and pictographs) nearby. We will investigate a likely solar calendar petroglyph, as this morning is about 12 hours past the Spring Equinox. Kenny will share from his many years of field research and in-depth investigations of Zuni history. There is a moderately strenuous hike up to the site. Bring water and snacks/lunch.

After a break for lunch back at the Cultural Center, Kenny will drive us to Badger Springs, a sister site to the Village of the Great Kivas, occupied at the same time. We will see many petroglyphs and evidence of residences at this unique site, as Kenny ties in the cultural and historical interpretation of the place.

Dinner on your own.

Day 3 Food and clothing day.  This morning after breakfast, we’ll gather for a demonstration by accomplished textile artist, Elroy Natachu. Along with artist Kandis Quam, we will see examples of traditional clothing and weaving techniques, plus gain some background on the importance of cotton, embroidery and patterns to the culture. Perhaps we’ll get lucky and Kandis will bring some parched corn and pepper jerky to sample and purchase.

After this, we’ll join chef Ava Hannaweeke of Sunny Day’s Catering in her home, for a meal of traditional pueblo foods. This is a feast for us, which may include chili stew, beans squash, sourdough bread, salad, and more! Any of your food restrictions will be considered in her menu planning.

Then, we will visit several bakers for an understanding and a demonstration of the preparation of Zuni sourdough bread in culturally important outdoor ovens.

Day 4 Zuni Arts, Morning The fourth and final morning after breakfast, we visit artists at the Zuni Arts Cooperative, a culturally-protected organization, where we will learn about Zuni arts first-hand.  Zuni is an art-rich culture, and could be considered an “artist colony”, as nearly 80% of the people are working artists. This could include seeing potters, stone fetish carvers, silversmiths and stone inlay jewelers, painters, etc. This is an opportunity to purchase fine pieces directly from the artists, without risk of counterfeit pieces, before heading back home.

A detailed schedule will be provided after registering for this event. Alcohol is not permitted at Zuni. Photography of non-religious subjects is allowed with a permit from the Visitor Center. All cultural activities are sacred, and no recording of any kind is allowed.

See Flyer for recommended accommodations.