This is a carpool trip limited to 15 individuals.
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.
We will have the privilege of experienced Zuni archaeologists, guides and teachers as we venture to archaeological sites, enjoy hearing their migration story, learn to prepare and 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 (Aftenoon) After settling in from your drive, the tour will begin the afternoon of the first day. We will meet at the Visitor’s Center. Zuni Archaeologist Kenny Bowekaty will provide us with an overview of the Zuni people, their pueblo, their history and migration. We will be welcomed with fresh baked bread from their outdoor traditional ovens.
Day 2 The next morning, Kenny will take us to visit 3 neighboring prehistoric village sites, which he terms some of the “Seven Cities of Cibola,” all inhabited until the 1600’s. He will share from his many years of field research and in-depth investigations of Zuni history. We will visit Hawikku, where Coronado and others made first contact around 1540. It was excavated from 1917 to 1923 by Frederick Hodge. Afterwards, we will explore 2 other (unexcavated) ancestral sites, all within in 20 mile radius of the Pueblo. Over two days, we will see five of these seven sites.
Access to the sites is easy, but the roads may be better navigated with a high clearance vehicle, or by carpooling with someone who has one, or by taking the Zuni tour van for a $5 per person fuel charge.
In the late afternoon, we’ll witness a demonstration by two accomplished textile artists, Elroy Natachu and Kandis Quam. We will see weaving techniques, and gain some background of the importance of cotton, embroidery and patterns to the culture.
Day 3 The third morning continues our adventure with Kenny to the 2 remaining unexcavated villages of the “Seven Cities” complex, gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the Zuni’s rich and unique past.
Later in the afternoon, we gather for a hands-on experience, preparing a meal of traditional pueblo foods, with chef Ava Hannaweeke of Sunny Day’s Catering, and enjoy the communal dinner we have made.
Day 4 (Morning)The fourth and final morning, we visit artists in their studios to 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 pottery, stone fetish carving, intricately inlayed jewelry, beadwork, painting and other arts. This is an opportunity to purchase fine pieces directly from the artists before heading back home.
A detailed schedule and info about etiquette at Zuni will be provided after registering for this event.
We encourage you to stay in a local motel during the three nights of the visit.
Here are two recommendations:
The Inn at Halona, Restaurant & Marketplace
800-752-3278 or 505-782-4547 within the Zuni Pueblo
Cimarron Rose B&B
505-783-4770 45 miles east, off Hwy 53 in Grants