Northwestern New Mexico Sights

Zuni Pueblo

  • Native American Site

Published 06/27/2017

Fodor's Review

Zuni Pueblo has been occupied continuously since at least the year 700, and its language—technically A:shiwi, as the Zunis refer to themselves—is unrelated to that of any other pueblo. Hawikku, a Zuni-speaking settlement (now a ruin) 12 miles south of the pueblo, was the first to come in contact with the Spaniards, in 1539. Francisco Vásquez de Coronado came here seeking one of the Seven Cities of Gold. He'd been tipped off by his guide, Estéban, who had seen the setting sun striking the walls of the dwellings and thought the multistoried villages were made of gold.

With a population of more than 10,000, Zuni Pueblo is the largest of New Mexico's 19 Indian pueblos. Zuni—or more correctly in the A:shiwi language, Halona Idiwan'a, or "Middle Place"—has a mix of buildings: modern ones in addition to old adobes, but what is most prevalent are beautifully hewn red-sandstone structures, some more than 100 years old. The artists and craftspeople here are renowned for their

masterful stone inlay, Zuni "needlepoint" turquoise and silver jewelry, carved stone animal fetishes, polychrome pottery, and kachina figures. Weavings have become all but impossible to find as old weavers pass on and younger Zunis don't take up the craft, but it's fine work—now mostly seen in belts and sashes for personal use—and worth looking for if textiles are your passion.

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Sight Information


Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, USA

Published 06/27/2017


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