Zuni (Halona Idiwan’a)
Zuni Pueblo is located in a beautiful valley surrounded by dramatic mesas about 150 miles west of Albuquerque near the Arizona border. With over 10,000 tribal members, Zuni is the largest of the 19 Pueblos and the only Pueblo to speak the Zuni language. For thousands of years, the Zuni people have farmed the land along the Zuni River, raising corn, beans, squash and other vegetables. Their cultural and religious traditions are rooted in their deep connection to the mountains, forests and deserts of their homeland. Considered the most traditional of all of New Mexico’s Pueblos, the Zuni people have a unique language, culture and history that is the result of their geographic isolation. They express their cultural traditions through art, particularly through painting, pottery, jewelry and fetish carving. The Zuni religion, language, agriculture and culture are passed from one generation to the next and continue to be essential parts of modern life. Today the majority of Zuni people make a living in the arts, and Zuni artists are famous for their handcrafted silver inlay jewelry, gemstone jewelry with cluster work in the petit point and needlepoint styles and beautiful hand carved fetishes. There has also been a resurgence in traditional pottery and more and more Zuni artists are making exceptional pottery from handmade natural clay, many with traditional heart-line deer, rain bird and rosette designs. The sophisticated and extraordinary art forms of the Zuni are collected around the world and have contributed to the continuing popularity and high level of craftsmanship of Native American artwork.