HAWIKKU: ECHOES FROM THE PAST
The Hawikku exhibit installed in 2002 consists of 221 representative Hawikku pieces selected by Zuni representatives from the Hawikku collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. Hawikku is one of our most important ancestral villages because it was there that the A:shiwi first made contact with Europeans. The exhibit describes Hawikku as it was before the Spanish invasion and during the period of Spanish influence, the Pueblo Revolt, the change experienced in Zuni during the 1700s through the 1800s, the arrival of anthropologists and ethnographers to the Pueblo, and the controversial excavation of Hawikku conducted by the Hendricks-Hodge Expedition from 1918 to 1923.
As part of the exhibition you will be able to view a selection of silent films depicting traditional Zuni life ways. These films–now part of the AAMHC archives–were made in 1923 at Zuni by filmmaker Owen Cattell under the direction of Frederick W. Hodge and the Gustav Heye Museum of the American Indian.
ZUNI DAY SCHOOL
An assessment of Zuni education would be incomplete without looking back on the Zuni Day School Experience. Several generations of the Zuni community attended the school between 1898 and 1965 and, while students of the early days of the school have passed on, many that attended the school are still with us. During their lifetimes the former students witnessed tremendous local and global change, and they also have done much to shape Zuni into what it is today.
This exhibition of Zuni Day School material is only a portion of what ZDS teacher and principal Clara Gonzales kept of her students’ work. The original collection is safely kept at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology on the campus of the University of New Mexico, and most of the original collection has been digitized at very high resolution for study here at the AAMHC.
A:SHIWI A:WAN ULOHNANNE: THE ZUNI WORLD
A:shiwi A:wan Ulohnanne – The Zuni World displays the artworks of the A:shiwi Map Art collection. The project initially intended to raise awareness within the Zuni community about Zuni cultural landscapes by using art as a media for mapping. However, as the collection grew, it has become a metaphor for the power of maps and how our world can be mapped in different ways representing different knowledge systems and cultural sensibilities.
The exhibit includes the work of sixteen Zuni artists comprising thirty-one map art paintings representing places and themes that play important roles in Zuni lives. The maps represent landscapes, but also historical events, such as Zuni migrations and Zuni relationships to places throughout the Colorado Plateau. The maps also guide viewers through Zuni cosmological processes where water, plants, animals, and even the sky, make up the unique Zuni world. The exhibition shows how Zuni see their own history, their ancestral migrations, their ancient homes, and the parts of nature that sustain them.
The paintings in the collection blend realism and abstraction. The map artists employ different media including oil on canvas, watercolor on paper, acrylic on canvas, and digital painting. Along with the paintings, the exhibit includes two mounted deer heads and a set of ceremonial garments used by Zuni women and men.
With this exhibition, we show that artists making maps is an effective learning tool and an important community-building strategy. Moreover, the exhibition represents a successful means of recording and conveying to community members and a broader audience the important cultural history and beliefs embedded in Zuni lands.
As of today, A:shiwi A:wan Ulhohnanne – The Zuni World has been exhibited at the Fowler Museum at the University of California at Los Angeles (September 2015 – January 2016), American Museum of Natural History in New York (October – December 2013), at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM (October 2012 – August 2013), and at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff (October 2011 – February 2012).
The AAMHC is seeking host venues to exhibit the Map Art collection. As part of the exhibition, we intend to establish ongoing partnerships with host museums around the idea of authentic collaboration and interpretation of Zuni culture and history.
If your museum or institution is interested in hosting this unique exhibition, please contact us.