A:shiwi have always had maps. Names of places within our aboriginal territory have been passed-down from generation to generation, but in the past 500 years we have been re-mapped. What was once known as Sunha:kwin K'yabachu Yalanne is now called the San Francisco Peaks and many people now call Heshoda Ts'in"a... Pescado.
The A:shiwi Map Art Project is an art, language and place name project all in one. The project is intended to be a tool to help Zunis connect to places through artistic renderings of the Zuni cultural landscape. A group of Zuni advisors worked to first decide what not to map then what would be culturally appropriate to include on the maps.
Three Zuni artists were commissioned to each create paintings of the Zuni region, reservation and village respectively. The advisors worked through lists of potential place names finally settling on those they wanted Zunis to be familiar with. The paintings have been printed as full color posters with place names added. Our goal is to provide every Zuni household with a free set of posters.
We also hope the maps will encourage Zunis to have a better understanding of the extent of Zuni aboriginal territory, cultural landscapes and local sites in order to be more prepared to protect them.