Encyclopedia Article


The people known as Zunis call themselves A'shiwi, which translates to "the flesh people." The A'shiwi speak the language isolate called Zuni, and have maintained their unique linguistic integrity for 7000 years. The A'shiwi lived in six different villages before the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, and moved to their present day single location following the revolt. The Pueblo of Zuni lies 35 miles south of Gallup, New Mexico and 150 miles west of Albuquerque. The A'shwi, or Zuni people, fought the introduction of new coal mines in the early 2000s that would have affected the aquifer of Zuni Salt Lake.

The Zuni learned silversmithing from their Navajo neighbors, and artisans are renowned for intricate turquoise stone inlays. Jewelry making, fetish carving and pottery-making are important enterprises for Zuni artists.

The Spanish borrowed Zuni from a Keresan word for the Zuni Pueblo.

Photo Credit: 

"Zuni girls at the river, Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, 1903," photograph, (076957). Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, NM History Museum, Santa Fe. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

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