The Masks of the Zuni (1904) via The Public Domain Review [Shared]

The Masks of the Zuni (1904) via The Public Domain Review

The Zuni Pueblo is one of several pueblos in Arizona and New Mexico whose inhabitants are descendants of prosperous and sometimes cliff-dwelling settlements that flourished for millennia,While its exact origin date remains uncertain, Zuni was long established when Spanish conquistadors made contact in 1539. Famously, in 1680, the Zunis — who call themselves A:shiwi (the flesh people) in their language — took part in a larger Pueblo uprising against these notoriously brutal colonizers and had success in the short term. Yet when reinforcements arrived from Europe in 1692, the colonizers encountered diminished resistance, and easily reconquered the region (a historical aporia considered at length in Michael Vincent Wilcox’s The Pueblo Revolt and the Mythology of Conquest (2009)). The images gathered below originally appeared as plates in a paper by Matilda Coxe Stevenson, titled “The Zuñi Indians: Their Mythology, Esoteric Fraternities, and Ceremonies”, for the Twenty-Third Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1901–1902. The first woman employed by the Bureau of American Ethnology to study the American Southwest, Stevenson published several works on the Zuni in her lifetime, including Zuñi and the Zuñians (1881), The Religious Life of the Zuñi Child (1887), and The Zuñi Indians (1905).

Read The Masks of the Zuni (1904) via The Public Domain Review

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