By Michele Mountain
Thirty new Zuni map art paintings and accompanying videography and acoustic productions are part of the exhibit, which was produced in partnership with the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center (AAMHC) in Zuni, N.M. The exhibit will be open Saturday, Feb. 26 and will be on display through Oct. 30, 2011.
The A:shiwi (Zuni people) have always had maps, in songs and prayers, painted on ceramics and etched in stone. These maps refer to the place of their origin and places they visited. But over the past 500 years, Zuni names of places and their meanings have been all but eliminated from mainstream use. In their place are a new set of maps, with a new set of names that reflect other values and ways of seeing the world that has been the Zunis' home for generations.
"In the face of modernity and globalization, Zunis along with other Indigenous peoples are struggling to maintain a relationship with cultural landscapes throughout our aboriginal territories," stated Jim Enote, director of the AAMHC and curator of the exhibit. "We believe map art can create a new pathway for envisioning and respecting sacred natural features. Being mindful and taking care of these places is important for Zuni's cultural survival, as well as the survival of all dependant life in the area."
Below: "Chimik’yana’kya dey’a (Ribbon Falls), a 48” x 36” acrylic on canvas © 2010 Geddy Epaloose."