By now, you know that when I go on hiatus, it means I head out west. The Southwest, to be precise. I’ll be gone for a week and my destinations are Gallup, New Mexico and Zuni, New Mexico. Zuni Pueblo is centered in the small town of Zuni, located about forty miles southwest of Gallup. These are highly desirable destinations for the collector of American Indian jewelry and arts. Gallup, as an Indian reservation border town, has long played a key role in the Indian arts business. Zuni is a fascinating place, but has suffered from a historical plague of anthropologists poking their noses into the pueblo’s doings. The result has been to make the people cherish their privacy; the origins of this understandable feeling are well documented in a book called Zuni and the American Imagination. Zuni stone carvers are particularly noted artists, and the subject of numerous books.
Nowadays, Zuni handles its need for privacy by establishing a Visitor’s Center. Here the interested visitor will get guidance on touring the pueblo, including where to go and not to go, including a chance to see a nice small tribal museum and learning center, a photo permit (many things are off-limits) and, best of all, the opportunity to meet Zuni artists in their home studios and buy directly from them. There are a few stores along the town’s main street, including the Pueblo of Zuni Arts & Crafts shop. I’m returning to these places after a nine-year absence, so there’ll be much to investigate. Of Zuni people and their artistry I can only say: tom ho’ ichema.
I’ll see you down the road.