Clayton Edaakie, acrylic on canvas, 2009
A:shiwi A:wan Ulohnanne—The Zuni World, a new exhibition of 31 contemporary Zuni map art paintings, is on view in the Museum's Audubon Gallery for a limited time.
The Zunis have always had maps, in songs and prayers, painted on ceramics, and etched in stone. “Indigenous mapping” has become increasingly significant over the last two decades as a way to record and memorialize indigenous knowledge of the landscape.
The Zunis, rather than relying on Western cartography, asked artists within their community to paint representations of historically and culturally important places. The paintings are very rich in Zuni references, and many of the images reflect the activities and ideas of the Zuni religious societies, of which most of the artists are initiated members or even leaders.
The exhibition, produced in partnership with the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in Zuni, New Mexico, also includes videography and a recording of the Zuni “Grand Canyon Song.”