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Octavius Seowtewa, who recorded voice-over for the film in April, will take part in the event.


Nearly a century after Museum anthropologists first recorded a sacred ceremony of the Zuni tribe, a rare archival film is getting its second life in a special program presented at this year’s Margaret Mead Film Festival.

Through a groundbreaking collaboration between the Museum’s Cultural Resources Office, Museum archivists and anthropologists, and the Zuni A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center, the 1923 silent film The Shalako Ceremony at Zuni, New Mexico has been updated with Zuni subtitles and narration.

The never-before-seen film will be shown in a special program called “Setting the Record Straight” on Saturday, October 19, at 1 pm in the Leonhardt People Center on the Museum’s second floor. The screening will be followed by a lively Mead Dialogue moderated by Jim Enote, director of A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center, about the history of Museum anthropology, the repercussions of filming sacred ceremonies of the Zuni, and the recent collaborative effort to repurpose archival film within a contemporary context. Panelists will include Curator Peter Whiteley, Museum archivist Barbara Mathe, and Curtis Quam and Octavius Seowtewa from Zuni.

Following the Dialogue, “Setting the Record Straight” ticket holders will be asked to join Peter Whitely and Jim Enote for a special tour of the Museum's new exhibition, The Zuni World, which features map art that illustrates the significance of Zuni landscapes as something not only geographic but landmarks loaded with cultural and sacred meanings.

In a related event earlier that day at 11:30 am, internationally renowned Zuni flute player, singer, and recording artist Fernando Cellecion will perform a series of songs from the Zuni pueblo in the Hall of the Birds of the World.

The Zuni flute performance is free with any 2013 Mead Film Festival ticket stub. “Setting the Record Straight” is a ticketed event and includes the curator-led tour of The Zuni World.

This article is adapted from one in the Fall 2013 issue of Rotunda, the Member magazine.

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