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People of the Colorado Plateau
Paleoindian and Archaic Peoples
Anasazi
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Archaeoastronomy
Prehistoric Farmers
Population Change
Paleoenvironment
The Anasazi "collapse"
Pueblo Peoples
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peoplebutton.gif (1940 bytes)Zuni (page 4 of 4)

Author:: T. J. Ferguson. Adapted from: Ferguson, T.J., 1996. Historic Zuni Architecture and Society: An Archaeological Application of Space Syntax. Anthropological Papers, No. 60. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 25-40.

The Contemporary Period

With the dramatic increase in population in the twentieth century, it is remarkable that today the Zuni remain in a single large town rather than reoccupy multiple villages. There is a slight but increasing trend for people to move to the farming village of Pescado, where electricity, running water, and paved roads provide the modern amenities desired by most Zuni. By and large, however, the occupation of the farming villages is now restricted to day-use, a pattern facilitated by the availability of pickup trucks and the improvement of the road network on the reservation. A few elderly people and sheepherders still reside at the farming villages on a seasonal basis, but virtually the entire tribe now resides in Zuni Pueblo and the adjacent settlement of Blackrock throughout the year.

zuni1744_sm.jpg

Zuni Pueblo, N. Mex. Oct. 1931. Image NAU.PH.95.48.619   by Barbara or Edwin McKee courtesy of Cline Library Special Collections, Northern Arizona University.

Zuni Pueblo looks very different today than it did a century ago. In building new houses or rehabilitating old structures, the Zuni make use of modern construction materials and techniques to provide modern, weatherproof housing. In addition, since the 1960s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been replacing community architecture with commercial housing. HUD houses now constitute approximately 30 percent of the housing units of Zuni Pueblo, with much of it concentrated in subdivisions that are on the outskirts of Zuni Pueblo.

Today this housing is merging with recent HUD subdivisions located at Blackrock. The formerly separate settlements of Zuni Pueblo and Blackrock have coalesced into a single community with constant daily traffic between the two as people commute from home to work. With the construction of commercial buildings, jewelry stores, offices housing the tribal government, four schools, and other institutional buildings, Zuni Pueblo has grown into a large town encompassing an area of more than 260 ha (642 acres).


Resources:

Balling, R. C., Jr. and Wells, S. G. 1990. Historic rainfall patterns and arroyo activity within the Zuni River drainage basin, New Mexico. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 80: 603-617.

Crampton, C. G. 1977. The Zunis of Cibola. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 201 pp.

Dongoske, K. E., Yeatts, M., Anyon, R. and Ferguson, T. J. 1997. Archaeological cultures and cultural affiliation: Hopi and Zuni perspectives in the American Southwest. American Antiquity 62: 600-608.

Eggan, F. and Pandey, T. N. 1979. Zuni History, 1850-1970. Pp. 474-481 In: Sturtevant, W. C. and Ortiz, A., editors. Handbook of North American Indians: Southwest. Vol. 9. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Woodbury, R.B. 1979. Zuni Prehistory and History to 1850. Pp. 467-473 In: Sturtevant, W. C. and Ortiz, A., editors. Handbook of North American Indians: Southwest. Vol. 9. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Ferguson, T. J. 1995. An anthropological perspective on Zuni land use. Pp. 103-120 In: Hart, E. R., editor. Zuni and the Courts: A struggle for sovereign land rights. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence.

Ferguson, T. J. 1996. Historic Zuni Architecture and Society: An Archaeological Application of Space Syntax. Anthropological Papers, No. 60. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 176 pp.

Hall, S. A. and Ferguson, T. J. 1996. Pollen, stratigraphy, and chronology of the north edge of Zuni Pueblo. Kiva 61: 225-239.

Hart, E. Richard, editor. 1995. Zuni and the Courts: A Struggle for Sovereign Land Rights. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence.

Kintigh, K. W. 1985. Settlement, Subsistence, and Society in Late Zuni Prehistory. Anthropological Papers, No. 44. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Rothschild, N., Mills, B. J., Ferguson, T. J. and Dublin, S. 1993. Abandonment at Zuni Farming Villages. In: Cameron, C. M. and Tomka, S., editors. The Abandonment of Settlements and Regions: Ethnoarchaeological and archaeological approaches. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY.

Sitgreaves, L. 1854. Report of an expedition down the Zuni and Colorado Rivers. Beverly Tucker, Senate Printer, Washington, D.C.

Sitgreaves, L. 1854. Zuni and Colorado rivers. Western Journal and Civilian 12: 331-337.

Spicer, E. H. 1962. Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533-1960. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 609 pp.

Stevenson, M. C. 1993. The Zuni Indians &Their Uses of Plants. Dover Publications, New York, NY.