AUGUST 31, 2011

Ancestral Zuni village of Hawikku is the Plymouth Rock of the West

tom r kennedyCAVE CREEK – The Desert Foothills Chapter (DFC) of the Arizona Archaeological Society will host a free talk by historian Tom R. Kennedy on the history of the Zuni pueblo from the perspective of ancestral Hawikku on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 p.m. in the Community Building of The Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, Arizona. The title of the talk is, Hawikku: Turning the Zuni World and will address the “historical, cultural and continuing impacts of the Outside on the world of the Zuni people as seen through the ancestral village of Hawikku.”

Hawikku, sometimes called Hawikuh, is a Zuni word meaning “gum leaves.”  It is located about 15 miles southwest of the Zuni Pueblo in northwestern New Mexico.  In 1539, the first non-native of the Southwest, the Moorish slave Esteban, who was part of the Fray Marcos de Niza expedition, met Zuni’s ancestors at this pueblo, with disastrous results.  A year later, the first meeting of the Spanish with the pueblo occurred on July 7th, 1540, thus beginning the recorded history of the western New World, much as the east coast history of the New World began with the meeting of natives at Plymouth Rock about 80 years later.  Explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, on his quest for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold followed Marcos De Niza’s trail to the cluster of six pueblos and after a brief battle, overcame fierce Zuni resistance.  Coronado named the pueblos “Cevola”, which in later translations became the word Cibola; when the sunbaked, golden-hued pueblos yielded no proof of Aztec gold, he moved on.

Tom will discuss the history of this village from the time of the Spanish intrusion until the present day.  The Europeans “turned the world of the Native American upside down and marked the end of their long era of largely self-determination” and ushered in radically different world views.  Today the impact of modern society on the Zuni Nation continues to be felt in many ways, including the struggle to preserve their religious culture, water rights, health and dietary issues and the constant battle to sustain their minority lifestyle in a changing economy. As current Director of Tourism for the Zuni Tribe, Tom is responsible for the development of tourism programs, the administration and preservation of the Spanish era Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission and designs educational tours to local archaeological sites like Hawikku. His present focus is to develop a project that will improve both security and preservation of this ancient site.

A former Director of the Zuni Community Museum, Tom brings a wealth of experience and training to his lectures.  With graduate degrees in Folklore and Museology, Tom is able to incorporate his personal experience growing up overseas with his professional expertise as a curator, museum consultant, Director of Artifact Collections and Museum Director at museums in Guatemala and the Caribbean. He has also worked on New Mexico regional projects such as the Ancient Way Arts Trail, the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway and has collaborated with National Geographic on the Four Corners Geotourism Project. In addition, Tom serves  on numerous tourism and cultural-heritage initiatives. When possible, Tom assists his wife Sheri in the operation of their Cimarron Rose Bed and Breakfast located in the Zuni Mountains.

The public is welcome to attend this free event and in encouraged to come early and meet with DFC members and enjoy light refreshments.  Local author and AAS member Lori Hines will be on hand prior to the talk by Tom Kennedy to sign her new book, The Ancient Ones, a paranormal mystery novel that incorporates tunnels, Stonehenge-like monuments, ancient ruins, petroglyphs and an alternate dimension.   This book has gotten great reviews on Amazon and may be purchased on site for $17.00 including tax. 

The AAS is an independent, non-profit and state-wide organization with twelve chapters and over 600 professional and avocational members.  The goals of the AAS are to foster public awareness, interest, research and conservation of Arizona’s rich archaeological heritage, with special emphasis on protecting these scarce resources. Its members enjoy lectures, classes, hikes and certification training in different facets of archaeology.  The DFC has been active in the Cave Creek area for over 30 years.  Pleases check the AAS website, for membership information in a chapter near you.  For direct information about other DFC activities, contact President Paddi Mozilo at 480-595-9255.