Zuni Indian Tribe
A Spanish adaptation of the Keresan Siinyyitsi, or Su'nyitsa of unknown
meaning. Also spelled Juni. Synonyms are:
A'shiwi, own name, signifying "the flesh."
Cibola, early Spanish rendering of A'swiwi.
La Purfsima de Zuni, mission name.
Nai-tĕ'-zi, Navaho name.
Narsh-tiz-a, Apache name.
Nashtezhĕ, Navaho name.
Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Zuni, mission name.
Saraí, Isleta and Sandia name of
the pueblo; Saran, Isleta name of the people.
Saray, Tiwa name of the pueblo.
Sa'u'ú, Havasupai name.
Siete Ciudades de Cibola, or Seven Cities of Cibola.
Sŭ'nyitsa, Santa Ana name of the
Tâa Ashiwani, sacred name of
tribe, signifying "corn peoples."
Xaray, the Tiwa name.
Ze-gar-kin-a, given as Apache name.
The Zuni constitute the Zunian linguistic stock. Location.—On the north bank of
upper Zuni River, Valencia County.
Halona (extinct), on both sides of Zuni River, on
and opposite the site of Zuni Pueblo.
Hampasawan (extinct), 6 miles west of Zuni Pueblo.
Hawikuh (extinct), about 15 miles southwest of Zuni
Pueblo, near the summer village of Ojo Caliente.
Heshokta (extinct), on a mesa about 5
miles northwest of Zuni Pueblo.
Heshota Ayathltona (extinct), on the summit of Taaiyalana, or Seed Mountain, commonly called Thunder Mountain, about 4
miles southeast of Zuni Pueblo.
Heshota Hluptsina (extinct), between
the "gateway" and the summer village of Pescado, 7 miles east of Zuni Pueblo.
Heshota Imkoskwin (extinct), near
Tawyakwin, or Nutria.
Heshotapathltaie, or Kintyel, on Leroux W ash, about. 23 miles north
of Navaho Station, on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa
Fe Railway, Ariz.
Heshota Uhla (extinct), at the base of
a mesa on Zuni River, about 5 miles west of the summer village of Ojo Pescado, or
Kechipauan (extinct), on a mesa east of
Ojo Caliente, or Kyapkwainakwin, 15 miles southwest of Zuni Pueblo.
Kiakima (extinct), at the southwestern
base of Thunder Mountain, 4 miles south-east of Zuni Pueblo.
Kwakina (extinct), 7 miles southwest of
Kwakinawan (extinct), south-southeast of Thunder Mountain, which
lies 4 miles east of Zuni Pueblo.
Matsaki (extinct), near the
northwestern base of Thunder Mountain and 3 miles east of Zuni Pueblo.
Nutria, at the headwaters of an upper
branch of Zuni River, about 23 miles north-east of Zuni Pueblo.
Ojo Caliente, about 14 miles southwest
of Zuni Pueblo.
Pescado, about 15 miles east of Zuni Pueblo.
Pinawan (extinct), about 1' miles southwest of Zuni Pueblo, on the
road to Ojo Caliente.
Shopakia (extinct), 5 miles north of
Wimian (extinct), 11 miles north of Zuni Pueblo.
According to Cushing (1896), the
Zuni are descended from two peoples, one of whom came originally from the north
and was later joined by the second, from the west or southwest (from the country
of the lower Colorado), who resembled the Yuman and Piman peoples in culture. Although indefinite
rumors of an Indian province in the far north, containing seven cities,
were afloat in Mexico soon after its conquest, the first definite
information regarding the Zuni was supplied by Fray Marcos de Niza, who
set out in 1539, with a Barbary Negro named Estevanico as guide, to
explore the regions of the northwest] In the present Arizona he learned
that Estevanico who, together with some of his Indian companions, had been
sent on ahead, had been killed by the natives of "Cibola," or Zuni. After
approaching within sight of one of the Zuni pueblos, Fray Marcos returned
to Mexico with such glowing accounts of the "Kingdom of Cibola" that the
expedition of Francisco Vasquez do Coronado was fitted out the next year.
The first Zuni Indians were encountered near the mouth of Zuni River, and
the Spaniards later carried the Zuni pueblo of Hawikuh by storm, but it
was discovered that the Indians had already moved their women and
children, together with the greater part of their property, to their
stronghold on Taaiyalone Mesa. Thither the men also escaped. The invaders
were bitterly disappointed in respect to the riches of the country, and,
after the arrival of the main part of the army, they removed to the Rio
Grande to go into winter quarters. Later, Coronado returned and subjugated
In 1580 the Zuni were visited by
Francisco Sanchez Chamuscado, and in 1583 by Antonio de Espejo, the first to
call them by the name they commonly bear. By this time one of the seven original
pueblos had been abandoned. In 1598, the Zuni were visited by Juan de Onate, the
colonizer of New Mexico. The first Zuni mission was established by the
Franciscans at Hawikuh in 1629. In 1632 the Zuni murdered the missionaries and
again fled to Taaiyalone Mesa, where they remained until
1635. On August 7, 1670, the Apache or Navaho raided Hawikuh, killed the
missionary, and burned the church. The mission was not reestablished, and
it is possible that the village itself was not rebuilt. In 1680 the Zuni
occupied but three villages, excluding Hawikuh, the central mission being
at Halona, on the site of the present Zuni pueblo. They took part in the
great rebellion of 1680 and fled to Taaiyalone Mesa, where they remained
until their reconquest by Vargas in 1692. From this time on the people
were concentrated in the single village now known as Zuni, and a church
was erected there in 1699. In 1703 they killed the missionary and again
fled to their stronghold, returning in 1705. A garrison was maintained at
Zuni for some years after this, and there were troubles with the Hopi,
which were finally composed in 1713. The mission continued well into the
nineteenth century, but the church was visited only occasionally by
priests and gradually fell into ruins. In recent years the United States
Government has built extensive irrigation works and established a large
school, where the younger generation are being educated in the ways of
Population. In 1630 the
Zuni population was estimated at 10,000, probably much too high a figure;
and in 1680, at 2,500. In 1760 it was given as 664; in 1788, 1,617; in
1797—98, 2,716; in 1805,1,470; in1871, 1,530; in 1889, 1,547; in 1910,
1,667; in 1923, 1,911; in 1930, 1,749;
in 1937, 2,080.
Connection in which they have become noted
The Zuni have become widely known
(1) from their association with the "Kingdom of Cibola";
(2) from the size of the pueblo and the unique character of the language
spoken there; and
(3) from the close study made of them by Cushing, Mrs. Stevenson, Kroeber,
and others. The name Zuni is borne by a detached range of mountains in the
northwestern part of New Mexico. Besides Zuni post village in McKinley
County, N. Mex., there is a place named Zuni in Isle of Wight County, Va.
Notes About the Book:
Source: The Indian Tribes of North America, by John R. Swanton, 1953, Bureau of
American Ethnology, Bulletin 145, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC.
Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr'd. Minimal editing
has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual