Our Culture

Photo courtesy of
              the A:shiwi A:wan Museum & Heritage Center

Photo courtesy of Zuni Pueblo Tourism

The Zuni people have lived in the American Southwest for thousands of years. Their cultural and religious traditions are rooted, in large part, in the people's deep and close ties to the mountains, river ways, forests, and deserts of this ancient Zuni homeland. Primarily being farmers, the Zuni people raise maize and wheat and engage in Jewelry making. It has become an important additional source of income for the people. Traditional Zuni life is oriented around a matrilineal clan system and a complex ceremonial system base on a belief in the ancestors (ancient ones). There are six specialized esoteric groups, each with restricted membership and its own priesthood, devoted to the worship of a particular group of supernaturals. During the well-known Shalako Festival, held in early winter, dancers representing the couriers of the rain deities come to bless new homes. One way the Zuni people express these cultural traditions is through their art: in painting, pottery, jewelry, and fetish carving, for example. These things have significant meaning, and, to the Zuni, serve to help unite the past with the present. So, on the one hand, Zuni art is a material record of the past.

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Tribal Government

Zuni Tribal Government consists of our Tribal Council, headed by our Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

Meet Our Tribal Officials

Tribal Courts

Photo courtesy of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum & Heritage Center

The Zuni Tribal Court was established in 1975 by the adoption of the Constitution of the Zuni Tribe. Article IV of the Zuni Constitution provides that The government of the Zuni Tribe shall consist of a Legislative, and Executive, and a Judicial Department. The Judicial Department of the Zuni Tribe consists of a Chief Judge and two Associate Judges, appointed by the Governor of the Zuni Tribe, with the concurrence of the tribal council. With the enactment of the Zuni Tribal Code on December 20, 1976, the Zuni Tribal Council established the Zuni Tribal Court as a court of civil and limited criminal jurisdiction. The Zuni Tribal Council declared that as a matter of Tribal policy the interests of the Zuni Tribe require that the Tribe provides itself, its members and other persons living on the [Zuni] Reservation or who are within the jurisdiction of the Tribe with an effective means of redress in both civil and criminal cases. See, Section 1-2-1 of the Zuni Tribal Code. The Tribal Council thereupon defined the territorial, personal and subject matter jurisdiction of the Zuni Tribal Court.

Meet Our Judiciary

Tribal Programs

Zuni Tribe has a variety of departments that suit different areas of expertise, with different programs to help the public.

See our Tribal Programs

Pueblo of Zuni is located

The Zuni Pueblo is nestled in a scenic valley, surrounded by the enchanting mesas, located about 150 miles west of Albuquerque. The main reservation, is located in the McKinley and Cibola counties in the western part of New Mexico. The estimated number of acres encompasses about 450,000 acres. The tribe has land holdings in Catron County, New Mexico and Apache County, Arizona, which are not adjoining to the main reservation. With elevations that range from nearly 8,000 feet on the western slope of the Continental Divide to about 6,000 feet in other areas, Zuni lands encompass a great variety of habitats and natural resources.

Tribal Program Directory

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