Pai’-a-tu-ma and the Ne’-we-kwe

Pai'-a-tu-ma in his clown aspect

Pai’-a-tu-ma in his clown aspect

Pai’-a-tu-ma is the Zuni God of Dew and the Dawn. He is the first Great Father of the Ne’-we-kwe band of medicine priests, one of the most ancient organisations of the Zuni. The medical skill of this band is considered very great, as is their traditional wisdom.

Yet, they are also clowns whose grotesque and quick witted remarks amuse most public assemblies of the Pueblo holiday. One of their customs is to speak the opposite of their meaning (as demonstrated in the story of the search for the corn maidens). The Ne’-we-kwe thereforeĀ  assume the clown’s part at public ceremonials, when really their office and powers are to be reversed.

About Running Elk

My given native name, Running Elk, was bestowed in 2008 as I took my first steps as a fully fledged Medicine Man of the Zuni tradition. A most unlikely candidate for the role, my journey as a healer began some four years prior. The detour onto the shamanic way was most unexpected, yet has been one of the most rewarding challenges to date.
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