Zuni Glossary

{Ooops. Not nearly as far ahead as I’d hoped… This page will be updated as the Zuni terms crop up.}

Ahayuta, the : Twin gods, sons of Awonawilona, who led the people from the Fourth World to the Daylight World.
Anshe :Bear. Principal animal for Pueblo People, and the most prevalent subject of Zuni fetishes. Bear fetishes are used for healing, protection, strength, journeying, mothering, hunting and gathering. Bear’s hibernation reminds us of the value of going within.
Ashiwi (Ahhh-she-we) : The name by which the Zuni People call themselves. In their native language, Ashiwi means “the flesh”. “Zuni” is a Spanish adaptation of a word of unknown meaning.
Awonawilona : the Sun-father, and All Creator. Begins the creative process by projecting his thoughts outwards, in doing so manifests himself as a mist filled space, and self-realising image: the Sun.

Badger : (See Donashi)
: (See Anshe)
Bow-brothers : (See the Ahayuta)

Chuba:wa : Kiva of the South

Donashi : Badger. Considered the younger brother of bear, badger is associated with healing by roots and herbs. Badger medicine is about losing fear and gaining tenacity and persistence.

Earth-mother : Created by Awonawilona by throwing a ball of the substance of his living flesh into the universal waters, in whose deepest womb were conceived all living creatures.

Iti-wanna: Literally “the middle”. The Rebirth of the Sun (the Winter Solstice).

Halona Idiwan’a: (Literally) The Middle Place, homeland of the Zuni. Hehe:wa : Kiva of the North
Hokdidasha : Mountain Lion.  At the top of the food chain, regarded as a great hunter and leader, his presence is usually felt but not seen. Mountain Lion medicine is about setting good examples and boundaries.

Mountain Lion : (See Hokdidasha)
Muhe:wa : Kiva of the West.

Pai’-a-tu-ma : father of the Ne’-we band, God of Dew and Dawn, who resides in the Cave of the Rainbow.
Pekwin: The “Sun Priest”, whose most important role is identifying the rebirth of the Sun (the Winter Solstice), and heralding the coming of the Shalako.

Shalako: Messengers of the gods. Also the name given to the most important of the Zuni ceremonies, which occurs around the Winter Solstice and marks the Zuni new year. A four day festival, set within a longer, 20 day, period of ritual and celebration, involving 12 foot high effigies with bird heads representing the Shalako themselves.

Sky-father : An aspect of the Sun-father, Awonawilona, who, lying upon the waters of the Earth-mother, seeded all the “soul beings”.

2 Responses to Zuni Glossary

  1. Please keep it up. This blog is very informative… the sort of gem I will stumble upon and appreciate, but unfortunately never would have gone looking for, if you know what I mean. I like the way you are constructing the delivery of information. All the best! 😉

    • Running Elk says:

      lol Know exactly what you mean… I’ve found many wonderful resources here that I wouldn’t have gone looking for – just following the interesting sounding commentors…
      Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

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