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June 29, 2001:::
by Tom Kennedy, Director:::
A:shiwi A:wan Museum & Heritage Center:::

Final preparations are underway at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington D.C. to ship a loan of approximately seventy-five Hawikku pots back to Zuni for public display. The collection of pots, which will be shipped in special plastic crates known as "kivas"(not associated with our local kiva groups), are due to arrive around the first of August and will be housed at the Hapadina building. Workers are currently finishing the necessary renovations on this historic adobe building for this purpose. The A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center has coordinated planning for this historic return of the Hawikku materials over the past several years. The artifacts will be featured in community exhibits and public programs over the next two to three years. A program entitled "Listening to Our Ancestors" scheduled for Saturday, August 11 will provide the Zuni community with its first viewing of the Hawikku materials.

A delegation from Zuni consisting of Lt. Governor Barton Martza , Eileen Yatsattie, and Tom Kennedy, Director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center, was invited to Washington D.C. on June 22 and 23 to consult with NMAI staff to finalize the loan arrangements for the Hawikku artifacts. NMAI staff encouraged the Zuni consultants to review the selected Hawikku artifacts as well as some of the several thousand additional Hawikku artifacts in the collection to advise about their cleaning and preparation for travel. Eileen provided the NMAI staff with fresh insights and knowledge about the Hawikku artifacts from her experience as a traditional Zuni potter. The NMAI staff expressed great appreciation and respect for the Zunis' perspectives on the care and utilization of the Hawikku artifacts.

Planning for the major exhibit on Hawikku has been in progress for many years. The community program in August will be an introduction to the artifacts and to the major exhibit. The exhibit, if successfully funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, will open in July of 2002 at the Hapadina building. A community planning team consisting of Willie Eriacho, Sr., Councilman Dan Simplicio, Edward Wemytewa, Tom Kennedy, and others from the community including Lt. Governor Martza and Alex Seowtewa, developed an ambitious plan to feature the artifacts from a Zuni historical perspective. The borrowed pottery as well as many additional Hawikku artifacts and materials will provide an in-depth look at the story of Hawikku and the impacts of the outside world on Zuni culture and history. Future articles will share more information about this Hawikku exhibit and about upcoming educational programs.

Community members are encouraged to find out more about these upcoming Hawikku-related events. Potters and others interested in working directly with the Hawikku pottery are invited to volunteer their services to help display the artifacts and to share knowledge with the public. Please contact the Museum at 782-4403 to find out more and how you can get more involved.

Reprinted with the permission of THE SHIWI MESSENGER

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