Zuni Perspectives on Historic Preservation


This is an abstract from the "Braiding Knowledge: Opportunities and Challenges for Collaborative Approaches to Archaeological Heritage and Conservation" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The federal historic preservation program of the United States is built on a framework that privileges Western epistemologies of time and space and perceives historic properties as inanimate and valuable for their scientific potential. The concept of historic preservation is far more personal for the Zuni people, however. Zunis see their historical sites as "memory pieces" where culture and history are recalled and discussed, and where ancestral spirits live on and offer power and strength to today’s generations. Zunis believe that any disturbance to these places will have negative and lasting effects on the Zuni people and the world as a whole. Zunis thus define historic preservation as the maintenance and continuity of Zuni culture through the protection, commemoration, and continued respectful interaction with their historical sites and ancestors. In this paper, we explore Zuni perspectives on historic preservation and provide recommendations on how the process of mitigation of adverse effects on historic properties can be improved to better reflect Zuni interests.

Cite this Record

Zuni Perspectives on Historic Preservation. Michael Spears, Kurt Dongoske, Maren Hopkins, T. J. Ferguson. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452355)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24348