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Zuñi (zo͞oˈnyē, zo͞oˈnē), pueblo (1990 pop. 7,405), McKinley co., W N.Mex., in the Zuñi Reservation; built c.1695. Its inhabitants are Pueblo of the Zuñian linguistic family. They are a sedentary people, who farm irrigated land and are noted for basketry, pottery, turquoise jewelry, and weaving, and for the ceremonial dances of the traditional religion most still practice. The original seven Zuñi villages are usually identified with the mythical Seven Cities of Cibola, which were publicized by Marcos de Niza. In 1540, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado attacked the villages, thinking that they had vast stores of gold. The villages were abandoned in the Pueblo revolt of 1680. The present pueblo was built on the site of one of the original seven.


See A. Nusbaum, The Seven Cities of Cibola (1926); The Zunis: Self-Portrayals, by the Zuñi People (tr. by A. Guam, 1972).

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With few exceptions, the Zuni of New Mexico do not speak the names of dead persons. Furthermore, they describe visitations of these persons in night dreams as horrible experiences that require a cure through the performance of specified religious rituals, including, in some cases, initiation into either the tribal organization known as the Kachina Society or else into a medicine society.

The living human is referred to as the shi’-nanne (“flesh”) and the soul or psyche is the pinanne (“wind” or “air”). Although the latter is located in the heart and is thus a body-soul, it can leave the body under certain circumstances, such as during trance, curing, singing, and dreaming. It is believed to arrive at birth and to depart at death, although after death it remains closely connected to the earth, toward which it acts as a strong moral agent. According to Zuni, during the dream experience a part of the dreamer’s self wanders outside the body and has experiences in remote places, or in past or future times.

One theory concerning which part of the self is involved in dreaming postulates that one’s mind or emotions leave the body and wander outside into the night world. Another theory postulates that one’s breath—pinanne—wanders out into the world. The Zuni verb for dreaming is intransitive, indicating that the Zuni are passive within the dreaming process itself. All dreams are classified as either good or bad depending on the emotional reactions that they originate. Within the bad, or nightmare, category there is a subcategory of violent dreams, in which the dreamer can perform no voluntary movements.

The Zuni share their dreaming experiences among members of their matrilocal extended household, as well as among friends. However, not all dream experiences are immediately reported, and some of them are reported many years later. Accounts of old dreams consist of both bad dreams, including nightmares, and good dreams, whereas reports of recent dream experiences always concern bad dreams. According to Zuni, bad dreams, in which dead people usually appear, should be reported because they must not be allowed to become realized or completed.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A United States air-to-surface unguided rocket with solid propellant; can be armed with various types of heads, including flares, fragmentation, and armor-piercing.
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