3.Zuni Culture Mural
HISTORY BEHIND THE MURAL
The Zuni Pueblo is 40 miles south of Gallup.
Zuni land-use area, which included what is
now Gallup, has been inhabited since 1,000
BC. By 1350 AD agriculture was fully developed
and there were approximately 36 active
Zuni pueblos. The Spanish arrived in 1539. In
1680 Zuni joined the Pueblo Revolt, defeating
the Spanish. After the Spanish reconquest the
Zuni people consolidated their villages into one
For 450 years Zunis have lived under
colonial rule by Spain, Mexico and finally the
U.S. Epidemics reduced the Zuni population.
Clear-cutting, over-grazing and erosion all but
destroyed Zuni agriculture.
Throughout 3,000 years, the Zunis have
maintained their culture. They create exquisite
turquoise and silver jewelry. They speak a
unique language. The Zuni people have preserved
their religion and kept their sovereignty
as a nation.
Community members who guided the development
of this mural are Mary Browder, Donnie
Dosedo, Valerie Epaloose, Betty Martin,
Melissa Ohmsatte, and Edward Wemytewa.
Geddy Epaloose, muralist, skillfully employs
the classical method of building to the light out
of an earthen darkness, a technique well suited
to the symbolism of the mural and the story
of the ancient culture of which he is a part.
Geddy’s other work includes a series of historical
murals for the A:shiwi A:wan Museum at
Zuni, painted in 2002.
He has won several awards at Zuni, Sedona