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A Zuni Life: A Pueblo Indian in Two Worlds Hardcover – March, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
My dealings with the Zunis began in 1967, when I began writing stories about some aspects of life in Zuni and was honored enough to be the recipient of some of their teasing. It's a good place to start: British humor centers on clever word plays, American humor is blunt slapstick, while the essence of Zuni humor is kindly and gentle teasing.
After all, they've lived and prospered in the Southwest for as far back as science can trace. In Zuni terms, they've been here since the beginning of the world. They learned to live in one of the harshest climates of the United States without depending on outsiders. It's only since the coming of the Anglos, which Wyaco portrays as oddball outsiders who vary from insensitivity cruelty to bumbling kindness, that many Zunis have become dependent upon a sometimes crazy American world.
His experiences in World War II, which included winning the Bronze Star, are an example. The all-Anglo draft board in Gallup, which easily filled its quotas by drafting Indians, shipped him off to Santa Fe for his medical. He wanted to join the Navy to get out of walking, but was rejected because he'd once suffered three broken ribs when he was kicked by a horse. So, the draft board tried again and sent him off to the Army where he was accepted, even though he'd have to march every day.
"It didn't make any sense then. It doesn't now," he writes. The book is filled with such examples of non-Zuni illogic. As a combat rifleman, he killed his share of Germans.Read more ›
While there is some self promotion evident on the part of the author in the book, it remains a very engaging and interesting story that gives a great introduction to the world view of the Zuni.
The first pages grab you and draw you in to the unique Zuni perspective of the world and life.