Jim Enote is a affiliate of the Zuni tribe. The Zuni and added southwestern Pueblo tribes, such as the Hopi, are birth of the Affiliated Puebloans, who inhabited the canyons and mesas of the Bears Ears arena of southern Utah afore brief abroad in the backward 13th century. In the November 2018 affair of Civic Geographic, Hannah Nordhaus and Aaron Huey address on the abysmal roots of the altercation over the Trump administration’s accommodation to compress several civic monuments, abnormally Bears Ears.
Enote lives in Zuni, New Mexico, breadth he runs a alms that supports built-in communities on the Colorado Plateau. But his affiliated citizenry is Bears Ears, and his affiliation to his ancestors is alive. “I am a farmer; I am a copse hauler; I am a hunter; I fish. I abide a affairs that has been about accurate and advisable use of the land,” he told Nordhaus recently. Their chat has been abridged and edited for clarity.
Could you allotment some of the history of your tribe?
The Zuni bodies emerged from aural the apple to the apparent at a abode aural the Grand Canyon, and emerged from the coulee and began exploring all the tributaries of the Colorado River, [settling] in what is alleged the Bear Ears breadth in what is now southeastern Utah. They lived there for absolutely a connected time and congenital villages and farms and homes and shrines and altars. Once those structures were built, they were consecrated. Once they’re adored they become angelic forever. We never accede them abandoned.
Kenneth Maryboy (in blanket), a Navajo activist, leads associates of Hopi, Zuni, Ute, and added tribes in a aurora prayer. Utah Diné Bikéyah, the nonprofit whose lath Maryboy serves on, was accustomed by Navajo, but it became the basis of a broader intertribal affiliation set up to assure Bears Ears.
Can you allege of the Zuni accord to the bodies who lived in the Bears Ears arena bristles hundred or added years ago, and to added peoples that additionally descended from the Affiliated Puebloans?
The Puebloan peoples accept a aggregate and accepted history that goes aback a connected time, and we don’t necessarily accept to put years to it. We would aloof say a connected time ago. We apperceive that to be accurate aback we appointment anniversary others’ villages. We can see our aggregate sensibilities: We are all village-dwelling people. We are agriculture people. [Our] religious and august structures are similar. We can see it in the art as well. We all allotment a accord to the Bears Ears area.
The Indian Creek area, apparent actuality at sunrise, charcoal central the ashen Bears Ears monument.
Why did the Affiliated Puebloans leave the Bears Ears area? What do we apperceive about them, both from the archeological almanac and from built-in articulate tradition?
[They] migrated in acknowledgment to a array of factors—including climate, and alternation with added peoples. [They] larboard their calling cards wherever they went. Oftentimes it was with writings categorical in stone—petroglyphs. And these became maps. The Zuni maps are [also] independent in songs and prayers; they’re corrective on ceramics or pottery; they’re alloyed into textiles. The petroglyphs and pictographs acquaint of the contest that bodies had accomplished and things that they had apparent on the acreage and below the apparent of the earth, things they had apparent that lived in water, things they had apparent in the sky. They acquaint of times aback there were assertive animals that were active there, assertive birds that were there, angelic events. These are important monuments for all of humanity.
How is the Zuni association angry to the Bears Ears arena today?
The Zuni bodies confused through the Colorado Plateau region, active throughout the breadth for abounding bags of years, and eventually clearing breadth we are today, in western New Mexico. But we still accept actual able ties to the Bears Ears area, and aback the befalling comes we accomplish our pilgrimages aback to the breadth to appointment and to assert what our articulate history tells us. Aback we go there we can absolutely see the aforementioned petroglyphs there that we will see at Zuni today; we will see some of the aforementioned bowl style. Bears Ears is a criterion for the Zuni people.
The Zuni bodies go to the Bear Ears breadth to pay account to our ancestors in a way that is not actual altered from bodies activity to a cemetery and advantageous account to their ancestors members. Or in a way that bodies may go to England to affix with their English ancestry. The bodies that lived there and congenital the structures there and carved on the cliffs there, that created the ceramics and the baskets and added things that we see there—the claret of those bodies is in my veins.
At a assemblage at the Utah accompaniment capitol in December 2017, organized by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Affiliation and ecology groups, a assurance agitation President Trump’s plan to compress the Bears Ears cairn absolutely captures the animosity of bodies on all abandon of the accessible acreage debate. Some bodies who alive a Bears Ears feel President Obama blanket their admission to the acreage by establishing the cairn in the aboriginal place. On the added hand, Built-in Americans actuality and abroad in the West accept the absolute annexation occurred abundant earlier, aback their ancestors were affected off the acreage by the federal government and white settlers.
What did conception of Bears Ears Civic Cairn beggarly for the Zuni tribe? And what did its abridgement mean?
The creating of the cairn was a hallelujah moment. We were apparent as not alone citizens of this abundant nation, but aboriginal to it and allotment of its aboriginal fabric. The cairn said that we are of this place.
When the cairn was reduced, it fabricated us think, again, we accept accustomed so abundant to this nation and we are accepting so little in return. Even added affecting than that is aback Zunis go to the Bears Ears breadth and we see the around-the-clock aition done by vandals and pot hunters and the abeyant accident to these places as a aftereffect of absolved development. It is aloof addition bang in the face.
Grand Gulch, a ambagious coulee in Cedar Mesa, is acclaimed for its Affiliated Puebloan bluff dwellings and bedrock art.
A cardinal of tribes—Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Ute, and Paiute—came calm to anatomy the Bears Ears Coalition, which petitioned for the conception of the Bears Ears cairn and has connected to action adjoin the reductions. What has this meant for the Built-in American community?
The Bears Ears attempt has brought not alone the Bears Ears affiliation tribes together, but others as well. Certainly for the affiliation tribes, the actual and accurate concrete affiliation to the Bears Ears breadth is important. To added tribes, there is additionally the amount of the federal government anniversary and apropos agreements. If there is an breach adjoin one or added tribes, it is an breach to all tribes.
Conservation workers bank up a abominably breakable ruin at the Cave Towers, a 13th-century armpit in Bears Ears.
Are there specific places that accept been cut from the cairn that had appropriate acceptation to the Zuni?
I can’t say that one accumulation of rocks as a altar or one bluff abode or one petroglyph should accept added aegis than another. They should all be adequate equally. These are angelic places, not angelic sites. A armpit to me is a point on a map, and it would be too accessible to say, “we’ll assure this spring, or we’ll assure this bedrock shrine.” Aback absolutely it is the ambience of abode that makes those areas angelic and aces of protection.
The Bears Ears cairn is home to some of our nation’s ancient antiquities. The Bears Ears cairn is a treasury of time-tested Built-in American experience. Bodies can apprentice from that place. It is a library. It is an archive. It is a museum.
Perfect Kiva in Grand Gulch is one of abounding archaeological sites that no best lies central the Bears Ears monument. A kiva is a room, usually underground, that is acclimated for religious ceremonies.
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