Mediating Knowledges: Origins of a Zuni Tribal Museum

Gwyneira Isaac

Published by University of Arizona Press, 2007
ISBN 10: 0816526230 / ISBN 13: 9780816526239
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Synopsis: This book tells the story of the search by the Zuni people for a culturally relevant public institution to help them maintain their heritage for future generations. Using a theoretical perspective grounded in knowledge systems, it examines how Zunis developed the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center to mediate between Zuni and Anglo-American values of history and culture. By using in-depth interviews, previously inaccessible archival records, and extensive ethnographic observations, Gwyneira Isaac provides firsthand accounts of the Zunis and non-Zunis involved in the development of the museum.

These personal narratives provide insight into the diversity of perspectives found within the community, as well as tracing the ongoing negotiation of the relationship between Zuni and Anglo-American cultures. In particular, Isaac examines how Zunis, who transmit knowledge about their history through oral tradition and initiation into religious societies, must navigate the challenge of utilizing Anglo-American museum practices, which privilege technology that aids the circulation of knowledge beyond its original narrators.

This book provides a much-needed contemporary ethnography of a Pueblo community recognized for its restrictive approach to outside observers. The complex interactions between Zunis and anthropologists explored here, however, reveal not only Puebloan but also Anglo-American attitudes toward secrecy and the control of knowledge.

About the Author: Gwyneira Isaac is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Museum of Anthropology at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University. She worked at the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in New Mexico for eighteen months in the late 1990s.

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Title: Mediating Knowledges: Origins of a Zuni ...
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication Date: 2007
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good

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Book Description University of Arizona Press, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. "Using a theoretical perspective, this masterful ethnography examines how the Zuni people have developed their tribal museum to mediate between tribal and non-tribal values of history and culture." By Gwyneira Isaac. Bookseller Inventory # mediatingknowledges

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Book Description University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 272 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. NATIVE AMERICANS. This book tells the story of the search by the Zuni people for a culturally relevant public institution to help them maintain their heritage for future generations. Using a theoretical perspective grounded in knowledge systems, it examines how Zunis developed the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center to mediate between Zuni and Anglo-American values of history and culture. By using in-depth interviews, previously inaccessible archival records, and extensive ethnographic observations, Gwyneira Isaac provides firsthand accounts of the Zunis and non-Zunis involved in the development of the museum. These personal narratives provide insight into the diversity of perspectives found within the community, as well as tracing the ongoing negotiation of the relationship between Zuni and Anglo-American cultures. In particular, Isaac examines how Zunis, who transmit knowledge about their history through oral tradition and initiation into religious societies, must navigate the challenge of utilizing Anglo-American museum practices, which privilege technology that aids the circulation of knowledge beyond its original narrators. This book provides a much-needed contemporary ethnography of a Pueblo community recognized for its restrictive approach to outside observers. The complex interactions between Zunis and anthropologists explored here, however, reveal not only Puebloan but also Anglo-American attitudes toward secrecy and the control of knowledge. "The book is certain to set standards in anthropology and museum studies for many years to come." - Journal of Folklore Research "This study offers important insights for oral historians as well as for ethnographers, public historians, and anyone interested in complex philosophical issues of just who can be said to ‘own' knowledge" - Oral History Review "Isaac is a gifted writer. Her analysis is historically grounded, theoretically sophisticated, and subtly tuned to the intricate cultural dynamics at Zuni." - Wicazo Sa Review (Key Words: Zuni Tribal Museums, Native Americans, American Indians, Gwyneira Isaac, A:shiwi A: book. Bookseller Inventory # 76923X1

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