The Morning Prayer

This mural concentrates on the oral history of the Zuni People. The visual story starts at Emergence from the Four Worlds to the Separation of People by way of the crow and macaw, and includes the creation of clans, and the many other stopovers the A:shiwi made along the journey to the Middle Place. Lastly, the story rolls into more modern times, depicting the arrival of the Spanish. The Zuni Salt Lake and Salt Mother represent sovereignty, and how sovereignty aided in the victory to stop the Salt River Project from establishing a coal mine that would have disrupted the aquifer that feeds the lake. .

The corn garden and social dancers represent the movement toward healthier lifestyles through cultivating and making traditional foods, and instilling ancient Zuni culture into the younger generation. All this takes place within the rays of the sun, which are being honored at a morning blessing, portrayed by the man and woman standing beside a bowl of cornmeal. This arrangement depicts the importance of our Zuni language, in that our gods have ears for no other, because Zuni is a language all on its own.

Through this painting, the artist wishes to pay homage to her oral tradition through the practice of the morning prayer. Every morning at dawn, as she draws her breath for the coming day, she pays respect to that which occurred in the past (creation) and asks for the blessing of all our futures.

The Artist

Mallery Quetawki is from Zuni Pueblo. She created the mural called The Morning Prayer in 2010. Mallery was born and raised in Zuni, New Mexico. As an artist, Mallery evokes the powerful history of her people through her art. She is an artisan in many traditional and non-traditional Zuni artforms, such as sash belt weaving, drawing, and painting. She pays homage to her culture by portraying ancient symbols and designs throughout her work. Her roots are traditional, but with modern influences. Her recent work has leaned toward a contemporary edge, but she can still be found at the Zuni Visitor Center as a vendor of traditional arts and crafts. She frequents local Native American art venues such as the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, and the New Mexico State Fair Native American Gallery. She received her Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in art studio in the summer of 2009. She is the mother of two, and currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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