Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis - Plate 606 Grinding Medicine - Zuni border=
Title:
Plate 606 Grinding Medicine - Zuni
Date:
1925
Size:
Portfolio, 18 x 22 inches
Medium:
Vintage Photogravure
 
Medicine and mineral pigments are ground in small stone mortars by means of a water-worn pebble. - Edward Curtis

Medicine men in Native tribes served many purposes. Often, they were more of a spiritual guide than a “doctor” in the traditional sense providing a bridge between the spiritual world and the human world. This Zuni Medicine man grinds together medicine and mineral pigments to serve his purpose. We are viewing the subject from behind giving him an air of mystery in his work. He lays on what appears to be a towel upon stone.

The Zuni are a federally recognized Native American tribe, one of the Pueblo peoples. Most live in the Pueblo of Zuni on the Zuni River, a tributary of the Little Colorado River, in western New Mexico, United States. Zuni is 55 km (34 mi) south of Gallup, New Mexico. In addition to the reservation, the tribe owns trust lands in Catron County, New Mexico and Apache County, Arizona. They called their homeland Shiwinnaqin.
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