The A:shiwi Map Art Initiative is an indigenous mapping project sponsored by the A;shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center on the Zuni Reservation in New Mexico. The project seeks to challenge ideas of what maps are. To the Zuni, or A:shiwi people they are more about telling stories than about scale and direction.
There is an excellent article on this project with videos and maps in Emergence Magazine. According to Jim Enote, the museum's director more native lands have been lost through mapping than through physical contact. These maps seek to reclaim their land, names (including their own people's name) and memories.
In the map above the modern road network intersects an otherwise dream-like landscape.
These maps are in a traveling exhibition that has appeared in New York, Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Flagstaff.
|Little Colorado River - Larson Gasper, 2009 via Emergence Magazine|
|Ho'n A:wan Dehwa:we (Our Land) - Ronnie Cachini, 2006 via Emergence Magazine|
|Migration of Salt Mother - Larson Gasper, 2009 via Emergence Magazine|
|Shiba:bulima - Levon Loncassion|
"The maps represent landscapes but also historical events, such as Zuni migrations and Zuni relationships to places throughout the Colorado Plateau. The maps also guide viewers through Zuni cosmological processes where water, plants, animals, and even the sky make up the unique Zuni world. The exhibition shows how Zuni see their own history, their ancestral migrations, their ancient homes, and the parts of nature that sustains them."