Dance Hall of the Dead Setting & Symbolism

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Shalako

In Zuni tradition, Shalako is the courier between mankind and the gods. Once a year, a ritual dance and feast is held to honor Shalako and to accept the blessings Shalako brings from the gods. The spirits of the kachinas, portrayed by specially selected Zuni people, dance at Kothluwalawa, the Dance Hall of the Dead. If the kachina dance is not properly re-enacted by the Zusi, the rains and the harvest may not come that year. This annual holiday brings Zuni children home from all over the country, just as many young Jewish or Christian children return home for holidays like Christmas or Passover.

Halona Itawana

Halona Itawana is the Zuni name for the Zuni Village. Halona Itawana means the Middle Ant Hill of the World. This anthill houses nearly all of the Zuni population, numbering 6,000 all together. It is called an anthill partly because Zuni tradition...

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This section contains 621 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dance Hall of the Dead Study Guide
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