Zuni dance and song
Zuni, New Mexico
When the dancers of the Zuni Olla Maidens enter a performance space, balancing intricately decorated ceramic vessels called olla on their heads, they transform their foremothers’ essential, life-giving work of carrying water from the river into an eloquent dance tradition. Each olla is a smaller replica of the water jars their ancestors carried; the cultural weight they hold, however, is greater. Before performing, each dancer breathes into her pot, ceremonially taking in a blessing, and expressing thanks to the ancestors.