Acoma Pueblo: Telling their own story
Last summer, Penguin and Viking released two books on the history and traditional Native American religion of New Mexico’s Pueblo of Acoma: How the World Moves: The Odyssey of an American Indian Family and The Origin Myth of Acoma Pueblo. Both were projects of UCLA professor Peter Nabokov and were reviewed in Pasatiempo. Members of Acoma’s leadership are contesting the publication: What right did Nabokov, Penguin, and Viking have to publish the Pueblo’s sacred narrative? The matter comes down to a fundamental difference of opinion and worldview about cultural knowledge and intellectual property. On the cover is Acoma Pueblo Water Cistern, circa 1920-1940, photograph (from an original hand-colored lantern slide), Elizabeth Willis DeHuff Pictorial Collection (PICT 000-099-1390), Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.