Zuni Shalako Ceremonial Procession Murals
Murals of various sizes are located in a basement on the property and they depict the Zuni’s sacred Shalako ceremony. The Shalako ceremony is a series of ceremonies and dances unique to the Zuni people. It is performed during the Winter Solstice and is the most important and sacred ceremony of the year.
Famed Zuni artist Tony Edaakie painted the murals in the 1950s. Edaakie is considered a major figure in 20th century and is well known for his Zuni paintings and artwork. No murals of this kind exist outside of the Zuni Pueblo, making the Murals in the basement of the De Anza not just sacred, but priceless, one-of-a-kind treasures.
Beautiful in stature and significant to the cultural history of the Zuni Pueblo, Route 66 and to the residents, patrons and visitors to Nob Hill, the Murals pose an unusual dynamic not seen in redevelopments in Albuquerque much less the whole of the United States. Present day preservation has been a priority for the City and the Zuni Pueblo regarding the Murals, but a truly viable solution must address more than that.
The Association, along with the City and the developer (after two previous failed attempts to develop the property) who was awarded the RFP to redevelop the De Anza are working together to determine the best course of action to address concerns about the long-term care and preservation of the murals. The goal is to provide a vehicle for conservation, stabilization, and to create public access for observation, thus providing a path for this cultural resource and treasure to live on.
Of utmost importance is to incorporate the wishes and desires of the Zuni Pueblo and to meet the following goals:
1. Creation of a connection to the past and preservation of the Murals created by Tony Edaakie.
2. Protection from the elements for the Murals as well as secured and fully accessible handicap access.
3. Formation of a potential economic connection.
4. Future ability to teach those touring the murals about Zuni Pueblo and People; allowing their unique story to be told.
The Association will be responsible to raise funds to support these efforts. Dollars raised will go toward:
1. Development of a long-term sustainable plan that provides a perpetual forward- looking vision for the Murals.
2. The restoration, preservation and future conservation of the Murals.
3. Creating a guided educational tour 4 to 6 times a year, which allows future generations from all over the world to visit Albuquerque and learn what is ultimately a large part of our city history.
In addition to the work the Association will provide, the developer of the project has agreed to:
1. Redesign the building so that it provides an elevator for handicap access, and construct stairs within the structure to provide for ingress and egress thus eliminating the need for the outside stairwell and providing weather protection.
2. Provide appropriate heating and cooling to the room to prolong and preserve the Murals in their current state.
U.S. Route 66 (also known as the Will Rogers Highway, Main Street of America or the Mother Road) was established on November 11, 1926, although road signs did not go up until the following year. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles covering 2,448 miles in total. It was the first U.S. highway to be completely paved – in 1938.
In the 1950s, Route 66 became the main highway for vacationers heading to Los Angeles. This sharp rise in tourism gave rise to burgeoning trade in all manner of roadside attractions.
The De Anza Motor Lodge became a favorite stop for travelers, either to buy authentic Zuni crafts and jewelry or to spend a night or two.
Turquoise Café Floor
The Turquoise Café in its heyday was full of life and activity. Business leaders, politicians and visitors to Route 66 came to dine or share a cocktail. Additionally, beautiful Zuni crafts and jewelry were for sale at the Café. The most unique aspect of the café was the floor, where 200 pounds of turquoise, literally thousands of pieces of turquoise, were embedded, making it one of the most spectacular sites in the region. In 1939, the retail value of the turquoise was $100,000. As part of the redevelopment of the De Anza, the floor is being preserved and renovated back to its original luster and beauty.
More than 300 years ago, Spaniards on their expedition to Zuni brought with them peach seeds. The Spaniards taught the Zuni how to plant and care for the trees. The Zuni chose a location on the east side of their sacred Thunder Mountain, where it sloped eastward, with mostly sandstone so as to catch the snow moisture and summer rain. By doing so, they developed a wonderful peach orchard.
C.G. Wallace and his wife fell in love with the Zuni peaches and grew them in their backyard. He tried to get numerous nurseries in California and in New Mexico to carry the peaches, but none were interested. Today, the only place to find Zuni peaches is at the Zuni Pueblo.
To honor the Wallaces and the Zuni people, Zuni peach trees will be planted on the revitalized De Anza site.