The Origin Myth of Acoma Pueblo
Edward Proctor Hunt
by Edward Proctor Hunt
Introduction by Peter Nabokov
Translated by Henry Wayne Hunt and Wilbert Edward Hunt
Notes by Peter Nabokov
A masterpiece of Pueblo Indian mythology, now in a restored edition
Edward Proctor Hunt, a Pueblo Indian man, was born in 1861 in the mesa-top village of Acoma, New Mexico, and initiated into several secret societies, only to later break with his people’s social and religious codes. In 1928, he recited his version of the origin myth of the Acoma Indians to Smithsonian Institution scholars. Hailed by many as the most accessible of all epic narratives recounting a classic Pueblo Indian story of creation, migration, and ultimate residence, the myth offers a unique window into Pueblo Indian cosmology and ancient history, revealing how a premodern society answered key existential questions and formed its customs. In this new edition, Peter Nabokov renders this important document into a clear sequence, adds excerpted material from the original storytelling sessions, and explores the creation and roles of such myths in Pueblo Indian cultures.
The remarkable life of Edward Hunt is the subject of Peter Nabokov’s companion volume, How the World Moves, which follows Hunt and his sons on their passage from tradition to modernity as they strike out as native entrepreneurs and travelling interpreters of American Indian lore.
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