Cushing at Zuni: The Concept of "Made Beings"

Cushing at Zuni:

The Concept of "Made Beings"

In Zuni Origin Myths, Ruth Bunzel is critical of the Cushing version of the Zuni origin myth in that it supposedly "contains endless poetic and metaphysical glossing of the basic elements, most of which explanatory matter probably originated in Cushing's own mind."(Bunzel 1932b: 547) While it is acknowledged that Cushing's genius lent itself to "poetic" overtones, it would seem prudent, in light of the consistency of his version with Zuni ceremonial ritual and social structure, to suspend judgement in regard to allegations of "metaphysical glossing" and seek to perhaps discover justification for the ontological principles he premised. The Cushing "explanatory matter" is the most comprehensive, as well as being consistent with the hardening of the universal waters in the age "when the earth was soft," and would appear to leave the Bunzel account to rest upon tentative grounds in that it does not seem to reveal a complete picture. This seeming lack of information can be explained by Bunzel's scientific demeanor and reluctance to relent to metaphysical principles, and as a linguist it should have been obvious that linguistic analysis supports the coherence of the Cushing version.(Cushing 1896) Ironically, it was Bunzel herself who presented the explanatory antithesis that synthesized the Cushing account by her translation of the key term apoyanne as "stone cover," (Bunzel 1932a: 487) which was in accordance with common folklore and introduced substantial content in a figurative sense which complimented Cushing's more formal approach to the origin myth of the Zuni.

In Outlines of Zuni Creation Myths Cushing translates Apoyan Tatcu as "all covering Father Sky." (1896:379) Accordingly, this treatment of the term apoya designates it as a class 1 noun based upon the prefix 'a' of the term signifying a non-singular affix in the inflection of the noun poya.(Walker 1966:218) This renders the prefix 'a' as denoting plurality, and with the literal translation of poya, as "cover", connotes a sense of a universal, or "all covering", to the term "sky" (apoya) . The general consensus is that this is an erroneous classification and that apoya is a class 5 noun (Walker 1966:219) with both Walker (Ibid) and Newman (1958:2) agreeing that it has a non-singular affix in the suffixes -we and -:we, respectively. However, before discarding Cushing's interpretation as mere "metaphysical glossing" it should be regarded in the context of his assessment of the Zuni and their "philosophy of analogies." (1896:376) Class 1 stems, according to Walker (1966:218), refer to types of ahoi, or "beings". Thus, it can be reasoned that if Apoyan Tatcu is considered as a being it would be included in this class. Cushing considered Apoyan Tatcu as a supernatural being or a personification of nature within the Zuni theology under the term I-shothl-ti-mon =ahoi. (Cushing 1883:10) As Cushing explains, the term "hoi" refers to being and the prefix 'a' is a plural particle signifying "all." The term ahoi therefore denotes "beings." (Ibid 11) Cushing correctly identifies ahoi as a universal class inclusive of all beings whether they are "gods, ... supernatural beings, men, animals, plants," or, the "many objects in nature...regarded as personal existences." (Ibid.) This corresponds to the designation of ahoi as the all-inclusive first echelon of the "BEING hierarchy" in Walker's analytic study. (1966:222) However, not only does ahoi occupy the highest genera of the taxonomic structure of the being hierarchy, it is also subsumed as a species, or category, in the second echelon corresponding to the term "people", the English translation equivalent frequently employed by bilingual Zuni.(1966:221) As Walker states, "the term /?a':ho??i/ (beings) defines a large segment of the universe as perceived by Zuni speakers. It is, indeed, the superordinate generic term of an exclusive hierarchy of human, animal, natural, and supernatural beings which inhabit the universe of Zuni and constitute many of the basic categories of Zuni perception and cognition." (Ibid.) Thus, Cushing's treatment of Apoyan Tatcu as a compound term signifying the personification of a natural entity as a supernatural existence justifies its placement in the category of ahoi and is quite in keeping with Zuni conceptualization in the literal sense, as is perceiving the plural particle a as qualifying poya and equivocating apoya with a notion of a universal covering, which is analogous to the term "sky." The "science" of the Zuni, as Cushing notes, (1896:376) is one "of appearance", and the sky does appear to encompass as well as enclose. The manner in which Cushing interpreted the Zuni perception of the sky is a logically formal application. Its cognitive employment is the positing of the concept of a particular entity contained within universal occurrence, the personification of which further infers the category to which it belongs by extension. Intensively however, this explains little in regard to immanent constitution of the concept. There is but one sky and its singularity also exhausts all occurrences of its kind within its genus, instilling it with a peculiar universality. Whatever the intension, or content of its definition, it is identical with the extensive magnitude of its genus.

This is a conceptual treatment familiar to a being hierarchy that culminates in a supreme entity, with the distinction that a monotheism will resist the notion that personification or substantive constitution necessarily implies a more abstract genera and insist upon the supreme entity as a source from which substance emanates, irregardless of the logical consequences. On the contrary, in a polytheistic system such as that of the Zuni the immanent constitution of multiple gods, or higher beings, will imply a higher genus to which they may all be members, with the content of this category implicating a monist system. Each of these higher beings may represent concepts where intension and extension are identical. It can be argued this equivocation of the logical elements of classification is akin to identifying species with genus and would violate laws of logical form or continuing species. That it is, for example, simply to identify different skies with qualifications such as cloudy, or sunny. These qualifications however, represent distinct beings in themselves as well as the more general category of being. The sun is the Sun Father and the clouds are the ancestors of the Zuni. The Sun Father represents a constant entity to all Zuni and is regarded as a higher being. The analogy of clouds and ancestors is also a constant, but membership in the class of ancestors may have a more personal significance in denoting those beings. "All phenomena and elements...belong to one great system of all conscious and interrelated life... ".(Cushing 1883:9) All beings, and all higher beings, imply a general class of being. In turn, the general class of being implies a higher class of conscious life which is at least as extensive, but may or may not be more extensive, than the general class of beings.

Bunzel notes in the Introduction to Zuni Ceremonialism that "All matter has its inseparable spiritual essence" (1932a:480) and that all objects are hoi in the figurative sense. To what extent objects are hoi in the literal sense is as vague as the different echelons and possible sub-categories of hoi in the taxonomic structure of the "BEING hierarchy."(Walker 1966:221-225) However, Bunzel adds that there is "no antithesis of...matter and spirit" and the "sense of conflict as the basic principle of life does not dominate man's relation to the universe any more than it dominates man's relation to man."(Bunzel 1932a:486) Cushing presages this comment in his explanation of the Zuni perception of the harmony of all things in the universe and to the Zuni mind nature is quite literally endowed with the gift of reason.(1920:n20)

Thus, Apoyan Tatcu, or "Father Sky", immediately implies personification of a single, natural entity, which both infers the first echelon of ahoi and retains an element of familiarity which possibly infers, in the figurative sense, the second echelon of the ahoi hierarchy, i.e. reference to it as a personage. The entity is, at the level of the first echelon of ahoi quite abstract or transcendent, but cannot be considered remote given the content and context of spiritual matter. It is then, substantially constituted. The personage which may exist at the level of the second echelon of ahoi can only be said to be immanently constituted in a provisional manner, for to what degree literal and figurative meaning traverses these echelons is uncertain, as is to what degree it can be substantially constituted.

The principal quality of an entity which can be determined as a higher being, or god, is that its singular occurrence exhausts the sect or class. Even in a polytheistic theology of multiple gods, or as in the case with the Zuni, higher beings, these beings are going to have this quality. It is the very nature of the idea. The Zuni have no term which is translatable as "God", but they have concepts in their thought process which are representative of a necessary claim on thinking. As for the individuality of different higher beings, it is their membership in a class or category, which infers their genus, necessarily. The name of the genus, or its identity with a substance, is a contrast to the individuation of, or species of, different higher beings or gods, and is indicative of monism.

Entities such as higher beings or gods can be placed in opposition to one another, as the Zuni do with Father Sky and Mother Earth in forming a reciprocity that embraces the twin abode of the Sun Father, yet these beings remain individual and are constituted as unique identities. As such, they are particular entities representing a singularity, an individuation on the part of the conceptualizing individual.

However, since they are particular instances constituted by their particular qualities, they, each and every one, comprise the entirety of the membership of their class or species, meaning that any statements about any particular god or higher being will have universal form, even if the subject is a single, sole, entity.

According to the approach of a philosophic anthropology this must be true, irregardless whether the method is intensive or comparative. If intensive, then the collective unity of the culture itself confers universal validity upon the substantial constitution of their gods. If the study is comparative with other cultures then the relativism of that culture again justifies its validity as well as the validity of any other culture, with the absolute standard of comparison dictating that all cultures confer validity as well as recognizing the validity of those collective unities distinct from their own

Propositionally then, if it is true in a given culture that "x is a god", then the particular statement "there is an instance of the existence of x, such that x is y" and the universal statement, "for all x, x is y", have the same content. The subject of both propositions, x, exhaust the class, and the predicate, y, refers to every one, meaning that the intension and extension are identical .

In contrast to this process of individuation are concepts concerning the higher beings, for instance, in regard to immortality or incorporeality, as qualities, which unite them in a like class and distinguish them from the lower classes of beings. To the Zuni, incorporeality is a mysterious quality that signifies a being's degree of rawness (Kiapinne), whereas man, who appears in a bodily form and is least mysterious, indicates a degree of being finished, i.e. done (akna) or finished (ashkia).(Cushing 1883)

In the identification of intension with extension, qualities of classification can become quite literal, even at a level of generality. Yet, these more general classifications can have a tendency towards individuation as well, and in doing so blur the distinction between the different degrees of beings. The individuation may be a constitution of the being's qualities in such a manner where it represents a personification or personalization; for instance, to address the higher beings in the form of kinship terms, e.g. Father Sky. This process of familiarization is at once substantive, as well as figurative. As Walker indicates in his paper, the term ahoi is sometimes used to mean "people" and as a category of beings, ahoi traverses the first, second and possibly a third echelon of the "BEING hierarchy."(1966:221-225)

The usage of kin terms can also indicate a more general type of classification other than individualization by familiarization. In the Zuni culture, kin terms, such as tatcu (father), or tsita (mother) can extend to other kin or members of a clan, or social or religious organization. Thus, an individual can have a class of beings referred to by the kin term tatcu. However, the individual can also refer to a higher class of beings as fathers. As Walker indicates, tatcu, as well as other kin terms, are class 3 stems that always refer to ahoi and "take either or both the suffix -:kwe and the prefix "a for plural inflection. (Ibid. 218) The suffix -:kwe can also be a class 2 stem and refers to ahoi and a collective. Thus, it would seem that to refer to fathers as a collective of higher beings the plural inflection a:tatcu:kwe would infer the group or a member as representative of the group. Reference to a member of this group would be by qualification and such qualification would indicate which father, as well as being universal. Meaning, the prefix a interpreted as "all." There is only one sky, and only one father to qualify as the Father Sky. In this sense poya qualifies tatcu, and a quantifies it existentially, relating the qualifier apoya as "covering all."

This seems to be confirmed in a paper by Kenneth Miner on noun incorporation in the Zuni language. (Miner 1986) Miner distinguishes two usages of the prefix a:w-; 1) verbal pronominal for the plural absolutive, and, 2) a derivational prefix pluralizing particles referring to persons. Miner notes that either of these is homophonous with the other.(1986:246n8)

The section in which Miner treats examples of incorporation which can be considered similar to Apoyan Tatcu as syntactic units contains constructions of a number inflected nominal plus a nominal, yielding a nominal with two separate stresses. (Miner 247) Of particular interest is a construction from Bunzel's text of 1932, which he uses as an example -apila shiwani- the society of the Priest of the Bow, of which Cushing was a member.

The singular of "bow priest" is pila shiwani. The plural inflection a:w-, (1) cannot be prefixed to nouns such as pila, which can only be inflected for number by attaching the suffix -:we, and (2) can only be used derivationally as a prefix for particles referring to persons. The form apila is not possible by itself and the plural of shiwani is ashiwani. This has all been previously recorded in Newman (1958, 1965) and Walker(1966).

Yet, the plural inflection of pila shiwani is apila shiwani. This use of the prefix a:w- is at once evident as contrary to the rules prescribed above. The explanation Miner offers is that the "head" of the combination (shiwani) is a particle and therefore the combination as a whole is a particle referring to a person, thus the prefixing of a:w- to pila.(Miner 248) However, as Miner notes, nouns such as pila are, because of the absence of a number suffix, indefinite.(Miner 245) The prefixing of a:w- to pila, and to the combination as a whole as a statement of number, lends the construction a more definite nature, perhaps even a state of being. The use of a:w- here as a statement of number is a quantification and is more apparent of a verbal pronominal of a plural absolute rather than a meager statement meaning more than two . It does not seem to be as simple as a transition from bow priest to bow priests, but is meant to be inclusive of the shiwana:kwe (priesthood) which is marked by the verbal use of pila, referring to the "ones who bow." This incorporation of pila and shiwani through inflection gives the Priesthood of the Bow a state of being.

Apart from the digression here to an implied state of being, Miner notes in his descriptive presentation that the case of the apila shiwani is a rare case and the "more common are cases with the head prefixed, especially when the first member is suffixed with a derivational suffix."(Miner 248)

The most important of the suffixes in the examples Miner cites from Bunzel is -ya, which is termed here as a collective. Newman translates it as a growing mass or collectivity, also.(1958) The first example is: tehli-ya-ka a:shiwani, which means "night priests." The term tehli-ya-ka does not simply mean "night", but is translated by Bunzel as "be night", a denotation which is indicative of the impact of the derivational suffix -ya. The implication of the infinitive "to be" in the imperative form of "be" signifies the indeterminate qualification of the suffixes -ya and -ka, which denote not only cause, or a regressus (-ka), but a continual, if not accelerating, process towards (-ya) the meaning denoted by the stem (tehli). As a derivation signifying a collective, -ya would, however indeterminate, endeavor to fix a number to its stem, providing a more definite statement. Thus, a state of being is already implied in the combination and the compound is pluralized by the prefixing of a:w- derivationally to the head (shiwani) of the construction.

Another example of compounding which Miner uses and which will be employed here for the purpose of comparison is identical to the previous one, except shiwani is replaced by atatcu. Thus, tehli-ya-ka atatcu, meaning "night father." Of significance here is that the compound in its entirety implies a state of being just as the previous example does. It is, however, translated by Bunzel as a singular. There is only one night father. The reference of a state of being which qualifies a member of the class tatcu, denotes a single, individuated, personification which is signified by the derivational employment of a:w-.

From the above arguments it would seem that Cushing's compounding of apoya and tatcu may have been a somewhat loose incorporation. Meaning, that it may not be certain which interpretation of a:w- he intended, if his intended use is correct, or if he may have even attempted, which is the thesis here, a synthesis of both, irregardless of their different significations. In such an attempt at synthesis, the employment of a:w- as a verbal pronominal of a plural absolute would render the term poya as meaning "to cover" as an absolutely universal plurality, while at the same time the personalization of an individuation signifying a derivational employment of the affix as denoting ahoi. Whether the dual employment of a:w- in this manner is illicit or not, or constitutes "metaphysical glossing" is a matter which will always be open to analysis. The key element here is Cushing's ability to portray the native mind's tendency toward individuation, or the immanent positioning of anything as a location in space and time. This is an element that many have tried to explain since Cushing.

In Bunzel's descriptive narrative the term apoyanne is interpreted as "stone cover," citing a commonly accepted folklore version that "the sky, solid in substance, rests upon the earth like an inverted bowl."(Bunzel 1932a:487) Presumably, stone cover would be a transliteration of apoya based upon the morpheme a meaning "stone," and poya as perhaps a growing or collective mass (-ya) of something which is either a container or round object, or both. This treatment of the term for sky is at once a quite literal translation of its stems and explication of common folklore, while also preserving the figurative sense indicative of the Zuni method of analogical referents.

The translation of apoya in Newman is only stated explicitly as "sky." In his classification the morpheme a denotes "stone" and is prefixed to the polysyllabic term poya which takes a suffix (-:we) in forming the non-singular inflection. (1958:2, 7, 34) The singular affix of apoya in Newman's classification is the suffix -nne, which is the same as Bunzel's -nne (the ne denoting consonant length). This affix is also probable in Walker's classification where apoya is a compound of different classes of stems, all of which, however, irregardless of their class, designate the non-singular suffixes -we or -:we.(1966:218-219) Thus, the plural inflection of apoya is that of a suffix, and not a prefix a meaning "all" as implied in Cushing's Apoyan Tatcu. There is, however, a fine distinction to be made here in regard to Cushing's meaning of "all" and to what extent it denoted singularity of membership in a class signified by a term representing a collective as well as a term signifying all members of the collective as a singular unit.

Such is the non-singular suffix of -:kwe which Walker describes as "probably quite rare" and cites Newman as correctly identifying -:kwe as "used to form a collective term referring to members of a group." (Walker 1966:218) Cushing used this term, (-:kwe) as well, in referring to fraternities or societies of priests. Walker also notes that this suffix does not always refer to a collective, but is used to designate a single member as representative of a class, as in "such forms as /to'pinteto'nasi:kwe/ one Turkey Clan member and /to 'pinthe':musi:kwe/ one Jemez Indian." Walker designates these as class 2 stems, and like class 1 stems, always refer to ahoi. (1966:218)

More importantly are the class 3 stems which Walker identifies as taking either or both the suffix -:kwe and the prefix a which refer to "kin terms, but are probably quite rare outside this particular semantic domain. An example is /?a:kuku/ father's sisters, which alternates freely with /ku'ku:kwe/ and /?a:kuku:kwe/."(Ibid. 218-219)

Of significance is that in this later class containing kin terms, a, which denotes plurality can stand alone or interchange or intermix with -:kwe, which can denote the singularity of a member as representative of a group or the plurality of a collective as a unit. Within the first three classes of stems then, all the basic principles of individuation, personage, and universality in reference to ahoi, the kin and clans, and the societies are present for the interpretation of a plural affix as a strong metaphysical foundation denoting as well as connoting universal presence.

In contradistinction to Cushing's allness of Apoyan Tatcu, as the one father sky where different ahoi cohabit, is the implication of the plural inflection of Bunzel's apoyanne by the suffix -we where the concept of different skies attests to a different sky for every ahoi. The explanation of this is that there cannot be a non-stone sky. All the different skies are those belonging to whatever attribution or qualification they themselves are said to possess. The class of ale, or stone, does not in itself infer ahoi. If a quality is attributed to a sky, and that quality is individualized, then that ahoi has its own sky. This is different from a single entity where different ahoi are thought to cohabit. This point may be seen as logically moot, but in fact it is pre-logical. Its intended effect is to show that the native mind had a tendency towards individuation and not mediated inference, and it is this component of thought that Cushing reproduced in rendering Apoyan as "all covering." This individuation is an essential ingredient in the potentiality found in self-expression within the confines of the actuality defined by the collective representation.

Bunzel translated apoyanne literally while preserving the figurative sense of a stone cover which is non-substantiated by appearance, whereas Cushing began the individuation process as a literal analogy to appearance yet retained the figurative sense through a personage which was non-substantial as well. The distinction between the two is that the ontology of Bunzel's interpretation of apoyanne requires that individuation can only transpire after a mediated inference. Stone itself, as was noted previously, does not infer ahoi. Individuation can only begin in such an ontology with a stone cover, or bowl, and infer that it must have had a maker.

Bunzel represents an inverted bowl resting upon the earth. The ceremonial term for earth is, according to Newman, awiteli.(1958) The complexity of the term awiteli is indicative of a rich symbolism. The meaning of the morpheme a however, is as ambiguous as it is for the term apoya. It doesn't seem sensical to indicate it as denoting a plural for earth. In what sense can one refer to different earths? The classes of the stems indicate a plural inflection by the suffix -:we, as it is in apoya, but it seems to make as little sense to have a referent of multiple earths as it does multiple skies.

If the 'a' in awiteli is to denote stone, as it does in apoya, then the remaining morphemes would indicate: wi= worm (Newman 1958; Walker 1966); te = container (Walker 1966, Newman 1958), or terrestrial (Newman 1958), or space and time or place (Bunzel 1932a); and li = shallow container of objects (Newman 1958). Now, a shallow container made of stone which has objects, possibly worms or serpents or primal life, is a perfect compliment to the inverted bowl of folklore and would represent an orb wherein lies the terrestrial sphere. This etymology conforms to Zuni folklore and is illustrative of its diverse use of analogies. However, a stone sky and stone earth is indicative of lore after the hardening of the universal waters, and of which there is no account in Bunzel's origin myth.

The commonly accepted etymology is that of the number four, awiten, representing the four directions and the four wombs of Mother Earth. Cushing's "dissection" of a-wi-ti stems from the idea that the process of enumeration originates by counting of the fingers and is evident in the etymology of the words for numbers, thus: "A-wi-ti [or] A-wi-tin- from A' (a prefix indicating all), I-ti-wa, middle or midst, and in-ai-e.
A' iti wa in ai e [becomes]
A-wi-tin [which becomes]
[Translation:] All the middle fingers together = four." (Green 1990:106)

The major importance of this is Cushing's reference to a:w- as "all" and the translation of in-ai-e as "an indwelling quality or condition of a thing," meaning the extension and attributes of a thing as a discrete quantity. (Ibid.) In itself, the term in-ai-e is a component of all numbers. Together with the prefix a:w- it is an explicit statement of Cushing's interpretation of "all." "All" was a collective, which meant to definitize the plurality of its referent as a discrete quantity, a condition present in the metamathematics of number concept. Four individual fingers are a schemata for a symbol that represents a unity of concept and data in a cognition. Of even more importance in this "dissection" is the fate of the w in the prefix a:w- of the term A-wi-ti. It is dropped from Cushing's analysis. The plural prefix of A-wi-ti- is the identical prefix indicative of the verbal pronominative of the plural absolute and the derivational prefix referring to persons in Miner's paper, and the prefix indicative in Walker's taxonomy of class 3 stems which refer to kin terms. The plural for mother is Atsita, where the w is dropped if the prefix is attached to a term beginning with a consonant. This signifies awiten or awiteli as a class 3 kin term inferring ahoi. Awiteli as "earth" belongs to the same class as tsita, meaning "mother," and they are both kin terms inferring ahoi.

In the "Ceremonials of the Hunt," Cushing, translates a-wi-te-lin tsi-ta, as "all earth mother." (1966:34) This is consistent with his treatment of apoya and tatcu, however, the evidence for awitelin as a kin term is greater than that of apoya.

In Miner's paper, another example provided for compounding two nominals to form a nominal with two independent stresses is yato-kka tatcu, which means "sun father."(Miner 249) Of interest in this example is its contrast to tehli-ya-ka atatcu, where atatcu refers to a class of beings, yet is translated by Bunzel in the singular. In the later instance tehli-ya-ka qualifies a member of a class but in the former the qualification is singular with no reference to class. Yet, both are translated in the singular. Inferred from this is that "sun father" is not attributed to a class in particular. There is no indication of plural inflection and the only determination of kin is the term tatcu. There is only one sun and only one sun who is father. While it is also evident that there is also only one father sky and one mother earth, according to Cushing they are the children of the sun and their co-dependence forms the reciprocity that is the abode(s) of the Sun. From this it would seem that Father Sun represents the peak of the being hierarchy and is representative of the archetype instance of individuation and personification.

From this it is intended that the sun father is a supremacy that is not to be inferred through qualification within a class and it cannot be inferred by any other member of the class of ahoi. It is a given. Its power is not to be explained, but merely appealed to. By this is meant that the abode of the Sun, whether it is regarded as an inverted bowl resting upon a shallow container or as the reciprocity of the universal allness of mother earth and father sky, is representative of the containment or expanse of space and time (te). The individuation of this is denoted by a locative suffix (wa) and is the consequence of the Sun Father as the day (tewa) and the source of life (tek'ohannan). It is the very essence of the stem te-, to neatly fix all determinations of the terrestrial (te-) in a manner where all things are the same. An object viewed from the perspectives of individuals will certainly dictate intervals of a thing's existence, which will be in every instance distinct. From the perspective of the individual as subjectivity the objective interval is always a question of their position in relation to the thing within the context of the general principles of space (te-) and time (te-) as those relations are embodied by a metaphysical system where there is but one space and there is but one time.

The collective representation as a collective unity is the understanding that the object as a thing known is not simply the sum total of perspectives equivocating the sum total of object intervals, but is also a matter of a common reference point in space and time, or a symbolic center (te-). As a consequence a member of the collective can refer to an object as "it is"(te-ya-ye), and a state of being.

There is at this point a distinction to be made in regard to two seemingly different words, which Bunzel translated with the same meaning. In different places te'ona is translated as "the one who is" (1932c: 723, 734), and te'a'ona is also translated with the same meaning.(Ibid. 730, 734) The various meanings, which the stem te- can take, have been noted. The suffix ona serves as an agentive affix, translated "the one who."(Cook 1975:19) The suffix ona can also indicate a stative verb, which expresses an equation with the stem to which it is affixed. (Ibid. 22) In the above instances ona is in one case equivocated with te and in the other equivocated with te'a. In the latter, a seems to serve the same role as an infix in te'a'ona as it would as a suffix in the word te'a. Cushing used the word te'a in two different senses. In one sense he translated it as "more" and "again". (Green 1990:194) In another sense he used it as the imperative "let it be thus."(Ibid 106) In either one of these usages there could be some confusion with the infinitive teya, "to be." However, the point is that the word te'a'ona denotes something more than a benign "one who is." The distinction would seem to be similar to stating that something "is" or anticipating some thing "to be". As a suffix, a means non-past conditional or a reference to the future.(Newman 1958) Thus, if te'ona denotes the "one who is," then te'a'ona would seem to be implicative of a state of becoming. However, they are all the same . (See Young, 1988: 90-105)

A body of metaphysics is a system of principles which itself must be isolated from error and which generates its own questions, for which the answers may be nothing other than further metaphysical questions. The statement they are all the same is just such a premise to a body of metaphysics. To state that there is a distinction between te'ona and te'a'ona and yet hold that the statement they are all the same is a premise isolated from error is shown by the following analogy.

In the measurement of space and time a minimum of substantiality is assumed. If we presume that space and time are infinitely divisible then what is it we refer to in the measurement of either when we allude to a distance or span of time as comprised of a series of points?

Space and time cannot be reduced to a single unit of which they are comprised without contradiction or self-annihilation. A point is, by definition, non-extended, meaning it has no quantity or mass. If it has no quantity, it cannot occupy space.

The proof is that if a point occupied space, it would be an extended body, in which case at a very minimum on a geometric plane it would be a distance between two points. Obviously, two points cannot be a point. Thus, two points constitute distance and duration, i.e. measurement of space and time. However, while we can consider time as the duration between two points, or locations, the analytics of space continues to dictate that that same distance between the two points or locations is comprised of an infinitely divisible series of points that do not occupy space .

The other side of this is the finitude of individuation, or the location or positioning of a discrete quantity in space and time according to its appearance. By this is meant that its incorporation and dependence upon spatial and temporal relations has arrested the infinite divisibility of the quantum (te-). Even the word "all" will definitize a noun. The premise that the terms te'ona and te'a'ona can both be translated as "the one who is" without a loss of meaning is a premise that is the basis of individuation and illustrates the Zuni tendency to equivocate being and becoming as all the same.(See Roberts, 1961) Identification of these terms is an explicit objectification of spiritual matter. To consider this as a final statement is, however, to disregard a distinction which is the implied source of further inquiry which generates an entirely new set of metaphysical questions that cannot be ignored. When Bunzel notes that "The world then is as it is, and man's place in it is what it is", (1932:486) this is a final statement of the collective representations of the Zuni as the total objectification of the state of being, or even a world view. However, to state this as an exclusive position is to answer all questions in terms of a single state of human affairs and totally disregards those metaphysical questions which cannot, or should not, be answered in those terms, or which, for that matter, can be answered only by further questions. Bunzel's statement is analytically descriptive, perhaps tautological, and provides no information or basis for further inquiry. It is both correct and incorrect. An understanding of individuation and how te'ona and te'a'ona can be translated as the same can only be attained by an investigation of the final statement as a consequence of a rich and complex Zuni ontology as it pertains to individuality and the collective subjectivity. To posit or locate an object in space and time is a reference to something in its state of being, explicitly stated as "it is", teyaye. Rules of describing this state of being would be based upon an imperative case (-ye) of a growing mass or collectivity (-ya) as a terrestrial (te-) occurrence or event. The imperative case is the determination of being's givenness as reflected in a "world that is as it is." This is exemplified in the absence of the copula 'is' as the determination of the relation of a thing to whatever is being attributed to it. The state of being which the copula explicates is presupposed as a given. Even in simple attribution in the Zuni language, such as the statement hish tasana, "he is very tall", or the stative clause lukka ts'inanne, "This is paper", the copula is absent.(Cook 1975:22) Being is a state of objectification in the imperative and the reference "it is" is a qualification, and as a determination makes no reference of a relation to being, but merely a conjunction or association of events. This is distinct from the occasion of a thing's existence antecedent to an imperative case, where the implied state of a thing is an unqualified teya, which simply means 'be'. (Newman 1958:42) The suffix -ya attempts to definitize the bound stem te-, but as a signification of a terrestrial collectivity or mass is completely undetermined. As a referent, teya cannot be qualified as a state antecedent to the imperative case without regarding it as the state of creation.

This distinction between explicit and implicit being is analogous to the distinction between te'ona and te'a'ona to the Zuni. Both terms can be defined or translated as the same. There is a distinction, however, which is simply not explicated, meaning that spiritual matter as a referent is always in the imperative case.

A further distinction between the terms is in the affixing of the non-singular prefix. Bunzel translates a' te' ona as "the ones" on different occasions. (1932c:723, 734) This employment of the plural prefix a:w- is its derivational use and refers to ahoi. While te'ona and te'a'ona are translated the same, it is not clear that both can be translated as "the ones" in the affixing of a plural prefix, if a:w- can be prefixed to te'a'ona at all, at least in the derivational sense.

In another instance Bunzel translated a'te'ona as "beings."(Ibid. 731) Here there may be some confusion in the reference to ahoi that may lead to a category mistake. If the prefix a:w- is a derivational employment referring to ahoi as the referent and "beings" is the translation, then referent and reference are defined in terms of the reference, and some ahoi are as a consequence excluded from their own class, or a'te'ona refers to the entire class of ahoi. This apparent category mistake is resolved if te'ona is treated as a stative verb clause and the employment of a:w- is the verbal pronominative of absolute plurality; in which case the translation of "beings" is extremely ambiguous. The confusion of class boundaries also appears in Bunzel's treatment of Awonawilona, which is at odds with Cushing's treatment. Cushing refers to Awonawilona as the one who, in the beginning, "solely had being." In this context, Awonawilona was the highest genus. Bunzel, on the other hand, refers to the Sun, Earth, prey animals, gods of war and all other beings who are ahoi as Awonawilona. In this context Awonawilona cannot be the highest genus of being.

The forthright materialism of Bunzel and the dialectics of Cushing present starkly contrasting perspectives of the universe, yet the accuracy of both versions is well founded upon etymology and the mythology and folklore of the Zuni. A major distinction is that Bunzel presents space and time in a limited, finite Zuni universe, while Cushing offers the Zuni conception of a universe of infinite magnitude and potential. It seems apparent that the difference here is one of a fundamental nature and that its source is a metaphysical question of beginnings, which is simply borne out of a dialectical relation of folklore and strict mythology, as well as a difference in methodology. Bunzel's version is based upon the source of information considered as more common folklore. She has received her version from a man who was not a priest. It was a story that belonged to all the priests for the purpose of storytelling during the winter retreats. Her source had learned the story from an uncle who had refused to give the origin myth of his society since that was his "very own prayer." (Bunzel 1932:548) Cushing had made an important distinction years prior in a letter to the Peabody Museum when he wrote "Thanks to the abundant folklore and more serious mythology of the Zuni's, I shall be able to elucidate many problems in primitive conceptions and polytheism."(Green 1990:304) It is apparent from information in several correspondences (including Lt. John Bourke's journal; Green 1990:188, 394 n 67) that Cushing learned his version of the origin myth from Keasi, who was second in command in the Order of the Bow Priests, and who's duty it was to preserve the "Sacred Genesis" of the Zuni, handed down by word of mouth from the "Old Days...given to me by and night pouring it into my ears." (Keasi speaking) (Green 1990: 187) In Cushing's day the Society was the most powerful of all the kivas and its strength depended upon its secrecy, even to the exclusion of the collective, for this was the source of its motive which was the unification of the collective. (Harvey 1972: 204) By the time of Bunzel's study, however, the war cult was "greatly in abeyance" and had been "stripped" of its power: the pattern of assignment of the priestly hierarchy had been drastically altered and the dissemination of information and the general handing down of the society's ritual history was drastically curtailed.(Bunzel 1932:525-526) As Bunzel notes the bow priesthood was reduced to three members; one who had no society affiliations served the priests, one is the Bow priest of the Katcinas and associated with the Rattlesnake Society, and the third associated with the Hunter's Society (Ibid) whose members cannot be inducted into the bow priesthood (Ibid 528). Thus, it is likely that any of the information that had been available to Cushing as a member of the Bow was, for the most part, unavailable to Bunzel, at least in its original form.

Benedict makes the same distinction as Cushing between folklore and mythology, and notes that a Zuni narrator is free to incorporate his knowledge into a tale. (Benedict 1969: xiii) It is from this source that contemporary interests and judgements are "faithfully indicated" and is therefore a "living folklore."(Ibid) This source of information is valuable in assessing a culture's values in the process of acculturation, but is not as valuable to the ontologist seeking neutral ground in order to determine a culture's conception of the origination and structure of being. II

In the analysis and division of a system, whether it is the taxonomic structure of a culture's language or the ontological construction of its metaphysical principles, it is undoubtedly an analytical reconstruction that presents the difficult task of discerning certain elements. First, what is the ultimate or highest concept or genera that can be represented as divided, for the division of a concept should progress according to a law of specification where a divided concept will have divided concepts under it, as species, sub-species, and so on. The logical law of continuum specierum dictates that one must proceed on the basis of verifiable data but can never assume the division culminates in a lowest species. (Kant 1781: A660/B688) These laws presuppose a transcendental principle, lex continui in natura, where certain elements of genera by comparison can infer them as extensions of a yet higher concept. This is the vertical ascent or descent in the transition between levels of a system. Second, in the subsequent divisions of a concept or genus, the descent through the various and diverse data contained under it must represent a logical continuity per saltus, meaning that laterally, a distinction between species must limit one another but must also be a gradation by degrees which would permit the inclusion of further divisions (Datur continuum formarum). Finally, no genus can be isolated, but must be a division from one highest genus (Non datur vacuum formarum) (Kant 1781:A653-B681/A662-B690). The identification of a highest genus as well as subsequent divisions according to the above rules will defy absolute demonstration and proof of its completion. (Kant 1797:18)

In the construction of an ontology the identification of the highest concept can be the primary difficulty, for in the general vein the concept is one lacking in a substantive constitution where one can employ empirical verification. Meaning, one cannot simply point to something and state that it is the ultimate substance, subject, being, or what have you. The usual treatment is the general notion of something in the abstract and the identification of any differences within the concept for the purpose of division, or a negation of the concept in its entirety, where something is opposed to nothing. Difference, or variance, is a comparison of the entities where the difference from one to the other in the most general sense is based upon a privation, or the non-being of some quality, or a complete negation where a something is opposed to nothing. The possibilities in this are indefinite. However, not only is this possibility a prospect of indefinite determinations, but the opposition of something and nothing will infer the higher concept of the object in general, according to the principle lex continui in natura. (Kant 1781:B347) It is assuming too much to think that any system can be absolutely complete and hence insist upon its punctuality. Any starting point must, for the most part, be posited in a provisional sense, both averring its absolute necessity as a beginning while at the same time realizing that its being may be conditioned upon something else.

This is true in regard to Zuni ontology as well. If we posit the concept of ahoi in its most general sense with all the determinations signified in the first echelon of the "BEING hierarchy" in Walker's taxonomic structure and consider it in contradistinction to its conceptual opposite, the first consideration must be, that of all things individuated as belonging to this category - what can possibly be regarded as not-being? It is, of course, not quite that simple. In regard to the first consideration, the category is beings, denoting a collective plurality of individuals. As was discussed above, some of these beings represent the particular in the singular occurrence of a being and its type, and is therefore universal. This, as well as the occurrence of other beings as persons, personal existences, and personages implies a higher category as an equivocation which contains them (Non datur vacuum formarum), or a concept of not-beings in the sense of a non-personification or non-person which would necessarily infer the higher category by its opposition to ahoi. Cushing informs us of an existence who at one time "solely had being." (Cushing 1883:9) Walker also implies a more general concept of being in designating the categories of his hierarchy as BEING, but it cannot be necessarily inferred in his arrangement. Its existence is implied but there is no account of a category of non-personal beings in opposition to ahoi.

Is there a logical equivocation of the categories of ahoi and BEING, or is there a category of non-beings in opposition to ahoi that necessarily infers BEING? Given the Cushing narrative describing Awonawilona, the one who in the beginning "solely had being", and his account of the notion that the Zuni believe that all things are interrelated in a system and are substantiated by their being permeated with conscious existence, it seems prudent to assume an ontological equivocation of concepts, but not of the categories of ahoi and BEING. Rather, the equivocation is viewed here as that between BEING and a conscious existence. All things embody a spiritual matter. This brings to light the most important distinction - there is no phenomenon that is strictly a physical one. The relation interconnecting physical elements comprise phenomena in a manner where at least to a minimal degree it manifests itself as an intelligent rationale, which, while not permitting the reflexivity of a self-awareness, proceeds as if conscious of the guiding principle of a harmonious and beneficent directive.

The relation of the highest concepts is not one of the classic dichotomies of opposing forces feeding off of one another in perpetual conflict. Bunzel's astute observation is clear on this point; there is no conflict of basic concepts in the Zuni metaphysics. No conflict of mind and matter, good and evil, or even being and non-being. Conscious existence is everywhere; there is no antithesis of non-conscious existence. However, in the first echelon of ahoi, immanent substantiality was employed in the notion of a personification or personalization of beings. This concept of personage is conspicuously absent in the higher concept of BEING. Cushing did not identify Awonawilona as being, but that which possessed it. Thus, the concept of BEING contains that which also contrasts with those individuated members of ahoi. To this extent the higher genera of being is comprised not only of ahoi, but also a counterpart, which represents non-personalized beings. This opposition of not-beings and ahoi infers the greater concept of BEING, but it is not an opposition of conflict. It is rather a reciprocity of the potential and the actual. It is the impetus of the Zuni system. Of all the stuff of the universe what entities may there be which are not recognized by the collective representations of the Zuni? What may there be which is of conscious existence, belongs to BEING, and yet not belong to ahoi ?

Cushing notes that even inanimate objects are considered to "possess life, a spirit similar to that of a hibernating bear or a sleeping man, dormant but potent."(1896:361-362) The bear or the man, however, are ahoi. Even though one is sleeping and one is hibernating, they have an identity. They have been personalized, or, if the term "personalized" or "personage" is found to be objectionable, they have been, instead, perhaps "objectified." On the contrary, inanimate objects, dormant in spirit, have yet to be personalized. They are pre-personal. They do not belong to the category of ahoi. They have conscious existence, they are of BEING, but they belong to the class of non-beings.

Cushing explains in a narrative on pottery making how vessels come to be "made beings." (Cushing 1886:510-515) This is the transition from the dormant potency of the raw material from which the vessel is made to the coaxing of the "treasured source" from its conscious existence in the "hardening process." "The clay which served for their wares was seldom taken from the native quarries without prayer and propitiatory offerings." (Cushing 1920:175) In the beginning of the personalization of the inanimate matter homage is paid to the natural formations and the higher beings. This tribute does not, however, confer the conscious being upon the material nor is the actuality of the conscious being inherent in the material, but also comes to be by association of shape and function . (Cushing 1886)

The dormant potency of the material is, through an association of shape, function, and ceremony, brought to the conscious existence of being . The task of the maker is strictly formal, where other than the shaping by manual dexterity, their only contribution is recognition . Through the finishing and decorating of the vessels "no laughing, music, whistling or any other unnecessary noises were indulged in, and conversation was carried on in faint whispers or by signs; for it was feared that the "oice" would enter into the vessels, and that when the latter were fired, would escape with a loud noise" thereby shattering the vessel. (Cushing 1920:176) It is imperative that the "noise made by the pot when struck or when simmering on the fire is supposed to be the voice of its associated being." (Ibid.)

The finished vessel, as the activation of a conscious being, is that in which dwells, as it does in the springs and wells which are worshipped and sacred, the "treasured source" (Cushing 1886), which protects and preserves the source of life which accompanies whatever it contains.(Cushing 1920) The essence of the hardening process is being individuated by virtue of being cognized. Being cognized is to be redeemed from the mere potentiality of inanimateness.

Other sources for potential beings derives from the distinction between the formalistic ritual and native dogma the collectivity adheres to in the words and fetishes according to the first beginning (tcimikanapkoa) (Bunzel 1932a:493), and the activities which present the opportunities for the creative genius of the Zuni to express itself. In the former, "the efficacy of prayer depends in no small measure on its correct rendition" and "is more nearly a repetition of magical formulae." (Bunzel 1932c:615) Elaboration is allowed in individual prayer, but in regard to the common good the "ceremonious collectivism that characterizes social activities is the essence of religious participation" and the "supernatural conceived always as a collectivity" is "approved by the collective force of the people."(Bunzel 1932a:480) Of the types of dances Bunzel identified only the new dances allowed for self-expression (Bunzel 1932d:888), and even then the "precision of movement belies a union of the totality." (Ibid. 899)

Precision in unity and the approval of the collectivity is indicative of a culture with a deep respect for its origins and abiding social structure. Adherence to its ritual and perpetuation of the practical utility of its applications guarantees the success it experiences from generation to generation. However, no culture can relentlessly depend upon a static actuality and not concede to further possibility. As Bunzel explains, there are two types of masks, the ancient and permanent, and the individual masks. The former are original and represent the beginning and the latter are personal (Ibid 848) which are destroyed upon the death of the owner.(Bunzel 1932a:491) The replacement of these masks is an exacting, faithful, replication. (Green 1990:98)


"New Katcinas may be invented from time to time and there is nothing in the nature of Katcina that would necessarily limit the new impersonations to the traditional forms. There is, in fact, a very noticeable tendency for the newer masks to be both more varied and realistic than the more ancient impersonations." (Bunzel 1932d: 856) This creation of new members of ahoi represents an artistic self-expression that stands in dialectic opposition to the traditional mode of collective representations, but once approved, it is quickly absorbed: "However, once a Katcina has been admitted to the roster, he is given a name and, rarely, a personality, and all details of his mask and costume and behavior become definitive." (Ibid.)

A Katcina is not a God. It is, rather , a spirit. There is no word in the Zuni language which translates unequivocally to 'God.' The nearest terms would be Ko'tikili or KoKo, which mean "Katcina." While the Katcina, as a spirit, may not have a personality assigned to it as Bunzel states in the preceding quote, the being of a Katcina, as a member of the class of ahoi, lies in the mask, which is a very personal item to its wearer. In donning the mask the wearer becomes the impersonator of the spirit of the mask, acting as a messenger to the higher beings. When the mask is not in use it is not merely an item, but is the friend of the owner. This is a personal relationship. New masks and new dances are not uncommon and do allow for aesthetic expression. (Bunzel 1932:888) However, as Bunzel noted, the new dances must be approved by the head priest of its kiva, and the mask must be defined and absorbed by society. Any new creation of being is completely integrated.

Conscious matter and the potential for personal relationships exist in everything and exist everywhere. The spiritual matter is that which society, or the collective, attempts to control through objectification and definition. At the personal or subjective level, spiritual matter is the referent of an expression of individuality as a confirmation of meaning in reference to the act of individuation. As the object of directedness, spiritual matter is the universal and the individuation of a thing as a member of ahoi is a reflection of the interconnectedness of phenomena as intersubjectivity.

Individuation requires strict aesthetic discipline through transcendence of aesthetic self-expression, and a convergence of subject and object as a discipline in regard to a physicality as a material phenomena and a discipline in regard to distractions of aesthetic expression. There simply is no mystery in regard to man and self-expression. Self-expression is merely given as self-evident.

The mystery of the object as a sacred item of worship lies in the convergence of subject and object, or the physical and aesthetic where self-expression is minimized and the convergence stands upon its own merits through semblance and motive. In this manner the worship of an object entertains a universal given without superfluous self-expression, and attains a near synthesis of the absolute and relative. The Zuni pray to become one. This is, quite simply, the objective of semblance and motive.

To discover the universal given is to remove any barriers between one's self and others, meaning any members of ahoi whatsoever and fully satisfy any meanings intended of the referent. The object fulfills meaning intended in the motive without motive being superimposed by self-expression. This includes acceptance of one's place within the hierarchy of the collective . (Hieb and Ortiz 1972)

Materially, creativity finds its clearest expression in simple and natural forms. To point to a natural concretion or phenomena without a naming as a meaning of the referent and have it identified as a universal symbol by all other minds may be the greatest mystery of the most sacred and powerful kind . As such it is a perfection of the givenness of nature and the harmony that man experiences, while the referent itself does not exhaust its life within its environment. As an object of reference the referent is fully representative of becoming, and non-past conditionals. This is the utmost validity to be assigned to material implication, for causality lies in being and the immediate givenness of subject and object. The relation, or rather, the reciprocity of subject and object and the creation of being lie in accidental semblance and motive, and as such the responsibility for casual explanation is relieved of the subject. This concept is a convergence of being and becoming and is what is typically meant in any notion of anything as all the same.

Meaning must be written from the view of object as it is represented by a collectivity. Words may obscure the definition or identity of an object where a 'pointing to' acts as a wholeness of perception, for the ego of the subject is imperceptible. The givenness of the object as 'pointed to' transcends time, where time is the implication of necessity from sufficiency, and the movement of thought is from the sufficient condition perceived as necessary. These are the same. In this sense interconnectedness of all things as an intersubjectivity is a metaphysic where the sum of life experience in the human state of affairs explains nature, or the universe. That no phenomenon is purely physical in the Zuni ontology presupposes, a priori if you will, the subjectivity of other minds. While subjectivity is important as the origin of self-expression and creativity it is also a feature that can be detrimental to a collective unity that depends upon rigid adherence to a corpus of ritual and ceremony for its survival. Anthropologists have noted the mechanistic tendency of most aspects of Zuni ceremonialism and that prayer must be "repeated verbatim to be effectual." (Bunzel 1932:492) Cushing also noted that "The masks...have the greater value in that they are reproduced after ancient oral models, with such unvarying faithfulness, that although I witnessed the reappearance and manufacture of several of them, I could detect no deviation either in shape, line or plume, from the ideal, or previous samples. As with pottery, they are made with no pattern before the artist . Yet an elaborate He-ma-shi-kwe headdress and mask made in one estufa was indistinguishable from one made in a separate estufa by another individual." (Green 1990:98)

In recital or artisan manufacture, subjectivity or an aesthetic intoxication of self-expression could be a source of error or the introduction of unknown powers. Anything that could be a distraction must be a matter of self-denial. Subjectivity can impede the success of any ritual and the method of application must be purely descriptive, where description lies in faithful replication. As Bunzel noted the exaltation of the religious experience lies in the manifestation of the activities and appreciation of the aesthetic quality that pervades. This compensates for the intensity that is inherent in the personal religious exaltation and subjective satisfaction indicative of the vision quests of all the plains tribes. To the Zuni the lack of that feeling is the descriptive cohesion of the collective unity. (Bunzel 1932:480, 1992:xxix)

Familiar objects are recognized and identifiable by all members of the collective unity as a collective representation. A practical utility or functionality is identifiable in the cohesion of the collective in its perception of an object. This is true of a ritual item where its manifestation must be of exacting detail, or in the recognition of an object as a matter of resemblance. The result of these perceptions is a complex state of consciousness dominated by the collective representation. The objective is the complete immersion or absorption of the subject into the social structure in order to eliminate the source of emotions as causes for behavior conducive to the anti-structure of the social hierarchy. This is achieved by total absorption into the ritual of ceremony and its objects, which are representative of semblances to higher beings and powers.

Awonawilona means "that which, or the one who, is possessing of all roads, or lives." The distinction made by Cushing, even if implicitly, is that Awonawilona is not identical with ahoi. To explicitly identify Awonawilona as ahoi is to either overlook that monistic substance which interconnects all things, thereby violating laws of continuing species (Non datur vacuum formarum), or imply that there is a genus of greater extension than Awonawilona which contains that monistic substance. However, while ahoi are Awonawilona, Awonawilona is a much greater concept than ahoi, and possesses that which is distinct from ahoi, namely non-personalized being. This is inferred in Walker's BEING hierarchy, as well.

The Zuni is a collective unity where subjectivity and self-expression is guarded, even to the extent of non-reference to aesthetic value. Subjectivity and self expression is never an actuality, for actuality lies in the objectification of personalized beings in terms of the collective representation. The pre-personal is that side of Awonawilona that is raw, or potential. The gift of Awonawilona is the perpetual potentiality of beings. Its rawness, or uncookedness, is its mystery. As such it is a veritable paradox, just as it is a paradox to claim that being and becoming are all the same. It simply means, however, that there is a point of non-reference to being that can only be attained through the reference points of everydayness.

Native American Art

Native American Music