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Zia Pottery – English Pronunciation: “Zee-ah.”
To anyone traveling along the road eighteen miles northwest of Bernalillo, New Mexico, Zia Pueblo is almost invisible. It is situated on a rocky knoll, where it blends into the landscape like a natural feature of the terrain.
For six-hundred-plus years, it has weathered the worst that man and nature could inflict upon it — and it has survived.
Although the Pueblo itself is inconspicuous, its Sun symbol is familiar to all New Mexicans, for it is the official New Mexico State insignia appearing on the state flag and adopted by the New Mexico Legislature in its salute, “I salute the flag of New Mexico, the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.
Zia Pueblo suffered disastrous losses in the Pueblo Revolt. Six-hundred people were killed and additional conflicts lasting for years reduced the population still further.
Prominent among Zia crafts are pottery, unpolished redware with white slip, with decorations in brown or black, which are produced often with a bird motif. The Zia tradition is faithfully adhered to; innovation is avoided. Some Zia painters have achieved recognition for their watercolors.
The traditional language of the Zia Pueblo is Keresan.