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A Ringing in the Ears: The Martyrdom, Subsequent Death, and Reinscription of Fray Pedro de Ayala



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Riding south from Halona or present-day Zuni Pueblo in western New Mexico, Fray Juan Galdo came across a scene of destruction and chaos. The Purísima Concepción mission of Hawikku Pueblo was burned and looted, still smoldering along with other houses in the ancestral Zuni town. In its churchyard, the standing cross had been thrown down, covering the battered and naked body of the resident priest, Pedro de Ayala. What had happened here, and what could Galdo tell his superiors in Santo Domingo and Mexico City? This talk explores the 1672 destruction of the Hawikku mission as a microhistory in three acts, seeking to understand the contestation of colonialism within a moment of violence. Spanish, Zuni, and Apache histories converge in a story that sheds light on the perceptions of Indigenous people and Franciscan missionaries, as well as the meaning of early New Mexico missions as material environments and in memory. Find out what happened when Hawikku’s bell rang its last.

Klinton Burgio-Ericson is an artist, art historian, and educator. He is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in Latinx Studies at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM, after earning his Ph. D. in art history from UNC-Chapel Hill, and serving as Post-Doctoral Fellow in Southwestern Archaeology and Museum Studies at the University of New Mexico. His interdisciplinary research explores the diverse agencies of historical actors in the colonial Americas, and their lasting relevance to anthropology, museums, and Native communities


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Publication Date

Fall 11-17-2021


Archeology, Museum Studies, US Southwest, Zuni


Arts and Humanities

A Ringing in the Ears: The Martyrdom, Subsequent Death, and Reinscription of Fray Pedro de Ayala