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“Must see when visiting zuni pueblo”
Review of Spanish Church

Ranked #3 of 7 things to do in Zuni
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Attraction details
Owner description: Church decorated with elaborate murals depicting traditional Zuni dancers.
Reviewed 6 June 2015

The zuni murals in this church are spectacular and must not be missed!! The best way to enter the church to book an informative tour with the visitor's center which includes a walking tour of the pueblo. I also recommend before going to look on utube to a 1/2 documentary on the artist Seowtewa to prepar you for the remarkable work and his life.

Thank westerntraveler2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"visitors' center"
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"structural issues"
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"our tour guide"
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"walls"
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"space"
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"murals"
in 7 reviews
"pueblo"
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"restoration"
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"heart"
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11 - 15 of 25 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2015

This tour is best if Ken Seowtewa is giving it. Ken is the muralist who has worked on the church murals for 40 years with is father Alex who passed away last year. Ken very personal take on the church history and the murals is inspiring. This project is his families ongoing project.

Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2015

We made special trip to Zuni yesterday because we had been there a number of times starting about 25 years ago and were fortunate to be abel to watch the mural painter who had dedicated his life to painting the murals on the side walls of this church. When we tried to go last year, we learned that one must have a reservation for a tour to visit the church and all tours the day we were there were sold out. Yesterday we made reservations for a tour today at !0:00 and Gloria was our wonderful guide. We spent more than an hour in the church while Gloria told us basic information and was kind enough to answer questions from the 4 of us on our tour. It was cold today and we were all REALLY cold by the time we left the church and could sit in the sun for a bit. There is a lot of history and culture in the church that has trouble remaining sound. There are water problems especially on the north wall where the plaster on which the mural is painted is falling off the wall.
One must be respectful of the Zuni spiritualism and customs; it is their way of life and they wish to maintain it in their own way. No photos are allowed unless you purchase a camera tag and even then I don't believe that you are allowed to photograph the murals - be sure to ask.

Thank carefree85377
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2014

We went off the main road quite a ways to see the old Spanish church. I would not recommend taking your time nor your money. The rather unfriendly guides present a dismissive overview of the church. It is obviously not kept up and the disrepair is a commentary of their view of the oppression from those years. The inside is painted with Zuni religious paintings, but the guides are not allowed to talk about them. There is little historical information available, and little talk of everyday life or the benefits of this tiny town. The jewelry shops are good nearby

1  Thank IwillTakeYouPlaces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 July 2014

The Zuni Pueblo has a glossy brochure that you can pick up at other destinations in New Mexico, and a website, both of which suggest that you will be welcome, and that you can take an interesting and informative tour. I took the $10 tour of the church (operated from the Visitor Center) in early July 2014, and discovered that it's much more complicated than the advertising suggests. The impression that I got from my experience is that the Zunis are conflicted about how much they want outside visitors. Their marketing materials suggest that they do want tourists. However, as I learned from the tour guide, there are many Zunis who want to keep their culture (including their pueblo) quite private.

The tour of the church was advertised as being 45 minutes. For the first 30 minutes, the guide answered many questions posed by members of my tour group - but offered almost no prepared material. At the end of the tour I actually had to ask when the church was built, as that was never mentioned. After the other group members' questions were done - to repeat, that was about 30 minutes into the 45 minute tour - the guide started doing things with her cell phone - an indication, I suppose, that the tour was over? The first 30 minutes were inside the church. After that, we were offered the opportunity to walk around the outside of the church, but the stares from the local residents gathered nearby, watching us, made me feel uncomfortable.

I don't mind it that a people, such as the Zunis, would prefer that outsiders stay away. That's perfectly OK, and their right. But if that's the case, they shouldn't advertise tours and charge money for them. If a tour is to be offered, it should be genuinely enthusiastic, not half-hearted like this one, making the visitors just feel embarrassed.

I would add that after the tour I went to the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center, which was quite a contrast. The staff there were * very welcoming * and I found the exhibits quite informative - I learned a lot and gained a greater appreciation for the Zuni there.
My suggestion: if you go at all (and only go if it's on your way), head for the Museum, and don't bother with the paid tour.

Also: I found the folks at Paywa's Zuni Bread to be very hospitable - I even got a personal tour of the oven area, roaring wood fire and all, with a full explanation of how the bread was made. Do pay a visit to them (check in advance which days they are open!).

On the other hand - do be aware that there are those in the community who are not eager to see tourists, so act accordingly. Don't even think of taking photographs.

5  Thank FlamingoJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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