American Indians •  Bilingual and Literature

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Journeys Home: Revealing a Zuni-Appalachia Collaboration

Edited by Edward Wemytewa
Edited by Donna Porterfield
Edited by Dudley Cocke

Sixteen hundred miles separate Zuni's Corn Mountain, in western New Mexico, and Appalachia's Pine Mountain, in eastern Kentucky. But both these rural communities are so off the beaten track that they are places where people still tell stories directly to one another. This remarkable book tells the story of how Kentucky's Roadside Theater inspired and then collaborated with Zuni Pueblo's Idiwanan An Chawe (Children of the Middle Place), the first Zuni language theater. Together, the two theater companies created a bilingual play, "Corn Mountain/Pine Mountain: Following the Seasons," which toured nationally. Included in this book, the play uses traditional and original stories, oral histories, humor, music, and dance to celebrate and comment upon two agricultural ways of life that once provided physical and spiritual sustenance for people in Zuni and Appalachia. The Zuni language was exclusively oral until a written form of the language was developed in the 1970s. The Zuni writing in Journeys Home is the most inclusive example of written Zuni extant, and the book, with the accompanying CD, will become a primary text for teaching written Zuni.


Edward Wemytewa, of Zuni, New Mexico, the founding director of Idiwanan An Chawe, is a playwright, performer, and visual artist.

Donna Porterfield is the managing director of Roadside Theater.

Dudley Cocke is the director of Roadside Theater in Norton, Virginia.


"An extraordinary work of art, which builds bridges across this nation while preserving and celebrating the rich heritages on which our country was built. This is simply an excellent play by any measure, one which derives universal humanity from cultural specificity."


David Henry Hwang, Tony Award-winning playwright

"The Zuni-Appalachian collaboration is moving, charming, and, above all, surprising. That two cultures seemingly so disparate could work together with such inventiveness and such trust is a wonderful thing."


Larry McMurtry

Published By Zuni A:shiwi Publishing

11 x 8.5 in. 112 pages Illustrated