Zuni Ancient Way Fall Arts Market & Traditional Harvest Dance


Last Updated: 5 years

The Zuni Harvest Dance and Ancient Way Fall Arts Market boasts over 15 years of celebrating the fall harvest and promoting world-famous Zuni arts. It continues to attract visitors from around the country and sometimes around the World!

Zuni Harvest Festival Eagle Dance

Zuni Harvest Festival Eagle Dance
Click Image to Enlarge.

WHAT: Zuni Harvest Dance and Ancient Way Fall Arts Market Festival

WHEN: Usually the 2nd Saturday in October – call ahead to confirm date.
October 12, (2019)

WHERE: Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico 

The Zuni Pueblo is nestled in a scenic valley, surrounded by the enchanting mesas, located about 150 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The main reservation, is located in the McKinley and Cibola counties in the western part of New Mexico.


If you are in the Gallup or Albuquerque area, you can reach Zuni from I-40 by taking Route 602 south from Gallup, then turning west on Route 53. You can also take the scenic route from I-40 and Route 53 near Grants, passing the El Malpais National Monument (with the interesting volcanic flow) and by El Morro National Monument.

Cities near Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico

Ramah, New Mexico 20.02 miles NE

Gallup, New Mexico 31.82 miles NE

Churchrock, New Mexico 34.34 miles NE

Church Rock, New Mexico 34.82 miles NE

Saint Michaels, Arizona 41.8 miles NW


The Fall Festival features an arts market, arts demonstrations,  an arts raffle as well as presentations about upcoming arts projects. The annual Zuni Harvest Dance is held in the historic Middle Village. This event alone involves several hundred Zuni community members as well as many visitors to the region.

Zuni Pueblo is the largest of the nineteen New Mexican Pueblos, covering more than 700 square miles and with a population of over 10,000.

Zuni Pueblo was the place of First Contact in the Southwest with the arrival in 1540 of Conquistador Coronado. They  are considered the most traditional of all the New Mexico Pueblos, with a unique language, culture, and history that resulted in part from their geographic isolation.

With perhaps 80% of the workforce involved in making arts, they are indeed an “artist colony.” While farming was once the main economic activity, today the main industry is the production of arts, including inlay silverwork, stone “fetish” carving, and pottery, for which they are world famous.

Most of Zuni’s residents live in the main village of Zuni and the nearby community of Blackrock.


Please be aware that there are restrictions in place for non-Zuni’s wishing to witness their religious activities. (All dances are religious activities.) They ask that visitors respect their cultural privacy by following the appropriate etiquette and guidelines.

In general, photography is forbidden. Ask if and where you can take photos.  Assume that all “cultural” activities within the Pueblo are off-limits to photography, video or audio record or sketch unless specifically informed otherwise. Inquire about guidelines and purchase Photo Permits at the Visitor Center. A Photo Permit is required for ALL photography and recording devices on the Reservation.

Remember to ask permission before photographing people, AND NEVER PHOTOGRAPH ANY RELIGIOUS OR CULTURAL ACTIVITIES!  Violators are subject to Tribal or Federal penalties.

Leave your cell phones turned off or locked up in your car. Do lock your car and keep valuables out of sight. The Pueblo will not be responsible for any theft or injury.

Religious and cultural ceremonies include processions and dances. They are not shows or performances. It is expected that visitors will remain at a distance and be quiet and respectful. Do not clap at the conclusion of ceremonies or dances.

Do not stand in front of elders and participants or block their view of the plaza. Do not interrupt non-dance participants’ concentration by asking questions, talking, or waving to friends. Do not approach to talk to the dancers as they are entering, leaving, or resting near the kiva.

Make sure your children are controlled and respectful.

Pets are NOT allowed in  the historic Middle Village.

Never enter any building, unless clearly marked as Open to the Public, or invited in. For the most part, these are private homes.

Hike only in designated areas (check at Visitor Center) and not around archaeological ruin sites. The removal of artifacts or objects from these areas is a Federal offense.

If offered an invitation to eat, it is rude to refuse the invitation, or to not eat all the food that is offered (much pueblo food is very spicy) if you do accept. It is courteous to accept an invitation to eat, but do not linger at the table because the host may be serving many guests throughout the day. Thank your host and family, but a payment or tip is not appropriate. If they are offering artwork for sale, it is ok to make a purchase.

Remember, all pueblos are sovereign nations that are administered by tribal governments. Failure to abide by guidelines could result in expulsion from the pueblo, a possible fine and/or legal action, and possible closure of a pueblo to all visitors.

Admission to Zuni Middle Village:

$15.00 per person

Other Things to Do in the Area

Check-in at the Visitor Center to obtain current information as well as an orientation to the Pueblo.

Most guided tours require booking at least a week in advance. Ask Visitor Center staff for more information about any of the following:

  • Old Zuni Mission Tour: visit the historic Nuestra Señora (Our Lady of) de Guadalupe mission – ca. 1630 – and world famous murals of Zuni ceremonial figures. (Now temporarily closed due to structural issues.)
  • See the original 1776 San Miguel altar bulto/statue at the Visitor Center!
  • “Middle Village” (Halona Idiwan’a) Walking Tour: experience a sense of the past on a guided tour through this historic residential community and cultural center of the Zuni Tribe.
  • A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center: learn more about A:shiwi/Zuni culture at the community’s own museum, featuring an exhibit on the ancestral village of Hawikku. The museum is free but asks that you leave a donation.
  • Zuni Artist Workshop Tour: gain exclusive access to some of Zuni’s finest artists and learn about traditional Zuni arts from an expert.
  • Archaeological tours: explore the ancestral village of Hawikku (place of first European contact in the Southwest) and Village of the Great Kivas (a Chacoan outlier with nearby rock art) with a knowledgeable guide.
  • Picnicing, hiking, fishing: spend quality time at various outdoor locations; ask Visitor Center staff for details and where to purchase fishing permits.
  • Local Zuni Artists: support Zuni artists directly by shopping at these businesses: Ancient Way Arts Trail (Zuni Sites), Galeria Poblano, Silver Rain Gallery/DY Jewelry, Creative Hands Pottery, Zuni Craftsman’s Cooperative.
  • Trading Posts: visit any of their five local trading posts to discover the best of Zuni arts, learn about the raw materials that go to create arts, support local artists through your purchases.
  • Zuni Pueblo Bread: buy fresh baked traditional breads and see breads being made at B & L Paywa Bakery – Wednesday through Fridays only.

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

A reliable waterhole hidden at the base of a sandstone bluff has made El Morro (the headland) a popular campsite for hundreds of years. Here, Ancestral Puebloans, Spanish and American travelers carved over 2,000 signatures, dates, messages, and petroglyphs.

If you only have an hour or less, you will definitely want to take the Inscription Trail to the pool and past hundreds of Spanish and Anglo inscriptions, as well as pre–historical petroglyphs. It will be easy to see why El Morro was proclaimed a National Monument.

This loop trail is paved, 1/2 mile in length, and wheelchair accessible with assistance. If you have at least 1 1/2 hours, and lots of energy, you can continue past the inscriptions and up to the top of the bluff on the Headland Trail.

This 2 mile loop includes the Inscription Trail, and continues to the top of the bluff. There, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Zuni Mountains, the volcanic craters of the El Malpais area, and the El Morro valley.

A 250 ft. elevation gain and the uneven sandstone surface makes this a slightly strenuous hike. Sturdy walking shoes and water, particularly in the hot summer months, are necessary. Portions or all of the Headland Trail can close due to ice and snow during the winter months (December -April).

Another reward for hiking the Headland Trail is the Ancestral Puebloan ruin, Atsinna, or “place of writings on rock”. Between approximately 1275 to 1350 AD, up to 1500 people lived in this 875 room pueblo.

The location was strategic—it was near the only water source for many miles and located atop a nearly impenetrable bluff. Atsinna was partially excavated in the 1950s and masons and archeologists continue to work towards its stabilization.

Join a ranger guided program to learn more about the history of El Morro.

El Malpais National Monument

The richly diverse volcanic landscape of El Malpais offers solitude, recreation, and discovery. Explore cinder cones, lava tube caves, sandstone bluffs, and hiking trails.

Wildlife abounds in the open grasslands and forests. While some may see a desolate environment, people have been adapting to and living in this extraordinary terrain for generations.

El Malpais offers everything from easy drives, scenic overlooks, and short walks to strenuous trails, caving, and rugged backcountry.

In El Malpais many trails are actually routes marked with cairns. Instead of a well-defined path clearly visible on the landscape, a series of rock piles called cairns are used to trace a route across the land. These routes are very common on lava landscapes, where creating a traditional trail or footpath is impossible because of the extreme nature of the terrain.

Hiking cairned routes requires more attention to navigation. As you travel, make sure you have the next cairn in sight before leaving the one that you are at. Keep your eyes on the land while walking; the uneven nature of the terrain demands that you pay more attention since there is no even surface.

If you want to enjoy the views, stop, get a secure footing, and then look around. Look back frequently to stay familiar with the landscape as it changes.

With a free caving permit and the proper equipment, you can experience the lava tube caves, with their fascinating geology and hidden ice formations.

A free caving permit may be obtained in person at the El Malpais Visitor Center and seasonally at the El Malpais Information Center. Please check the visitor centers’ hours of operation at visitor centers. Individual and group caving permits are only VALID with a cave permit number obtained from a park ranger at a visitor center.

An individual permit application may be completed in advance of your trip and brought to a park ranger at a visitor center to obtain a cave permit number.

Groups of eleven or more need to call 505-876-2783 to reserve a date and time thirty days in advance. Two adult chaperones are required for every eight children in order to obtain a group caving permit.

El Calderon Area

The easiest cave to access, Junction Cave is a great “first cave.”

Xenolith Cave is some of the most challenging, and rewarding cave exploration in the park.

Big Tubes Area

After a rugged hike into the lava flow wilderness, Big Skylight Cave is a grand cave that must be seen to be believed.

Giant Ice Cave has a small floor of ice that lasts year-round at the back of the cave. It is a cool retreat on warm summer days.

Camping / RV Parks / Motels:

The Inn at Halona Bed & Breakfast is uniquely located right in the heart of the Pueblo of Zuni within the Zuni Indian Reservation in Western New Mexico. The Inn at Halona is part of a larger company, Halona Plaza, involving a food store and other services.

The Inn at Halona features a complimentary breakfast with a menu tailored to Guests’ needs, with room service if requested.

Rates vary depending on room, length of stay, number of rooms needed, and number of occupants. Rates start at US$75.00 for a single night/single room/double occupancy (breakfasts included) + Zuni Tribal Sales Tax – 6.5%.  A $10.00 (+ Sales Tax / breakfast included) charge incurs for each extra occupant over 6 yr old.

Special rates for group/qualifying travel organizations are available, as well as for qualifying Government employees on official business.

The Cimarron Rose B&B is a gated mountain retreat on 43 forested acres between Sedona & Santa Fe on Highway 53’s Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway. It is located about 45 miles from the Pueblo of Zuni, and near 28 other tourist destinations.

They offer three suites. Each room has its own kitchen and breakfast is delivered to your suite each morning. Rates vary from $145.00 to $210.00 depending on occupancy and which suite you stay in. This is a non-smoking establishment.

El Morro RV Park & Cabins offers RV Hook-Ups, Tent sites or Cabins. They are pet friendly. Rates vary from $15.00 for tent sites to $99.00 for a 300 sq. foot cabin with 1 queen and 2 twin beds. Located in Ramah, NM near El Morro National Monument ant the Timberlake Road Cliff Dwellings.

Gallup, New Mexico – There are many hotels and other accomodations in the Gallup area.

Vendor Information:

Call (505)782-4481 for vendor information.

More Information:

Pueblo of Zuni
P.O.Box 339
1203B State HWY 53
Zuni, NM 87327
Phone: (505)782-7000