Pueblo: Zuni Pueblo

Daryl Shack“I am Daryl Shack, Sr. and my wife, Shelley and I have two wonderful children, Darral Hope and Daryl, Jr. Our home is located on the site of the former Zuni village, Halona wa (which means (Red Ant Hill.) My family is heavily involved with the Ant Medicine Fraternity and my upbringing has always been hard-line traditional. My father is a kiva leader, a mudhead leader, a medicine man and rain priest. We are regarded as traditionalists and I, too, am a kiva member and rain priest.

I’ve been carving for several years now. Initially, it began as a means to make extra money for remodeling my home during my stint as “Shalako Priest”. But now the passion to create the next best piece drives me and my wife, Shelley, is my biggest fan. I prefer to do bears, but I also carve other animals as well. I tend to use any rock I can get my hands on provided it is eye-catching. I like to make people happy. Recently a man walking by my booth at a show stopped, looked at my work and darted straight toward me. He said, “How much for that bear? It smiled at me!”

I have danced all my life and this has kept me in tune with Zuni and all the cycles we go through. My interest in dancing has also given me an opportunity to travel the world. The largest crowd I’ve performed for was in Papua New Guinea. Over 200,000 people cheered while I performed the Buffalo Dance. It was awesome! I’ve visited nine different countries in SE Asia as well as other countries in Europe.

I also enjoy playing basketball, listening to all kinds of music, art and looking at Dowa Yalanne (Corn Mountain) as much as I can. Our family still farms in Ojo Caliente as our ancestors have done for eons. Having strong traditional ties to my community and having been exposed to the outside world give me a good insight to everything around us.

I hope this gives you an idea of who I am. I know my animals carry my spirit, too, and I’m proud of the work I am able to produce. Thank you and E lah’kwa.”

Adapted from information provided by Daryl to Zuni Spirits in Grapeland, Texas.