|A:shiwi (Zuni) Waffle Garden, 1919 (P11433)|
Spring has certainly sprung in the Washington, DC region over the past week, which brings with it the excitement of longer days of sunshine, the arrival of beautiful blooming flowers and trees, and, after being couped up for so long, the desire to begin work in our yards and gardens for the growing season. The above image shows a group working in a fenced-in waffle garden in Zuni Pueblo in 1919. The waffle gardens, which are divided into sunken depressions like a waffle iron, were utilized to capture and maintain as much moisture as possible and to help maintain warm temperatures during cold night-time temperatures. The image provides a glimpse into the daily activities of Zuni people working together and the preparations taken to prepare and cultivate their gardens for their community. This image was captured by Jesse L. Nusbaum, who was employed by the Museum of the American Indian from 1919-1921 and participated in the Hendricks-Hodge Hawikku expedition (1917-1923) to explore and excavate the historic Zuni village. As you embark on this spring season, enjoy the extended sunshine, blossoming trees, and quality time outside in your yard and garden.
~Jennifer R. O'Neal, NMAI Archive Center