Zuni Pueblo consisting of approximately 12,000 people is located in the northwestern part of New Mexico. The pueblo is about 35 miles south of Gallup, NM and 150 miles west of Albuquerque, NM. The reservation, covering 418,304 acres, just rests on the western border of New Mexico.
The ancient homelands of the Zunis are along the middle reaches of the Zuni River where their cultural ancestors lived for centuries. Near the settlements and villages left by the ancient people, the Zuni Indians built compact villages of multi-storied houses. These were the towns seen and lived by Coronado and his men and called them the "Seven Cities" in the land of Cibola. The mythical Seven Cities of Cibola (Spanish word for "buffalo") lured Coronado to the southwest in 1540 in a treasure quest. Unfortunately, with the exception of the village of Zuni, all those sites were abandoned long ago.
For the last three hundred years, most of the Indians had lived in a single village, the Pueblo of Zuni. Within the boundaries often small, rather cramped reservation are smaller farming villages at Pescado, Nutria, and Ojo Caliente, which were established probably in the eighteenth century but which in more recent years have been occupied only during the time of planting and harvest. Beyond the boundaries of the reservation, there are ancient sites and areas, sacred points and shrines, and places of pilgrimage central to Zuni life and history.