Zuni buys sacred land

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ZUNI — A large portion of land in northeastern Arizona that includes part of an ancient Pilgrimage Trail leading to sacred land known as “Zuni Heaven” has been restored to the Zuni Tribe through a historic $8.7 million land purchase.

Several hundred Zuni residents celebrated the land purchase during a signing ceremony that took place in the main plaza in Zuni’s Middle Village on Wednesday morning, Zuni Lt. Gov. Dancy Simplicio said in a telephone interview after the ceremony. With the purchase of a portion of the Hinkson Ranch, which includes land in Arizona and New Mexico, the Zuni Tribe acquired 14,791 acres of private land and also acquired the use of 8,523 acres of Arizona state leased land.

According to tribal officials, the land purchase was financed with gaming revenue from the Zuni Tribe’s gaming transfer agreements with Arizona’s Gila River Indian Community.


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