THE COOPERATIVE ZUNI.
The Zuni of New Mexico are a placid people in an emotionally undisturbed world. The child is warmly welcomed, treated with tender fondness, and receives a great deal of loving attention. Responsibility for child care is diffuse; a child will be helped or corrected by any adult present. Faced with a united front of adults, children rarely misbehave, and may be scolded but are very rarely punished. Shame is a most important control and is most often aroused by embarrassment in the presence of others. It is the opinions of others, more than conscience, which controls behavior among the Zuni. Fighting and aggressive behavior are severely disapproved and Zuni arc taught to control their tempers at an early age, Overt quarreling is almost unknown. For example, one wife became weary’ of her husband’s many amours. “So,” she said, “I didn’t wash his clothes. Then he knew that Knew that everyone knew, and he stopped going with that girl:” [Benedict, 1934, p. 108]. Without a word, the issue was settled. Zuni values stress homonym, .cooperativeness, and absence of competitiveness, aggressiveness, or.acquisitiveness. Immoderate of, any form is scorned, and alcohol used to be rejected because it encouraged immoderate behavior. (This control has weakened, and alcoholism is now a problem.) Property is valued for direct use but not for prestige or power. While Zuni do not lack ambition, they gain power through their knowledge of the rituals, songs, and fetishes. A “poor” man is not one without property but one without ceremonial resources and connections.
Ceremonial ism saturates every aspect of Zuni life. While surrounded by supernatural powers, these are seen as usually helpful
beings who like people to be happy. Witch- _ craft is present and is seen as the primary . cause of death and other troubles. Witch trials are brutal and can be followed by execution, but are more commonly followed by humiliation and ostracism. The most dreadful of rumors.is to be suspected of being a witch. Any peculiar or aggressive behavior may arouse such suspicions, while conspicuous conduct or wealth may attract the attention and arouse the jealousy of witches. Yet Zuni life is not dominated by witchcraft as among the Dobuans. Worship is a dominant activity. Priestly magic centers upon weather control, human fertility, and healing ceremonies. Success’ comes from an exact following of the rituals, giving a sense of security and of control over the environment. Cooperation, moderation, and lack of individualism are carried into all Zuni behavior. Personal possessions are unimportant and are readily lent to others. The members of the matrimonial household work together as a group, and the crops are stored in a common storehouse. One works for the good of the group not for personal glory. Leadership roles are seldom sought but must be forced upon One. Issues and disagreements are normally settled not by appeal to authority, by power display, or by confrontational debate but by long, patient discussion. A simple majority decision does not settle a matter comfortably; consensus is necessary and unanimous agreement is desired. The normal personality among the stands in stark contrast to that of the buns. Where the Dobuan is suspicious and distrustful, the Zuni is confident and trusting; where the Dobuan is apprehensive and insecure, the Zuni is secure and serene typical Zuni has a yielding dispo itioi and is generous, polite, and cooperative. The Zuni are unthinkingly and habitually conformist, for to be noticeably different is something which makes the individual and the group very uneasy Apparently the serves to control behavior without the sense of sin and the guilt complexes found in many societies, including our own.