By Virgil Wyaco
Transcribed and Edited by J. A. Jones
Historical Sketch by Carroll L. Riley
Here Virgil Wyaco, a Zuni Indian elder and leader, recounts his life in both the traditional Zuni and modern Anglo worlds. As a boy, Wyaco learned Zuni ways from his family and the English language and vocational skills in Anglo schools. Earning a Bronze Star during World War Two, he killed German soldiers in combat and participated in the summary execution of SS Guards at Dachau. His post war career included college at the University of New Mexico, federal employment, marriage to a Cherokee woman, and family life in the suburbs. Later, Wyaco returned to Zuni as postmaster and married a traditional Zuni woman. His election to the Zuni tribal council in 1970 quickly established him as an influential leader. His varied career demonstrates the heartbreak and rewards of a Native American life bridging two cultures in the twentieth century.
Virgil Wyaco was a retired postmaster and in Zuni, New Mexico. J.A. Jones is a novelist and anthropologist in Las Vegas, Mexico. Carroll L. Riley is an anthropologist in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
University of New Mexico Press