The Native American Zuni tribe revered its people with traits of both genders. One such person, We'wha, was welcomed as a diplomat in Washington, D.C. in 1886. Heralded as the Zuni "Princess," no one knew she was actually a man.
We'wha's visit to the nation's capital was a diplomatic coup for the Zuni Nation, since they feared U.S. domination. But six years later, enraged by interference in their culture, the Zuni battled with U.S. troops. Zuni leaders were arrested, and We'wha was imprisoned for a month. Four years later, she died at the age of 49.
The Zuni Nation viewed We'wha's death as a calamity inflicted through witchcraft by the U.S. government. With that charge, the U.S. viciously attacked the Zuni to establish its authority over the Zuni Nation, once and for all.
This Rainbow Minute was read by Tall Feathers.
“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.