Little wonder then that We'wha became an official Zuñi ambassador. She was the first person in her tribe to travel to Washington D.C. where she gave weaving presentations at the Smithsonian and participated in exhibits and shows at the National Theater. There, she met many politicians, including President Grover Cleveland, whose hand she shook in 1886.
For the most part, We'wha established tender relationships with people outside of her tribe. Even after US government authorities unjustly arrested and imprisoned her on charges of witchcraft, along with five other Zuñi leaders, We'wha continued to work alongside anthropologists and politicians, educating them about Zuñi culture until her untimely death at the age of 47 in 1896.
We’wha is remembered for her generous soul, her community advocacy, artistry, “indomitable will and [...] insatiable thirst for knowledge.” Hers is a legacy of compassion and bridge-building across cultural boundaries. Her work to advance ethical engagement with Native American communities will not soon be forgotten.
We'wha used her unique strengths and personality to bring people and cultures together. That's why she's a Time Traveler Tours #HistoryHero. Many thanks to Justin Hubbell of Rochester, NY, for bringing her to our attention.