Thursday, January 29, 2015

Arizona Indian Festival and Native American Cultural Venues

Marily posted about many wonderful events that are going on throughout the valley in conjunction with the Super Bowl.  One more unique and free event is the Arizona Indian Festival taking place today, tomorrow and Saturday, January 29th - 31st at Scottsdale Civic Center Park.  This event includes recreation of authentic traditional villages representing Arizona tribes, story-telling, social dances, authentic American Indian food, live entertainment, arts and crafts market and more.   Go here for more information.  My family is excited to attend and hopefully we will see you there!

One fact that sets Arizona apart from the rest of the country is that we have the second largest American Indian population in the United States. Arizona is home to 21 different and unique federally recognized tribes.  Over a quarter of the land in Arizona is preserved as Native American reservations.   I feel a great connection to Arizona because my family has lived here for several generations, since the 1800's.  But that is nothing compared to some of Arizona's Native American tribes who descend from Arizona's first inhabitants: the Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon people.   Their Arizona roots date back thousands of years. 

It seems as though anywhere you go, there are pieces of Arizona's rich native history if you are willing to look.  In addition to the fun event we posted about above, we have compiled a list of just some of the museums and places to explore here in Arizona that will help you gain a truer appreciation for Arizona's native people. 

The Huhugam Ki Museum on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.  Explore the unique heritage of the O'odham and Piipaash tribes.  Open Monday - Friday 9:30-4:30 PM.  Free.

The Heard Museum in Phoenix .  "Dedicated to the sensitive and accurate portrayal of Native arts and cultures, the Heard is an institution that successfully combines the stories of American Indian people from a personal perspective with the beauty of art." Go here for hours and admission.  Free on First Fridays except March. 

Mesa Grande Cultural Park in Mesa.  Explore the Mesa Grand temple mound constructed in AD 1100 - AD 1400 by the Akimel O'odham (Pima) people.  Go here for hours and cost.

Casa Grande Ruins - part of the National Park Service.  Includes a visitor center.  Go here for fees and additional information. 

Arizona State Museum located on the U of A campus in Tucson.  This is the oldest and largest anthropology museum in the Southwest and is dedicated to exploring and preserving the history of the people from the southwest. Go here for hours and cost.  17 and under and free.

Park of the canals - a free public park in the City of Mesa where you can play on modern playground equipment and also walk near and explore the ancient canals of the Hohokam people. 

Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix Walk the 2/3 mile trail that explores the 1,500 year old archaeological site from the Hohokam people or simply explore the indoor museum.  Includes a hands on children's gallery.  Go here for hours and admission.  Age 17 and under are free on Sundays. 

Navajo Nation Museum located in Window Rock (northern Arizona).   

Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff - This museums celebrates the rich history of the Colorado Plateau.  From the museum explore the nature trails that lead along the rim or meander the canyon bottom of the Rio de Flag.  Some of the trails have a narrated guide.  Go here for hours and admission.

While in Flagstaff, you might as well explore Wupatki National Monument that we posted about here.

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