The 130,000 square feet of the Heard Museum in Phoenix houses many treasures that in their combination give one a feel for how the Southwest was settled by its first nations and how these traditions have evolved to today.
There are three tours daily that are included in the admission fee, each 45 minutes long, and in that short time frame the tours are extremely thorough in unveiling the collection’s key treasures and providing a narrative about Native American life in the Southwest.
Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and more—we see the artifacts of various tribes and learn how these were integral to each culture.
The katsina doll collection should not be missed. These dolls are given to Hopi girls at various stages of their life, each bearing an important message or lesson.
We learn how rainbow symbols of water are not surprisingly Navajo symbols of protection in the desert clime. We also learn how the dragon fly image came to be incorporated into designs for similar reasons.
We un-learn the myth that the Hohokam Tribe had disappeared as many in Scottsdale will tell you. (Rather they split up into smaller tribes that are still with us today.)
To find out more about Heard Museum events and exhibits call 602 252 8848 or visit the Heard Museum website.
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Photos: Craig Smith of Heard Museum, unless othewise indicated