August 18, 2007

Explore Navajo Interactive Museum

New museum presents Navajo history, cultureThe museum is just north of the intersection of U.S. 160 and Arizona 264. It is in two parts. The main building resembles a cross between a traditional Navajo hogan and a geodesic dome, and covers about 7,000 square feet. Across the plaza, the Navajo Code Talkers Memorial Museum occupies space in the rear of the Tuba City Trading Post.

Inside the main structure, visitors are exposed to a wide range of Navajo artifacts, traditions and beliefs. A log hogan sits in the center and placards explain that it's a female hogan, once a dwelling but now used primarily for ceremonies. Murals, photographs, television screens and written words surround the hogan and combine to explain the Navajo story. One area tells of the Long Walk, in which thousands of Navajos were forced off their land in the 1860s, then confined at Fort Sumner, N.M., for more than four years before they were allowed to return. A television near an exhibit of Navajo weaving explains why sheep are so important to the people.
Comment:  We passed by this museum on our recent trip through Indian country. I hadn't heard of it before, so I thought it might be new.

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