The California State Indian Museum is one of the most frequently visited ancient museums in California today. The museum features a wide display of exhibits which illustrate the historical accounts of the early American discoveries. The museum also features a display of pre-historic records of California’s population. During the ancient years, the early California Indian population was 500, 000 prior to the arrival of explorers and historians from Europe.
The Indian Museum is the only museum in the city that displays various Indian cultural items ranging from clothing, beadworks and basketry. The museum currently exhibits special California Indian traditions, which include a cultural showcase of dance and musical numbers. A certain section of the state museum features a display of Indian survival tools such as pump drill, mortar, soap boat brush and pestle. The materials were used for grinding acorn items and making shell beads and Indian accessories.
Located along the intersection of K and 26th streets, the Museum features a current display of contemporary Indian artworks by Harry Fonseca. Many of the artworks are said to be imaginative interpretations of the cultural traditions during the European discovery in California. Fonseca is one of Sacramento’s celebrated artists belonging to the “Maidu” tribe. The Maidu were the first early inhabitants of California. The museum’s basketry exhibit corner recently featured three one millimeter-sized baskets specially designed by Mabel McKay, a well-known basket maker from the “Pomo” tribe.
The state museum is open to public daily except for legal holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year celebrations. The museum serves as the venue for Native American cultural events in Sacramento. The events include the “Annual Indian Arts and Crafts Holiday Fair, “Gathering of Honored Elders,” “Indian Arts And Crafts Market Fair” and “Native American Day.”