Preserving Native American art and cultur, that was the thrust of the Smoki People, citizens from the city of Prescott, Arizona who came together in 1921 while performing a Hopi snake dance. Over the years the members of this group performed Native American rituals and dances in shows and fairgrounds in order to perpetuate the Native American culture as well as present it to other people. While the Smoki People are no more, having been disbanded in the early 1990s, their legacy lives on in the shape of the Smoki Museum.
The Smoki Museum of American Indian Art and Culture can be found in Prescott, Arizona. It was founded in 1935 by the Smoki People and the Civilian Works Administration. Built to resemble a Native American pueblo, the museum is constructed of native stone and wood. The museum’s external appearance really sets the mood for the exhibits inside. Native American tribes featured in the museum include the Hopi, Apache, Sioux, and woodland Indians.
Within the museum, visitors will find a collection of prehistoric and contemporary Native American pottery, jewelry, and stone artifacts, along with a collection of basketry and katsina dolls. There are exhibits of clothing, ornaments, and ceremonial objects which were used by Native American tribes from the area.
Examples of weapons such as bows and arrows can also be found here, as well as models of Native American dwellings and exhibits about the Smoki People’s history. The museum even contains a collection of artist Kate Cory’s photographs, paintings, and documents plus a library full of books on Native American archaeology and ethnography.
Visitors may avail of arts and crafts as well as publications sold by the Museum Trading Post.
The Smoki Museum is open every day except on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Make it a point to visit the museum during a trip to Prescott.