LANCASTER, Calif. – The Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park will host once again the annual American Indian Celebration on October 20 and 21, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The celebration will include a dance arena featuring various Native American dancers, traditional Chumash stories, and arts and craft displays.
Michael Runningwind (Seneca/Chiricahua Apache) returns as this year’s Master of Ceremonies and will share his knowledge with visitors as he announces the dances. The dance arena will feature the Buffalo Creek, a Northern Style drum group from the Los Angeles and Temecula area led by Brendon Youngbear Urdanivia (Navajo/Tewa).
The museum will be open and staffed with museum docents. Hands-on activities include working with clay and pounding acorns and pine nuts at the touch table exhibit in Joshua Cottage.
The celebration kicks off at 11:00 on Saturday, with a blessing by Ted and Dennis Garcia. Following the blessing, there will be a brief memorial recognition for Edra Moore, the museum’s first curator, who passed away in May 2018.
Throughout the day, the dance area activities will rotate between native dancers with music by Buffalo Creek, traditional Chumash stories told by Ted and Dennis Garcia, hoop dancing by Sage Romero (Piute/Taos Pueblo), and Aztec culture and dancing with Danza Azteca Xochipilli.
Flint knapper Mike Thompson will demonstrate how to make arrowheads. Torres Martinez Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the California Native Vote Project, California Rural Indian Health Board, American Native Yonutenen Association, and Seven Fires Corporation will provide information about their services.
Visitors can purchase Cecelia Begay’s Indian tacos and fry bread. Native artists will sell jewelry, beadwork, gourd art, paintings, and crafts at the event. Artists at the event include Cecelia Begay (Navajo), Circling Hawk Creations (Yokuts), Danza Axteca Xochipilli (Aztec), Judy Einboden (Panamanian), Michelle Hart, Keith LongFeather (Cherokee), Ester Lugo (Yaqui), Maria Martinez (Yaqui), Connie Marie (Yaqui), Marc and Matt McMasters (Cherokee/Creek), Sage Romero (Piute/Taos Pueblo), Ana Tachyn-Crisol (Cherokee), and Michael Chas Williams (Wichita).
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum SHP contains the combined collections of Edwards and subsequent owner Grace Oliver. The museum exhibits over 3,000 rare objects from the Antelope Valley, California coast, Great Basin, and the Southwest. The Antelope Valley was an important four-way trade route at least 4,000 years ago. The trade route enriched the material and social resources to Antelope Valley residents, allowing large villages to develop near the valley’s springs.
Admission to the event is $8 for adults (cash only) with children age 12 and under free. Parking is free. Native dancers are encouraged to join and should contact the museum at 661-946-3055 prior to October 19 for complementary admission.
Event: Annual American Indian Celebration
Time and Date: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., October 20 and 21, 2018
Tickets: $8 for adults (cash only). Kids 12 and under are free.
Location: 15701 East Ave. M, Lancaster.
Directions: From the 14 Freeway in Lancaster, go east on Avenue K to 150th Street East. Turn right and go south for two miles to Avenue M. Turn left and go east on Avenue M for 1 mile to the museum.
The event is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum. Pets are not allowed at the event. For more information, phone the museum at (661) 946-3055 (711 TTY relay service), or visit our website at www.avim.parks.ca.gov. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AVIndianMuseum.
Photo Credit: ANTELOPE VALLEY INDIAN MUSEUM