Arizona State Museum - ASM, Tucson
This museum has an extraordinary collection of ceramic works and pottery from Ancestral Pueblan times up to the 21st century produced by Native Americans in Arizona.I spent several hours on a very hot late June day studying these works.I also appreciated its small,but fine collection of paintings by Southwestern Native American painters such as;Harrison Begay,Michael Chiago("Rain Dance"),Pablita Velarde,and Solomon McCombs depicting Native American traditions.There were also interesting and comprehensive displays relating to the following Native American groups;Seri,Tarahumara,Yaqui,Tohono O'Oodham.Southern Paiute,Navajo,and Hopi.This museum is open from 10 to 5 from Monday through Saturday;it is closed on Sundays.
Located northeast of the Main Gate of the University of Arizona campus lies the Arizona State Museum exhibits pottery, artifacts, and contemporary objects while presenting important facts about the ways of life, including trading and commerce, of prehistoric and modern Native Americans. The museum also has a permanent exhibit of the American Indians of the Southwest “Path of Life” which is a must see.
The permanent exhibit of the Ancient Architecture of the southwest has photographic display of ancient archeological ruins, photos taken by photographers like Leroy DeJolie. The great display of pottery work as you enter the museum is without doubt one of the best I have ever seen. The display is so detailed that one can hear the songs of another time if standing very still. It captures the mystery of a lost world. The pottery project is exciting to explore. On November 19/2010, the Museum had an exhibit of Mexican history from the borderlands and the outer rim of the Mesoamerican in Pre-Columbian periods.
These displays show some of the handicrafts associated with the area Native American tribes. Photo 1 shows some of the area mines where they find the turquoise for their art. Photo 2 shows some of the jewelry. Silver has long been a revered metal by the Navajo for use in jewelry making. Atsidi Chon is believed to be the first silversmith to combine the use of silver and turquoise. Photo 3 shows some Navajo Concha Belts. Photo 4 shows a mural depicting the Hopi emerging into the 4th World. Photo 5 shows a violin made from an Agave stalk.
One of the displays at the museum, along with being the symbol for the exhibit is the Native American Wheel of Life. symbol of life as a wheel, found in many faiths. In some religions the wheel stands for the whole cycle, beginning with birth, the rise to the height of a person's power, and the decline again until death is reached. In other faiths the wheel can also stand for the rise and fall of fortunes at different times in life.
The Arizona State Museum is home to one of the best collections of artifacts from the indigenous cultures in the Southwest US and Northern Mexico. It is also the oldest and largest anthropology museum in the region. In addition to the interesting exhibits, the museum has a renowned library for those wishing to do more thorough research. The Arizona State Museum is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate. Stop here and at least see the world's largest collection of Southwest Indian Pottery. Admission is free; but there is a recommended donation of $3. Hours are 10AM to 5PM Monday through Saturday and 12PM to 5PM Sunday. The museum is closed on State and National holidays. Located on University Boulevard just inside the campus.
The Arizona State Museum has displays on the seven or so regional native groups - from the Navajo to the O'odham. It is informative - and was useful for the rest of our trip to Arizona, when we visited quite a few historic native sites and remains.
The museum is on the grounds of the Arizona State Museum, so parking is a pain. We had to buy a chocolate bar to get the 8 quarters we needed to park at a meter for 2 hours. Entry to the museum is by donation, suggested donation was $3 each.
Here you can see some Native American Carvings and Pottery. This museum has the largest collection os Southwest Native Armerican Pottery in the world.