The Native American culture is something that deserves to be discovered and celebrated. For centuries, the millions of people already in the Americas long before Christopher Columbus have largely been sidelined or completely ignored, but enthusiasm about the Native American culture has seen resurgence in recent years. In fact, one state and 22 cities in the United States have already recast Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
You don’t have to wait for this day, however, to enjoy and experience the rich and beautiful Native American culture. Here are some ways you can discover this one-of-a-kind culture where the U.S. truly traces its roots from.
- Watch a movie at the American Indian Film Festival
Hollywood films have rarely tackled Native American culture. Luckily, there’s the annual American Indian Film Festival which puts the spotlight on Native American directors and their works that highlight their heritage. This film festival involve screenings, panel discussions and awards ceremonies where Native American actors shine. The film festival this year will happen on November 3 to 11.
- Listen to A Tribe Called Red
Who said Native American culture cannot be modern? The Canadian electronic music group which calls itself “A Tribe Called Red” proves through their music that the Native American culture can be hip. Their songs usually feature a one-of-a-kind mix of hip hop, electronic dance music and powwow singing. The group also often features their fellow Native Americans in their music videos.
- Move to the beat at the Berkeley Indigenous Day Pow Wow
You’ll definitely find a new appreciation for Native American clothing, music and dance when you attend these festivities in Berkeley in California, the first city to hold an Indigenous People’s Day in place of Columbus Day. The atmosphere here is celebratory, with various booths showcasing the quality of Native American products. The events this year are guaranteed to be extra special, because it’s the 25th anniversary of these festivities.
- Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
A good place to start your appreciation tour of Native American cultures is a visit to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, located in Alburquerque in New Mexico. The museum showcases the impressive pottery and other forms of art of the state’s 19 pueblos. There’s also a world-class public library here where you can read up on Native American culture. During the weekends, various Native American cultural groups perform at the plaza. When you get hungry from all these activities, drop by the café to get a taste of authentic Native American food items like bison stew and fry bread.
- Join the Navajo Nation Fair
Where can you see Native American cowboys, beauty queens, dancers and athletes all in one event? This unique blend of people all attend the Navajo Nation Fair, an annual celebration of Native American culture held at Window Rock Arizona. There’s a cultural parade, traditional dancing and singing and even a science fair in this fair. However, one of the highlights of this event is the unique Miss Navajo Nation pageant, where contestants show off their extraordinary talents such as sheep butchering. Yes, you read it right.
- Eat some fry bread.
Want to get an authentic taste of Native American culture? Then you should try some fry bread, a flat dough that has been fried to golden brown perfection. It can be eaten on its own, but is best stuffed with cheese, meat and beans. This humble bread is a showcase of Native American resiliency and creativity, as they used the small rations given to them before to make this food item. The best fry bread is said to be served at the Fry Bread House in Phoenix.
- Appreciate art at the National Museum of the American Indian
If you’re in the urban cities of New York and Washington D.C. and want to get a comprehensive glimpse of the Native American culture, this is the place to go. The museum has a wide collection of art pieces ranging from old jewelry to contemporary art created by Native American artists. One of the most highly-anticipated exhibits to be featured in this museum is called “Americans,” which showcases the profound impact of Native American culture to modern life in the U.S.
- Have a blast from the past at the Petroglyph National Monument.
Way before our current system of writing was developed, Native Americans already had their own way of a written communication, the picture-based petroglyphs. This monument, located on a cliff in Albuquerque, is one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America. Prepare to be amazed at the various figures of animals and humans scratched by Native Americans thousands of years ago on stones to communicate with each other and record history.
- Marvel at the beauty of Taos Pueblo
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is proudly Native American. This five-story adobe residential complex located in Northern New Mexico has been in existence for five centuries. The structure looks like boxes put on top of each other and punched full of square holes, but it is significant to the Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico, as these buildings serve as their residential and ceremonial buildings.
Originally posted 2017-06-26 07:01:22.