Mesa Verde Country® Hosts 12th Annual Indian Arts and Culture Festival
S. archaeological center hosts renown Indian market, Navajo rug auction, featured artists --
Cortez, Colo. â The 12th annual Indian Arts and Culture Festival will take place May 26-June 3, in southwest Colorado's Mesa Verde Country®.
Featured as a âmust-attend festivalâ in Patricia Schultz's best-seller, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, the celebration begins on Memorial Day Weekend, during Colorado's Archaeology Month, with events in Mesa Verde National Park. A juried Indian art market, featuring world-renowned artists from Pueblo, Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Ute and Apache tribes, and a Navajo rug seminar and auction highlight the weekend.
The festival, which has received the Colorado Governor's Award for "Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative,â also features Native American dancers and cultural programs, as well as special âfestival onlyâ archaeological tours. The Anasazi Heritage Center will offer behind-the-scenes collection tours, and the âPieces of the Puzzle: New Perspectives on the Hohokamâ exhibit. The center serves as the visitor center and research center for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument..
National park, Tribal Park tours
Mesa Verde National Park, named the best national park for families by Disney FamilyFun, will offer tours of cliff dwellings throughout the festival, and host glass-blowing demonstrations by award-winning Hopi glass artist Ramson Lomatewama. The nation's seventh-oldest park is home to the intricately built cliff dwellings of the area's original inhabitants, the Ancestral Puebloans, in 1200-1300 A.D.
Guides from Ute Mountain Tribal Park will offer special archaeological tours featuring pictographs and petrographs during the festival. Ute Mountain Tribal Park is an area set aside by the Ute Mountain Utes â one of the seven original Ute bands that inhabited Colorado â to preserve Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) architecture. Ute tour guides interpret Ute Indian history, pictographs, geological land formations, and ancestral Pueblo petroglyphs, artifacts, and dwellings.
Native American featured artists
The 2012 festival's featured artists are jewelry designers Joe and Le Jeune Chavez from Santo Domingo Pueblo. Joe's works involve hand-polishing sterling silver to a mirror-like surface, blending cut-out designs, overlay technique and texture-on-overlay. Finished pieces combine traditional Pueblo culture with contemporary innovation. Le Jeune designs intricate beadwork with glass beads, Swarovski crystals, and rare antique beads. Finished pieces vary in style from contemporary to Victorian to traditional native. âBeads on Silverâ combined-work pieces include earrings, bracelets, concho belts, necklaces, rings and belt buckles.
The Chavezes' works have appeared at the Heard Museum (Phoenix), the Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis), Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.), the Red Earth Native American Art Show (Oklahoma City), and the Santa Fe (New Mexico) Indian Market.
Celebrating Our Song
âThe festival's theme, âCelebrating Our Song,' highlights the deeper understanding of the archaeology and Native American culture that have made our area a trading center and merging point for many cultures over the past 2,000 years,â says Lynn Dyer, executive director of Mesa Verde Country®, the southwest Colorado travel destination surrounding Mesa Verde National Park. âThere is no better place or time to celebrate the rich fabric and heritage we all share here in southwest Colorado than during May, Archaeology Month in Colorado.â
The Indian Arts and Culture Festival is hosted by the southwest Colorado communities of Cortez, Dolores, Mancos and Towaco, and Mesa Verde National Park. It is supported in part by a âPreserve Americaâ grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
For a full schedule of festival events, see www.mesaverdecountry.com.
Mesa Verde Country® (www.mesaverdecountry.com)
Mesa Verde Country® is the southwest Colorado travel destination surrounding Mesa Verde National Park. Visitors to the area will find â along with the park â two national scenic byways, one national forest, two national monuments, one tribal park and the largest archaeological reserve in the United States. The towns of Cortez, Dolores, Mancos and Towaoc, and the entire Mesa Verde Country area, comprise the archaeological center of America.
Contacts: Lynn Dyer, Mesa Verde Country® Visitor Information Bureau, 800-530-2998, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, 970-887-2536, email@example.com