Scottsdale’s Native Roots
Scottsdale is a community that embraces its historic past – and what a bright and interesting history it is! For approximately 12,000 years, much of the Sonoran Desert was home to native peoples like the Hohokam, who are credited for developing the city’s complex canal system.
Today, connecting with Scottsdale’s historic past and diverse present is easy. One of the best ways to get an up-close look at the traditions of these Southwest peoples is through Native Trails. The series of free noontime festivals celebrates its 10th anniversary January 19 – April 14, 2012 and tells stories of Native American cultures through song, dance, art and cuisine.
For year-round celebrations, visit the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch where the highlight of Friday evening performances is the hoop dance, also known as the “dance of life.” The resort’s Native American Learning Center is an ongoing collaborative venture between Native artists, educators and the resort that is designed to provide an environment to engage, educate and entertain visitors on the history, culture and teachings of Native peoples.
And in downtown Phoenix, the acclaimed Heard Museum’s Barry Goldwater Kachina collection is a must-see, along with the museum’s “HOME: Native People in the Southwest” exhibit. The Heard’s satellite facility, Heard Museum North in North Scottsdale, highlights paintings, sculptures, jewelry and pottery in the “Choices and Change: American Indian Artists in the Southwest” gallery.
At the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, you can actually walk through a Hohokam Indian ruin and explore the archaeological site’s interpretive trail. Inside the museum, study reconstructed homes at the Hohokam Houses exhibit and view a recreation of the Hohokam’s canal system.