I was out looking for a wedding venue for a client when I realized I'd never been to the Heard Museum. It's known for having weddings and the thought of it intrigued me so I pulled into the parking lot to have a look. When I got there I realized it had a story to tell and I wanted to receive it so instead of focusing on the venue I focused on the history and was taught some valuable life lessons.
I realize some of my readers are not in Arizona. However, with the Covid there aren't many places to travel without extreme caution. So, I have been traveling around Arizona to places I've always wanted to go. I am glad I stopped at the Heard Museum. The museum is open Tuesday - Sunday 10am- 4pm. During my visit I learned four things.
1) The museum focuses on American Indian art, culture, advancement and history. I was unaware that Indian's didn't just grow their hair for looks. It is a sign of strength and courage. Back in the 1800's when they were forced to go to "state" schools they were also forced to cut their hair and change their image.
2) Indians were known to speak no less than 3 languages because before the Mormons moved to Arizona, the Indian's helped translate Spanish and English to visitors. This allowed them to have communication for all those passing through.
3) Indians gave up a lot to allow other cultures to reside where they once farmed, lived, and raised their families. I was heart broken visualizing them torn apart and forced to go to "public" schools for the state. Then ripped of their dignity by changing their appearance. Those that didn't comply were forced into prison. This was the place they lived and welcomed others, then became the enemy.
4) American Indians prior to the take over of Mormons and other cultures, made their own clothes, housing, taught their own children and lived life in peace. In realizing the culture and way of life for them it made me question my history, heritage and what my ancestors gave up or created prior to our changes.
The reason this hits home is because it seems that many races have been forced to do things they didn't want to do and lost their culture, history and life meaning behind it. To be honest I didn't realize how much Indian and blacks had in common. There are currently 22 tribes residing in Arizona.
If you ever get a chance to learn more about your history do it. This journey has made me want to learn more about who I am and where I come from. What part of the world was I originated? If you know these answers and had someone share it with you - you're a lucky one. If you ever stop in Arizona or live here take a trip to the Heard Museum.
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