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People follow the different information on the puzzle pieces hanging up in the Huhugam Museum during the “Pieces of the Puzzle: A New Perspective on the Hohokam” display opening.

Pieces of the Puzzle-New Perspectives on the Hohokam

By Huhugam Ki Museum Staff
Cultural Resources Department

If you have not yet heard, the Huhugam Ki Museum has a new exhibition that everyone in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is welcome to see.

On Saturday, March 27, the traveling exhibition “Pieces of the Puzzle: A New Perspective on the Hohokam” opened at the museum.

Museum staff put in many hours arranging and installing the exhibition, which was developed by the Center for Desert Archaeology and Pueblo Grande Museum.

In preparation for an opening day filled with activity, museum staff and volunteers placed final touches on the museum and grounds in order to welcome event-goers. Before the museum opened on Saturday, the staff prepared and served a mesquite pancake breakfast. Visitors enjoyed not only the breakfast, but the beautiful morning as well.

Huhugam Ki Museum Manager Gary Owens, Jr. warmly welcomed everyone at 10 a.m., when the museum was officially opened and the anxious crowd made its way indoors. Immediately the museum was filled with the sound of enthusiastic visitors who began to play the video presentations, read the display panels (which were cut into puzzle-piece shapes to fit the theme of the event) and marvel at the pottery displays.

As visitors entered the museum, they were reminded that this exhibition reflects a non-Indian, academic and scientific perspective, and that they should view it as such. Staff members were stationed throughout the museum to answer any questions about the exhibition and how it may have some meaning to the Salt River Community. Among all this is also a display of the Salt River Archaeology Program, which plays an important role in the development of the Community.

While the crowd gathered inside, other events were talking place on the museum grounds. Other local and state museums set up information tables to encourage visitation to their institutions. Community potters displayed, discussed and showcased their unique perspectives on the craft of pottery-making; several of them were able to fire a few of their pieces, and they answered numerous questions and listened to others talk about their experiences with firing pottery.

Discussions among the potters revolved around their own techniques on firing, clay type and paints.

As the day progressed, traditional foods were prepared and served, much to the delight of the crowd, who mingled with one another as they visited the museum displays and talked with the potters.

The exhibition will remain on display for the next year; tours can be arranged for Community members and others by calling the museum’s reception desk during regular business hours. For more information, contact the Huhugam Ki Museum at (480) 362-6320.

Au-Authm Action News Reporter Richie Corrales contributed to this article.

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