On Saturday, November 7, the Huhugam Ki Museum celebrated its 28th anniversary with dancers, singers and vendors from various parts of the state.
The event, which began at noon and ended at 6 p.m., was open to the public. The program began with the posting of colors by the American Legion Ira H. Hayes Post 84 from Sacaton. Attendees were welcomed by Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Delbert Ray, Sr. and were given a brief presentation on the history of the museum by Museum Manager Gary Owens.
Vendors brought apparel, jewelry, foods, and arts and crafts for sale. Guests could place an order for tortillas as they were being made at the south end of the museum. Tortilla makers included Josie Enos, Denita Delowe, Katrina Norris and Sharilyn Belone.
At the north end, dancers and singers performed in the grassy area as the crowd looked on. Dance groups included the Gila River Dancers – Vah Ki Dancers, Polacca Dancers, Cibecue Crown Dancers, Dancing by the River and the SRPMIC traditional dancers. Each group spoke briefly to the audience about their history, culture and travel.
“We had a wonderful time,” said Owens. “The crown dancers from Cibecue scared the young kids, and it was nice to host our friends from Polacca. There was a lot of food for everyone, and tortillas went from 11 a.m. to dusk.”
Guests sat back and savored dessert as evening was closing in. Some sat and enjoyed the music while others took a spin on the dance floor as the celebration wrapped with a two-hour performance of chicken-scratch music by the band Southern Scratch.
Owens said, “[It was] an all-around very good day, and we were very pleased to present our O’odham and Piipaash culture for the Community and for the public.”