Salt River Indian Community Partners With Cave Creek Museum To Celebrate Museum Day On September 29

– By Lyn Hitchon

On Saturday, September 29, thousands of Museums will participate in the free national Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, but for Cave Creek Museum, the day will stand out as more than a chance for the public to preview exhibits prior to its official season opening on October 3. That’s because this year’s event will feature revered guests from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community who will conduct demonstrations and help the Museum educate guests about their rich culture and history which dates back to the ancient Hohokam as part of the Museum’s new Archaeology exhibit. The first 100 visitors to the Museum will receive a special gift to celebrate the event.

“We are deeply honored to host this special event and to receive the support of the Salt River Indian Community,” says Evelyn Johnson, Cave Creek Museum’s executive director. “Our team of Archaeology volunteers has been working to create a new exhibit ever since they visited the Huhugam Ki Museum at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in 2011.”

Cave Creek Museum credits tribal members for helping them conceptualize and build the new Archaeology exhibit, which consists of an introductory panel, a time line, and sections devoted to traditional structures (including models), food processing and preparation, and clothing. Included in the clothing is a beautiful hand beaded Maricopa cape.

“Several people were instrumental in guiding us, including Huhugam Ki Museum director Gary Owens and Steve Hoza who loaned us pottery from his personal collection,” says Sue Mueller, committee member and Museum Board member. “It has been a true collaborative effort and we’re very excited to unveil the exhibit to the public.”

Along with Mueller, the team of Museum Archaeology volunteers includes board member Mary Kearney, Alan Troxel and Nancy Zeno.

The celebration takes place from 1-4:30pm followed by a special pre-season member’s reception from 4:30-7pm. During the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, guests can view Cave Creek Museum’s new and permanent indoor and outdoor exhibits, including an historic Stamp Mill dating back to 1880. The afternoon will be filled with basketry, pottery, beadwork, shell etching and traditional food cooking demonstrations. In addition, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place with Museum staff and members of the Salt River Indian Community.

Cave Creek Museum is located at 6140 Skyline Drive, in Cave Creek. To download free tickets to the September 29 Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, visit For more information or to become a member of the Museum, call 480.488.2764 or visit

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