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AV Indian Museum hosts yearly celebration this month


California State Parks will host the annual American Indian Celebration on Oct. 19-20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park (SHP), 15701 E. Avenue M, in Lancaster.

The celebration will include a dance arena featuring various Native American dancers, traditional Chumash stories and arts and craft displays. It begins at 11 a.m. Oct. 19 with a blessing by Chumash/Tataviam elder Ted Garcia. The dance arena will feature Buffalo Creek, a Northern Style drum group from the Los Angeles and Temecula area led by Brendon Youngbear Urdanivia (Navajo/Tewa). Throughout the day, the dance area activities will rotate between native dancers with music by Buffalo Creek, hoop dancing by Sage Romero (Piute/Taos Pueblo) and Aztec culture and dancing with Danza Azteca Xochipilli.

The museum will be open and staffed with museum docents. Ted and Dennis Garcia (Chumash/Tataviam) will share traditional Chumash stories in the native plant garden outside Joshua Cottage. Hands-on activities include working with clay and pounding acorns and pine nuts at the touch table exhibit in Joshua Cottage.

Flint knapper Mike Thompson will demonstrate how to make arrowheads. Torres Martinez Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will provide information about their organization.

The two-day event will feature Native artists selling jewelry, beadwork, gourd art, paintings and crafts. Artists at the event include Cecelia Begay (Navajo), Cathy Bellas (Shoshone), Circling Hawk Creations (Yokuts), Danza Axteca Xochipilli (Aztec), Judy Einboden (Panamanian), Rowan Harrison (Navajo/Pueblo of Isleta), Keith LongFeather (Cherokee), Ester Lugo (Yaqui), Maria Martinez (Yaqui), Connie Marie (Yaqui), Marc and Matt McMasters (Cherokee/Creek), Sage Romero (Piute/Taos Pueblo) and Ana Tachyn-Crisol (Cherokee). Visitors can also purchase Cecelia Begay’s Indian tacos and fry bread.

Admission to the event is $8 for adults (cash only) and children ages 12 and under free. Parking is free. Native dancers are encouraged to join and should contact the museum at (661) 946-3055 prior to October 19 for complimentary admission.

The Antelope Valley Indian Museum SHP contains the combined collections of initial owner Howard Arden Edwards and subsequent owner Grace Oliver. The museum exhibits more than 3,000 rare objects from the Antelope Valley, California Coast, Great Basin and the Southwest. The Antelope Valley was an important four-way trade route at least 4,000 years ago. The trade route enriched the material and social resources to Antelope Valley residents, allowing large villages to develop near the valley’s springs.

The event is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum. Pets are not allowed at the event. For more information, call the museum at (661) 946-3055 (711 TTY relay service), or visit our website at, or follow on Facebook at