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Annual Museum of Peoples, Cultures Block Party May 10 to celebrate Kachina tradition

Brigham Young University’s Museum of Peoples and Cultures will host its annual Block Party in honor of Utah Prehistory Week as well as its new exhibit, “Kachinas of the Southwest: Dances, Dolls, and Rain,” Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“With museum tours, face painting, historical demonstrations, food and performances, there is something for everyone at the Block Party,” said Erika Riggs, promotions manager for the museum. “It will be a great way to spend the day with family or friends.”

This event is free and open to the public. The museum, located at 700 N. 100 E. in Provo, has been hosting the event annually since 1993.

"What I like best about the Block Party is that you get hands-on experience with indigenous technologies," said BYU anthropology professor John Clark. "You gain an appreciation of how they lived their lives in ancient times."

Representatives from the Utah State Archeology Society and the Fremont Indian State Park as well as other skilled volunteers will be giving hands-on demonstrations, providing visitors an opportunity to participate and learn more about the lifestyles of ancient cultures.

The booths will include information and activities on:

• Flint knapping (arrowhead making)

• Rock art

• Lace making

• Cordage

• Basketry

• Pottery

• Corn grinding

Other activities — such as petroglyph face painting and an open archeology dig — will be happening all day. There will also be a special dance performance by the Native American performing group Morning Star. Free food will be provided for all visitors.

Complimentary museum tours will be held throughout the day and will include the new exhibition, “Kachinas of the Southwest: Dances, Dolls, and Rain.”

The new display explores the Pueblo people’s Kachina tradition, which is based on their belief in spiritual beings that exist in everything. Although these spirits are represented in various ways, dancing and dolls are the most common forms depicted. The museum displays more than 40 examples of beautifully carved and painted Kachina dolls along with other related artifacts for the public to enjoy. The exhibition also provides an overview of the development of the Kachina tradition.

For more information about the museum, visit

Writer: Erika Riggs


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