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Finale for American Indian Week to be held at NMSU Museum

The American Indian Week festivities at New Mexico State University will culminate April 14 and include an arts and crafts expo, Indian taco sale, drum-making demonstration and more. The events will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the public is invited to come learn about and celebrate American Indian cultures.


Sam Suina is shown holding a drum in one hand and hitting it with a mallet in the other.
Sam Suina plays one of his drums during a drum making demonstration at a conference held in Albuquerque. (photo by Jane Moorman)

Bringing their culture to Southern New Mexico during the events is the Jemez Dance Group. The Pueblo of Jemez lies about 55 miles northwest of Albuquerque and while several traditional dances are held year-round, many are not open to the public. Justin McHorse, director of the American Indian Program at NMSU, said this makes their performance a great opportunity for others to come enjoy a cultural experience.

"One of the great things about the finale is that it goes on all day long and there will be several performances by the dancers throughout the day," McHorse said.

Other artists participating in the finale events include Sam Suina from Pueblo de Cochiti who will demonstrate how to make a Cochiti drum. Suina said he learned the art of drum making from his grandfather and enjoys teaching others.

Spencer Nutima also counts his own grandfather as one of his most significant artistic influences. Nutima will demonstrate his skills as a Hopi Katsina doll carver.

"It promises to be a fun day where people can purchase crafts directly from artists and learn about different Native American cultures," said Jennifer Robles, curator of collections and exhibits at the University Museum.

Artist Josie Seymour from Laguna Pueblo and Robert Patricio from Acoma Pueblo will be doing pottery demonstrations inside the museum. Robles said their participation is also in support of an exhibit about Acoma and Laguna pottery that will open at the museum in September.

For a more information about the events contact the American Indian Program at 575-646-4207 or amerind@nmsu.edu or visit http://www.nmsu.edu/museum/american-indian-week-201.html.