New Year, New Beginning

Operational Twenty Stamp Mill

Maintaining a blog is hard work. Oh sure, I can hear you weeping rivers of tears for me.

For those of you that follow me, I pity your poor soul. You will notice the changes. You will especially realize that many years of posts have disappeared without a trace.  It was time for housecleaning. I mean really, many of the posts were sub-par anyway.

AJ Mounted Rangers with the Superstitions as the perfect backdrop

The old layout was boring me. I needed a reason to revisit the blog, to add new content. Limitations in the old layout was more than enough excuse to rewrite history.  And Heritage Days at the Superstition Museum provided me with ideal new content.

San Carlos Apache bow and arrow dance

The Superstition Mountain Museum hosts Heritage days annually. The high point, at least for me, are the Yellow Bird Dancers  from the San Carlos Reservation. Authentic costumes and dances, and a great education on Apache history and folklore. Yeah, I know, that was not a real sentence. This is my prerogative as a writer. After all, you have to break a few rules every now and then.

 

I count some San Carlos Apaches as friends. You will not find a more patriotic people, despite every good reason not to be so. Native Americans represent the largest group of volunteers for the armed services. And every Indian veteran is proud to have served.

The Yellow Bird Dancers from San Carlos reservation

However, to this day there is resentment towards white eyes. “White eyes” is a derogatory term.  It is akin to calling a black person “nigger”.  However, I have yet to meet an Apache that is overtly racist. They are proud of their culture, and happy that once again they are allowed to practice their culture.

 

For years, Indians were not allowed to perform their ceremonial and sacred dances.  Do some research on your own about the Ghost Dance.  The Cultural Center at the entrance of the San Carlos Reservation proclaims that it is the first concentration camp in the world still in existence today.  This sentiment is prevalent on the res. If you ever have the privilege to attend an Apache sacred ceremony on the res, keep this in mind and don’t be a tourist.

You might notice I switch back and forth between the terms “Indian” and “Native American” in my description. Both can be sensed as derogatory by members of the native tribes.  Indian is a description forced upon them by white man, who believed Manifest Destiny was an excuse to conquer and assimilate. Our ancestors were the Borg of their day.

“Native American” is another term penned by guilt ridden progressives. I have discussed this in depth with my drinking buddy, Nate, a Muskogee. He says “I am not from India!” when called Indian. He also says that anyone born on American soil is a native American. The only respectful thing is to refer to them by their tribe.  After all, America is merely a name given to this land by Europeans.

But enough about ancient history!

The Superstition Mountain Museum is a non-profit organization that has never taken any government grants of funds. It is supported by sales from the gift shop, donations, and smaller grants from other organizations and businesses.

Superstition Museum Railroad

It is an arm of the Superstition Historical Society. Their goal is to preserve and share the history of the Superstitions. That history includes facts and lore of the Lost Dutchman; gold mining in the Superstitions; history of the tribes that roamed these lands long before white man ever stepped foot here; film and motion picture history; and local history.

The museum is open to the public seven days a week, and closed only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The only admission charged (other than for special events) is to the museum itself located inside the main building. Access to the grounds is free.

The “Elvis Chapel” was featured in the movie Charro, the only movie Elvis starred in that did not include him singing and playing guitar. The chapel and the barn on the grounds are the only surviving buildings from Apacheland Movie Studios.

The operational twenty stamp mill was completely restored by volunteers. During snowbird season, the stamp mill runs for demonstrations on weekends.

The large scale model railroad was designed and is maintained by volunteers, and runs daily. It represents Arizona throughout its history as a territory and then a state.

Well, it seems I have gone off on several tangents. I apologize. I promise to stick to the subject on my subsequent articles. Until then, have yourself a beer and relax.

 

 

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