Thousands of years before Christopher Columbus arrived on the shores of the future United States, humans migrated to North America from Asia via a land bridge connecting the two continents. These people created the Native American culture and history that have developed and flourished in the many years since. And their vibrant, creative, and spiritual lives have influenced and shaped our nation in profound ways. While we can’t begin to do justice to the complexity of their storied and beautiful heritage in a short blog post, we can point out some highlights… of their culture and history, and then encourage you to visit Native American sites for yourself.
From the courage and compassion of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in standing up to the greed of the U.S. Army’s search for gold, to Sequoyah’s ingenuity in creating a writing system for his people, the history of the Native Americans is peopled with fascinating and inspiring characters. And historical sites like the Trail of Tears Memorial and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail speak to the extraordinary heartbreak, resilience, and bravery of the Native American culture, while inviting us to experience greater compassion for them.
The Native American people are also known for their commitment to the arts. In the American Southwest, the Hopi Arts Trail combines the efforts of several Hopi artisans, allowing visitors to engage with the culture in a meaningful way. Sculpture, pottery, and doll carving are just some of the highlights you’ll find here. For even more visual wonders, visit Buffalo Thunder Resort to view a variety of basketry, pottery, mosaics, and more. And of course, check out your destination’s website for specifics on that location’s art offerings – there’s plenty to see!
Visit Oklahoma City in June for the exuberant Red Earth Festival, celebrating Native American visual and performing artistry. Attend Alaska’s annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, which honor Eskimo heritage with feats of strength and skill. And brush up on your hula skills at Hawaii’s Merrie Monarch Festival, while learning about the history of the Pacific Islanders. With these and so many more to choose from, you’re sure to find a festival that is every bit as entertaining as it is educational.
For more information on what kinds of Native American experiences you can expect to find in the United States, contact the experts at Visit USA Parks! Together, we can help you plan your next trip.