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Scottsdale, Ariz., blends past and present by celebrating the culture and tradition of the Southwest’s indigenous Native American peoples. Visitors can learn about the first people to cultivate the Sonoran Desert by taking a tour of Pueblo Grande Museum Archeological Park, located at the site of a 1,500-year-old Hohokam village. Attractions include the ruins of a ceremonial platform, an excavated ball court, two full-scale reproductions of prehistoric homes and some of the last remaining intact Hohokam irrigation canals.
Talking Stick: A Cultural and Entertainment Destination Area offers an exploration of Native American song and dance culture at Talking Stick Resort, featuring ceremonial performances by local Native American dance company Yellow Bird Productions. The resort offers performances every Friday and Saturday night for a firsthand look at traditional dances. Talking Stick Resort is also home to a permanent exhibition of historic photographs, as well as a cultural center showcasing pottery and artwork.
Other regional options for learning include Heard Museum, which is housing two new exhibits on American Indian code talkers from Oct. 27 – March 3, or the eleventh season of Native Trails, featuring the song, dance and attire of Southwestern tribes. Free performances take place most Thursdays and Saturdays at Scottsdale Civic Center Park through April.