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Friday, February 22, 2013

U.S. Archaeological Center Hosts Indian Arts Festival

The renowned Indian Arts and Culture Festival will take place May 25 to June 2 in southwest Colorado’s Mesa Verde Country® amid ancient cliff dwellings, pinion pines, and sandstone canyon walls.

The Festival is featured as a “must-attend festival” in Patricia Schultz's best-seller, 1000 Places to See Before You Die.

The festival begins on Memorial Day Weekend, during Colorado’s Archaeology Month, with events in Mesa Verde National Park. A juried Indian art market, featuring artists from Pueblo, Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Ute and Apache tribes, and a Navajo rug seminar and auction highlight the weekend. This year’s featured artist is award-winning Navajo painter Clifford Brycelea.

The festival will celebrate the official grand opening of the new Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center on May 23. The park, the Nation’s seventh-oldest, is home to the artifacts and intricately built cliff dwellings of the area’s original inhabitants, the Ancestral Puebloans. Mesa Verde National Park will offer their regular tours of the cliff dwellings throughout the Indian Arts and Culture Festival.

Guides from Ute Mountain Tribal Park will offer special archaeological tours, available only during the festival, featuring pictographs and petroglyphs and archaeological sites not visited during regular tours. Ute tour guides interpret Ute Indian history, pictographs, geological land formations, and ancestral Pueblo petroglyphs, artifacts, and dwellings.

“The Indian Arts and Culture Festival provides an extraordinary opportunity to discover time-honored traditions, explore native cultures and witness first-hand the artistic continuum of America’s indigenous peoples,” says Lynn Dyer, executive director of Mesa Verde Country, the southwest Colorado travel destination surrounding Mesa Verde National Park. “It is a rare chance to go behind the scenes and off-the-beaten path to experience the traditions of the region’s first inhabitants.”

The Indian Arts and Culture Festival is hosted by the southwest Colorado communities of Cortez, Dolores, Mancos, and Towaoc, and their partners at Mesa Verde National Park – the entire area comprising the archaeological center of America.

For a full schedule of Festival events, see www.mesaverdecountry.com.

For more information about top events in Colorado take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Colorado