Sharing Colorado’s Native American Heritage

Article-powwowWith over 50 of the nation’s award winning Native American artists showcasing their pottery, jewelry, and artwork, you can spend the whole weekend at the Tesoro Annual Indian Market and Powwow. The festival celebrates its 13th year and takes place on Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th.

Set in beautiful Morrison, Colorado, the Festival is easily accessible from downtown Denver, Lakewood, Englewood, or Littleton. In addition to the crafts for show and sale, the festival features dancer exhibitions, drummer competitions, and a veteran honor ceremony. Tesoro’s Indian Market and Powwow has grown each year to include more and more performers and artists from Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Although Native Americans once composed a majority of the population in Colorado, they now only make up about 1.2% of the state’s total population. This fact makes the remembrance and preservation of the Native American heritage more important now than ever before.

The festival kicks off both days at 10:00am with a Gourd Dance and a ceremonial entrance. Through planned and impromptu demonstrations, Native American artists will share their arts and crafts with visitors and respected experts will judge art submitted in the festival. An inter-tribal contest Powwow will take place in the valley below The Fort each day. Dancers and drummers will share their heritage through competitions of Traditional, Shawl, Fancy, Grass and Jingle dancing.

There are nine contest categories for several men’s and women’s age groups, with prize money ranging from $25 to $200. Adult admission to the event is $6, but seniors get in for $3 and children under 12 are free. The festival organizers suggest bringing your own chairs and sun protection, since the event takes place outdoors. This event is family-friendly, open to the public, and parking is free.

To learn more about this and other similar events, visit the Tesoro Cultural Center website or contact the program director, Carolyn Doran at 303-839-1671. The event’s venue, The Fort, is a historic replica and true celebration of the West, complete with Southwestern décor, native foods, and local wines. During your visit to Morrison, you can also take a short drive to Red Rocks State Park and Amphitheater to check out one of most amazing views that Colorado has to offer.