The Museum of Northern Arizona serves as a repository for more than 5 million Native American artifacts, natural science specimens and fine art pieces from the Colorado Plateau, which covers 130,000 square miles from Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon north into Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
The museum features the permanent anthropology exhibit “Peoples of the Colorado Plateau,” with baskets, kachina dolls, jewelry, textiles from the tribes and sandals, arrow points, potsherds and other artifacts. Other standing displays examine the biology and geology of the region and fine art ranging from painting to sculpture. The museum also offers special exhibits and a Hopi kiva.
The museum features nine permanent exhibits including:
- Geology gallery – this gallery focuses on the Earth with displays of rock layers, life-forms and environments of 4.5 billion years ago. You will also find, dinosaurs bones, fossils and meteorites.
- Archaeology gallery – learn about the prehistoric people’s that populated this region. The display includes a kiva mural fragment from the ancient Hopi village of Awatori.
- Ethnology gallery – this display highlights the native cultures of the region including the Hopi, Pai, Navajo, and Zuni.
- Kiva gallery – this area displays a modern kiva mural, Hopi weavings, katsina dolls and other Native American artifacts.
- Navajo textiles gallery – over 900 weavings detail the constantly changing examples of native Navajo textiles.
- Babbitt gallery – this display contains ceramics from a variety of Native American people’s. you will find Zuni, Navajo, Hopi and Rico grande jewelry along with Navajo pottery.
- Discovery room – this is a hands-on area where kids can play with toys enjoy games and the puppet show.
The museum was founded in 1928 by zoologist Dr. Harold S. Colton and artist Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton to preserve the history and cultures of northern Arizona, and many of its 52 buildings are on the National Histori Registry. The museum sits beside a small canyon amid the pines in north Flagstaff.
The museum is well-known for its festivals celebrating the arts and culture of the region’s tribes – the Zuni in May, the Hopi in July and the Navajo in August – plus its Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos festival in October. The festivals feature traditional dances and foods and fine arts and crafts.
The museum’s shop sells Navajo blankets, Navajo and Hopi jewelry, Hopi kachina dolls, pottery from the Hopi and Pueblo tribes, and other Native American art, plus books and posters from the region.
3101 North Fort Valley Road
Flagstaff, AZ 86001-8348