Moab Museum Blog

Exploring the Archeological Significance of the Ancestral Load Basket

January 5, 2022

By: Tara Beresh, Curatorial and Collections Manager If you’re local to Moab or a longtime visitor to the Moab Museum, you may be aware of the renowned “burden” basket—an extraordinary ancestral relic, iconic to the area and sacred to proximate Native groups. The cone-shaped basket is styled to be worn like a backpack, is woven…

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Behind the Front Desk: Get to Know the Guest Services Associates!

December 27, 2021

Tuesday, June 1st marked the first day the redesigned Moab Museum opened its doors to the public. Since then, it’s hosted over 3000 guests, and more than doubled its memberships. These achievements have been in part due to our wonderful staff. Visitors to the museum have been primarily engaged by two of the newest members…

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Carving Katsintithu: Experience a Thriving Tradition at the Moab Museum

November 16, 2021

This winter, the Moab Museum has come alive with color. A wide array of intricately carved and vibrantly painted katsintithu – widely known as “kachina dolls”– are on exhibit through February 2022. The temporary exhibition entitled Hopi Katsina: Evolving Styles, Enduring Meanings, offers a glimpse into the flourishing cultural and creative tradition of Hopi katsintithu…

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Authentic Land Acknowledgement: Are we just checking a box?

October 11, 2021

By: Tara Beresh, Curatorial & Collections Manager “It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need…

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Hands-on History: Middle School Students Explore Atlatl History

October 6, 2021

Grand County Middle School students recently had the opportunity to practice an ancient skill: throwing darts with atlatls. A second class-lever, atlatls are spear-throwers that have helped hunters across the world for many thousands of years. The first atlatls were invented approximately 17,000 to 21,000 years ago. The earliest known atlatl was found in France,…

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Hopi Katsinam

September 20, 2021

By: Tara Beresh, Curatorial & Collections Manager If you live in the Southwest, you’ve likely encountered brightly painted carved figurines in gift shops. You may have even purchased one. To the average non-Native, “kachina dolls” are a beautiful representation of Southwest Native American culture. The human figures, reminiscent of local ancestral rock imagery, has even…

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Interpreting Petroglyphs: Perspectives on Prominent Panels

August 20, 2021

“There’s always variations of understanding of how sites [were] used by Ancestors,” explained Bertram Tsavadawa on a recent summer morning, standing alongside a petroglyph panel near the Colorado River. Tsavadawa, a Hopi guide, belongs to the corn clan from the village of Old Oraibi, 3rd Mesa in Arizona. He joined Don Montoya, a retired archeologist,…

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History Comes to Life through School Programs and Summer Camps

July 7, 2021

Providing educational opportunities for the children of Grand County, Utah has long been an important part of the Museum’s work. This spring, the Museum delivered core curriculum-aligned field trip programs to over 350 Helen M. Knight Elementary School children. These trips, designed in collaboration with teachers to complement each grade level’s subject matter, took students…

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Utah Central Railroad – Construction

Transcontinental Railroad Exhibition on Display at the Moab Museum

June 29, 2021

On May 10, 1869, the Golden Spike was driven into the railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah, completing the once unimaginable rail line that crossed the continent and dramatically shaping America’s history. The Transcontinental Railroad, crossing formidable terrain to link the coasts, was a tremendous engineering achievement and major factor in the nation’s westward expansion. A…

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Fran and Terby Barnes Photo Archive: FAQ

May 18, 2021

The Moab Museum has recently undertaken the digitization of the extensive photo archive of longtime Moabites Fran and Terby Barnes. Curatorial & Collections Manager Tara Beresh addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about Fran and Terby, as well as their archives, now part of the Museum Collection. Who were Fran and Terby Barnes?…

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