On my recent trip to Denver, I spent a couple hours at the History Colorado Center museum. They had a mix of long-term and temporary exhibits to visit. Unfortunately, I was too early for the Sand Creek Massacre exhibit that began on November 19. As I write about Colorado pioneers, I find many connections to that event.
Because I live in southwestern Colorado, two exhibits that resonated with me were “Borderlands” and the “Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History” exhibit. The Borderlands exhibit is excellent for understanding the melding of cultures from the time of Spanish conquest up to the present. It does not gloss over conflicts and enslavement of Native Americans and others.
Though we have a Ute museum not far from my home, the History Colorado exhibit had a broader view. The Ute nation is comprised of twelve different bands that originally occupied area in what are now nine different states, centered on Colorado and Utah. Today they have two small reservations in Colorado and one in Utah. I learned more about their traditional culture, and their views on the treaties with the United States government.
A fascinating temporary exhibit is “Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects.” Each item selected had a story to tell about state history, right up to recent times.
I highly recommend a visit to History Colorado to learn more about this Rocky Mountain state (of mind).
Feature image:John Denver’s special edition Yamaha guitar