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Koshare Indian Museum, La Junta

#108 of 268 in Museums in Colorado
The Koshare Indian Museum is a registered site of the Colorado Historical Society in La Junta, Colorado. The building, located on the Otero Junior College campus, is a tri-level museum with an attached kiva that is built with the largest self-supporting log roof in the world. The building was built in 1949.
The museum features works of Pueblo and Plains tribal members.
The museum also facilitates Boy Scouts traveling to Philmont Ranch by providing museum discounts, as well as hostel stays for visiting Boy Scout troops.
Koshare Indian Dancers are members of Boy Scout Troop 232 in the Rocky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America, located in La Junta, Colorado. They have been performing their interpretations of Native American dance since 1933. In addition to participating in regular Scouting activities, such as camping, merit badge projects, and community service, Koshares create a dance outfit, including leatherwork and beading, based upon their own historical research. They travel around the country and perform traditional Plains and Pueblo Native American ceremonial dances. They also perform 50–60 Summer and Winter Ceremonial shows, annually, at their kiva located at the Koshare Indian Museum in La Junta. The Koshares have performed in 47 states.
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Koshare Indian Museum Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
77 reviews
  • A surprisingly well-curated museum filled with impressive murals, Western art and historic and contemporary artifacts from Plains and Pueblo Indians, all centered around a Scoutmaster's vision. We...  more »
  • What a wonderful little museum dedicated to the local Boy Scout troop. Great collection of artifacts and paintings. Even a very nice gift shop. Don’t miss the collection downstairs  more »
  • Awesome way to show the history. Visit when nearby is a must for old west enthusiasts.
  • I have mixed feelings, and the thought of white kids performing sacred dances of someone else’s culture does make me uncomfortable, so I declined to see it. They have the most amazing kachina collection I have ever seen. It would have been nice to get more history on some of these pieces—some only have basic descriptions. However, I did walk away from this museum with new knowledge of the Koshare trickster, so I can’t say I didn’t learn anything—but for all the research they claim to have made, I think I ended up Googling for more background. They sell artwork that appears to be made by local tribes, but they also sell basic tourist items. They don’t allow photography, and that’s disappointing, because I would have liked to share what I learned with others. So much of this culture has been buried, ignored, and twisted, there’s no need to selfishly guard it behind white walls. It’s like claiming ownership of something you didn’t even make.

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