It’s Your Turn: A Home Studio

Now that you have explored and learned about the Native people in the Southwest in the HOME exhibit, take some time to expand on your learning with these fun hands-on activities, which will help to deepen your understanding of what you saw. We also invite you to revisit the HOME exhibit after you complete your activities so you can see which parts of the exhibit inspired these activities! It’s your turn now to have some fun and make some things you can take back to your HOME!

Zuni Jewelry

Perhaps the most beautiful characteristics of Zuni jewelry are the many colors and designs that spark imagination and tell stories. The materials that you will most commonly see in Zuni jewelry are turquoise, white or brown shell, coral and jet. The small pieces are set into a silver setting or background, like a mosaic. These materials come from many places far and wide; the Zuni people acquired them through trading and purchase. What is a mosaic? A mosaic is a larger pattern or picture created from small pieces of colored materials—in this case, turquoise, shell, coral and jet—applied to a setting or background surface. The Zuni people are famous for mastering this technique in their jewelry. It's Your Turn: This coloring activity is based on two Zuni bracelet designs. One bracelet design features a male Rainbow figure wearing a cloud headdress, and the other features a Sun Face design.

 Butterfly and Dragonfly

What is the one element that we simply cannot live without (aside from air)? Water! Water is the most precious resource we have, and the importance of water is visible in nearly every item you can see in the HOME exhibit. Living in a desert, we are especially aware of the importance of water. Tribes in the Southwest decorate their pottery with images of insects associated with pure water, like the butterfly and dragonfly. Many Native people believe that surrounding yourself with images of water and insects that represent water will make water plentiful around you—meaning drought will be prevented and rain will come to water the crops. It's Your Turn: Create your own butterfly and dragonfly! Find a good place for them in your house—maybe on your front door. Putting them on your refrigerator will remind you to drink plenty of water each day to stay hydrated. In the bathroom, they will remind you to save water and turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth! Let the butterfly and dragonfly remind you how to respect our most precious natural resource.

Apache Saddle Bag

Generations ago when the Apache People moved around the Desert Southwest they used this special bag that would be draped on the backsides of the horses. What makes saddlebags even more fascinating is that they have individual compartments for different items to be stored. For example, in an old-style saddlebag, one side could hold food items, such as dried meat or bread, and the other side could hold extra clothing and blankets. It's Your Turn: Color and fill your bag with the activities that you finish in this gallery!

Where We Live

The place we call “home” is one of the most important places for anyone. In the HOME exhibit, you will see that each Indian tribe has a different style of home, depending on where they live. The Pueblo people of New Mexico and Hopi people in Arizona live in homes made of adobe (mud bricks) that keep them cool in the summer. In the past, Apache people used homes called “wickiups” (WIK-ee-ups) or “gowa” (GO-uh) that could be put up and taken down while traveling. The feeling of family is so close to the feeling of home that the word “gowa” also means “family” in Apache. Today, family continues to be a central foundation of what HOME means to all American Indians! It's Your Turn: Create a 3-D version of a traditional Navajo-style home, called a “hogan” (HOE-gahn). Be sure to visit the hogan featured in the HOME exhibit! Touch the log walls and compare them to the image that you will color and cut out.

Calendar Stick

Before the days of Internet blogs and even handwritten personal diaries, the O’otham people made calendar sticks to record and share the important events that occurred each year in their communities. Like each individual, each calendar stick is unique. Traditionally, a calendar stick is made from the long rib of a saguaro cactus. It's Your Turn: Visitors can use the four designs selected to create their own calendar stick that describes important events for the part year. Be sure to look for the calendar stick in the HOME exhibit that records the sighting of a large meteor back in 1859!


When an American Indian baby is born, it may sleep in a protective baby carrier called a cradleboard. Styles of cradleboard are different from tribe to tribe. Everything about the construction and representation of the cradleboard is designed for the protection and well-being of the baby. It's Your Turn: Many young Navajo and Apache children love to play with dolls and wrap them up in mini cradleboards. This is a great way to practice and learn how to be great big brothers and sisters! Try wrapping one of the baby dolls in a cradleboard.
In the Sandra Day O’Connor Gallery. Free with museum admission.

Changing Exhibits

Personal Journeys: American Indian Landscapes

On display through September 28, 2016

Personal Journeys:American Indian Landscapes will explore the unique relationship American Indians have with land and how that has been expressed in art. Native artists use a variety of media and processes to express their stories, individual creations built on layers of cultural teachings, historical events, personal experiences and spiritual insights. Land as a subject matter ...

Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings

On display through October 31, 2016

This exhibit displays a complete body of work by one of the 20th century’s most significant artists. Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings features all 23 first editions of the Santa Clara Pueblo artist’s collection of copper plate etchings completed by the artist from 1980 to 1984. This is the first time this body of work ...

Over the Edge: Fred Harvey at the Grand Canyon and in the Great Southwest

On display through December 31, 2017

Deepen your knowledge of the Grand Canyon by making this exhibit your first stop on the way! The Santa Fe Railway and its concessionaire, the Fred Harvey Company, were masters at creating a vision of the Southwest. Jointly, their ephemeral publications promoting the merits of the “Indian Southwest” number in the tens of thousands. Their ...

Signature Exhibits

HOME: Native People in the Southwest

Learn about the Native peoples of the Southwest and hear them tell their stories in their own words. In addition to cultural objects, the exhibit showcases the traditions of Native peoples of the past and present and examines their definition of home. Don't miss the Navajo hogan, the Pueblo horno or the 400 katsina dolls on display!

Ongoing Exhibits

The Third Dimension: Sculptural Stories in Stone and Bronze

Some of the most exciting and moving American Indian fine art of the 20th and 21st centuries has been created by sculptors. The Heard Museum is fortunate recently to have been given works by leading American Indian sculptors such as Allan Houser and John Hoover Gifts also include sculpture by the next generation of accomplished ...

It’s Your Turn: A Home Studio

Now that you have explored and learned about the Native people in the Southwest in the HOME exhibit, take some time to expand on your learning with these fun hands-on activities, which will help to deepen your understanding of what you saw. We also invite you to revisit the HOME exhibit after you complete your ...

Remembering Our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience

Few people realize that American Indians were forced by the federal government to attend residential boarding schools located hundreds of miles from home. This powerful exhibit immerses visitors into the story, which draws on first-person recollections, memorabilia and the writings and art of four generations of Indian school alumni.

Around the World: The Heard Museum Collection

Tour the global span of the Heard Museum’s permanent collection. This exhibit focuses on more than 75 years of collecting and preserving Native art and cultures in the Southwest and beyond. Starting with examples of work collected by museum founders Dwight and Maie Heard, and including donations by artists and collectors such as Byron Harvey and Richard Faletti, the exhibit features objects and artwork from indigenous ...

American Indian Veterans National Memorial

Service and sacrifice spanning more than three centuries are honored in the first and only known national memorial to American Indian veterans of many conflicts. The Memorial, located outside the Collector’s Room of the Heard Museum Shop, consists of several sizable sculptures by acclaimed Native artists Chiricahua Apache sculptor Allan Houser (1914-1994) and Michael Naranjo ...

Museum Collections

Explore the museum’s collections, from how they began to how they’ve grown over eight decades. See collections in the Heard home and early floorplans for the museum.

Browse Now →

Online Collections

Below are examples of objects that are in the Masterworks Arts and Artists Series in the Heard Museum Digital Library.  Learn more about the Digital Library →

Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw), “New Mexico Sunset” 1978. Heard Museum Purchase, IAC2390.

Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw) “New Mexico Sunset” 1978. Heard Museum Purchase, IAC2390.

Annie Antone (Tohono O’odham), polychrome olla, 2001. Heard Museum Purchase from the artist at the 2001 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, 4106-1.

Annie Antone (Tohono O’odham) polychrome olla, 2001. Heard Museum Purchase from the artist at the 2001 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, 4106-1.


The Heard Museum does not perform appraisals; however, the Heard Museum Council, one of our volunteer organizations, holds a semi-annual Appraisal Day event where people can bring their items to be appraised for a fee. Appraisal days occur in the spring and fall. Please check our calendar of events page for upcoming dates.