Traditional Pai Arts and Crafts Demonstration at Montezuma Castle

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Date: June 9, 2014
Contact: Visitor Center, 928-567-3322 x221


National Park ServiceNews Release

For Immediate Release – June 9, 2014
Caleb Kesler, Chief Ranger, MOCA/TUZI, 928-567-3322 x227

Traditional Pai Arts and Crafts Demonstration at Montezuma Castle

CAMP VERDE, Ariz. – Cultural specialists from the Paipai and Cucapá tribes of northern Baja California will demonstrate the making of pottery, basketry, agave fiber cordage, bows and arrows, and other traditional arts at Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ., Thursday June 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Paipai and Cucapá are related through ancient ties of language, kinship connections, and cultural traditions to the Yavapai, Havasupai, and Hualapai people of central and northwestern Arizona. The group of traditional artists is traveling from northern Mexico to attend the annual "Gathering of the Pais" in Prescott, AZ., and will also spend the week teaching classes in their Native language and culture to members of the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe and the Hualapai Nation. The Yavapai Prescott Indian tribe is sponsoring the Pai gathering and cultural exchange.

Paipai and Cucapá artists from the mountainous regions of northern Baja California continue to practice many Pai traditional lifeways and on June 19 will share these arts with the public, according to Michael Wilken-Robertson, a professor at California State University, San Marcos.

"For thousands of years before the US and Mexico even existed, native peoples of the Southwest and northwestern Mexico have shared deep ties of culture and trade. Ancient stories tell of a group of Pai that migrated south into what is now Baja California. Now some members of that group—the Paipai—are being reunited with their northern relatives, bringing with them a marvelous gift—the knowledge of parts of Pai culture that were missing," he explained. An anthropologist and ethnographer, Prof. Wilken-Robertson has over 35 years' experience recording stories, traditions, and the language of the native peoples of Baja California, and he will be on hand along with archaeologist Sue Wade and interpreter Gerardo Chavez, to answer questions and assist with translation and discussion. 

Several renowned potters from the historic village and former mission site of Santa Catarina will demonstrate paddle and anvil ceramics. Artists include Tirsa Flores Castro, Teresa Castro Albañez, Daria Mariscal Aguiar, Gloria Regino Arballo, and Arlette Ceseña Casillas. An extra highlight will be demonstrations by Cucapá (Cocopah) singer and gourd rattle artist Alonso Pesado Majaquez and Paipai bow and arrow maker Adán Arenivar Salgado.

Regular admission fees will apply at Montezuma Castle: $5 per adult for those 16 and over with no charge for anyone 15 and under. All federal recreation passes are also accepted. For more information, call (928) 567-3322, extension zero.



Last updated: February 24, 2015

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