Traditional Stone Bead Manufacturing and Beadwork Demonstrations

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Date: August 5, 2016
Contact: Caleb Kesler, 928-567-5276 x 222

Several programs are scheduled at Montezuma Castle National Monument in commemoration of the National Park Service celebrating its 100th anniversary. From August 25 to August 28, the 421 national parks, monuments and historic sites across the United States will be fee-free in honor of the NPS Centennial.

The continuing legacy of Native arts and crafts will be demonstrated Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  NPS employees and volunteers will showcase the multifaceted process of fashioning stone disc beads and beadwork. Also on display will be a selection of traditional playthings, basketry and artifacts created from plant materials found in northern Arizona.  

Zachary Curcija of Phoenix, who received his Master's degree in anthropology from Northern Arizona University, will demonstrate the complex steps in manufacturing prehistoric-style Southwestern disc beads. Mr. Curcija specializes in argillite bead production and he will also have a display of replica jewelry that would have been familiar to pre-contact residents of Northern Arizona. His thesis research included an assessment of possible bead production techniques used at sites across the Southwest, including Tuzigoot National Monument. 

NPS employees Demetria Grant and Donald McLaughlin will explain the fabrication of the intricate beadwork that became popular when European-made glass and ceramic beads were brought to North America and introduced through trade.  This cross-cultural artistic tradition is practiced by Native American people from all areas of the country, with regional variation in styles and technique. Ms. Grant and Mr. McLaughlin studied beadwork design and fabrication at the Flandreau Indian School in South Dakota.

The Organic Act, signed by President Woodrow Wilson on Aug. 25, 1916, established the National Park Service as an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The NPS system includes 421 areas covering 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Over 20,000 National Park Service employees help create close-to-home recreational and cultural opportunities.

Montezuma Castle is located off Interstate 17, exit 289, at 2800 N. Montezuma Castle Highway. The trail is a 1/3-mile, flat, paved loop that is accessible to wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers. For additional information, call the Montezuma Castle Visitor Center at 928-567-3322, extension 0; find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; or visit


Last updated: August 9, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P. O. Box 219
Camp Verde, AZ 86322


(928) 567-3322 x221

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