Koshare Museum Hosting Santa Fe Trail Events and Concert


Description: The Koshare Museum of La Junta, Colorado is home to a fabulous collection of Southwest art and artifacts associated with First Americans, it has been a principal tourist attraction since its inception over 80 years ago.

KOSHARE MUSEUM HOSTING SANTA FE TRAIL EVENTS AND CONCERT
 
by Ed Stafford
 
     When the Santa Fe Trail Association holds its biannual national / international symposium Sept. 23 - 26 in La Junta, CO, one of the principal hosts is the Koshare Museum located at 115 W. 18th St. in La Junta. Home to a fabulous collection of Southwest art and artifacts associated with First Americans, it has been a principal tourist attraction since its inception over 80 years ago.
 
     The museum and the Otero Junior College campus are built on top of the swales of the Old Santa Fe Trail.
 
     Begun in 1930 by a troop of Boy Scouts who called themselves Koshares, the museum's mission has continued to be preservation and protection of invaluable items they have collected as they have traveled the United States and the world, performing authentic, approved expressions of Southwest cultures.
 
     Members of the Santa Fe Trail Association are urged to take advantage of this resource, noon to 4 p.m. each day of the symposium when they are in La Junta.  The museum is located on the Otero Junior College campus a short walk from the college Humanities Center where scholarly lectures on the Trail and sale of Trail-related items by vendors will take place.
 
     A special series of exhibits are being prepared by the museum director, who entered Scouting in 1989 and won his Eagle ranking in 1993.  The Koshare Museum has been the home of Troop 232, which he joined, since the 1930s, when a group of boys fascinated by cultures of First Nation tribes began a thorough study of beadwork, dances, and costumes, and began traveling the American Southwest and Plains, visiting pueblos and reservations to witness firsthand what claimed their interest.  Led by their first Scoutmaster James F. "Buck" Burshears, they made a name for themselves because of their honest desire to preserve, through practice, this knowledge.  
 
     According to the museum director, displays carry the visitor from the importance of the bison to trade among indiginous peoples, from their nomadic lifestyles to the acquisition of horses and the dramatic changes that brought.  There are exhibits of life in childhood, the roles of men and women, and how geography influenced all facets of their lives.
 
     These are colorful displays, rarely seen, with the possibility to view them at such close proximity.  They include Katsina dolls, implements of daily life and war, items of clothing.  There are artworks by all of the original Taos painters, examples of extremely fine rugs, and pottery and basket weaving of superior quality.
 
     Admission to the museum is free to Santa Fe Trail symposium attendees who are wearing their badges.
 
     A special event for the public and Trail members is a concert by Michael Martin Murphy, well-known country-western musician and composer.   He is performing at the Koshare Museum at 7:30 PM on Friday, September 24.  Tickets are available at https://www.outhousetickets.com/Event/18005-Michael_Martin_Murphey_and_the_Santa_Fe_Trail/
 
     The museum is open all day Friday, the day of the Concert.  Daily admission for adults is $5, students 7-17 is $3, and seniors 55+ is $3.
 
     In addition, the museum houses a fine gift shop, where authentic work by modern artisans--jewelry, Katsina dolls, pottery, paintings and prints--are found for sale. This is a site not to be missed.  
 
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