California Coast Miwok - “Then and Now”
Tours Available by Appointment During School Year
Our walking tour through the woodlands focuses on how the Miwok People respected, managed and skillfully utilized natural resources for housing, food, clothing, and other activities of daily village life. The Miwok and other Native American Indians are still here. Our museum facilities tour focuses on both ancient and modern Indigenous cultures throughout the Americas. Examples of reconstructed Miwok houses (kotchas) and a willow granary are on site. Students will experience interactive activities such as listening to stories, singing songs, playing games, identifying plants and their usage, and other lively actives such as:
Hoop & Stick - Practice hunting skills by tossing a “spear” through a hoop.
Pump Drills - Learn how to operate the pump drill - used to create shell beads for money & jewelry.
Hands-On Room - Examining and touching animal fur, tule products, musical instruments and viewing a variety of replicas, plus the diorama of large Coast Miwok villages.
$220 Up to 25 students and up to 6 adults including the teacher
$250 26-35 students and up to 8 adults including the teacher
*Note: Classes over 35 students must split into separate tour groups.
Additional Cultural Crafts
An optional add-on to the educational tours is the creation of a cultural craft. Each craft adds additional time and costs $5.00 per student. If time is limited, cultural crafts can be purchased by educators or schools to take away to be constructed on the class' own time. If you are interested in purchasing an additional cultural craft for takeaway, please state so at the time of booking, and we will have them ready when your class arrives for their tour.
Ring & Pin Toy (15 – 20 min)
Native children worldwide use the ring and pin toy for fun and to develop their hand-eye coordination. Students will assemble their own toy using natural materials.
Shell Necklace (30 - 40 min)
Shell necklaces were used as money and adornment. Students will gain a better appreciation of the necessary skills to create shell beads by actually drilling holes into abalone then using dentalium, glass and natural plant fiber to make their own necklace.
Medicine Bags (10 - 15 min)
Medicine Bags are a part of the native culture and worn by some Indigenous People. Plains Indians wrap herbs for healing purposes into soft leather pouches and carry them for medicinal purposes. Students will create their own by filling a small soft leather pouch with white sage and tie it with plant fiber. Later, they will add their own special objects that symbolize their personal wellbeing.
Native Story Telling (15 min) Cost $45
Native American Indian telling in the oral tradition.
"This program is absolutely amazing for classes studying Miwok life. We are comparing contemporary life with traditional living and the hands-on experience is invaluable in making the past come alive. Nicely meshes with the California Common Core objectives!"
– Sarah Voorhies, Reach Program, Sebastopol
"The Museum of the American Indian is essential to bringing to life our state and national heritage. The hands-on components, drilling, spear throwing, listening and learning from our natural surroundings. bring to life American Indian values and culture."
– Ms. Funk, Grant Elementary
"We've been taking our students here for a decade. The opportunity to learn how the people before us lived is invaluable to teachers. The hands-on experience, in nature, brings history to life for our students, encourages integrity while learning about other cultures, creates a new generation of historians who will keep the lessons of our collective past alive."
– Heidi Mattson, The Crowden School