The Malki Museum and Fiesta
by Paula Araos
|On May 28th, 2000, we attended The Malki Indian Fiesta and Barbeque. It was an all-day Indian fiesta that commenced at 10am at the Malki Museum on the Morongo Reservation.|
The Malki Museum
|The binders and their contents of pamphlets and pictures revealed the history of the museum and the purpose of the annual barbeque. The pictures and relatively small collection filling the museum helped to fill in the gaps to our questions about the people and development of the reservation. The Malki Museum was founded in 1964 and began the barbeque in order, "to provide the Indians of the area with their own festive day to call their own and of which they can be a part." (Malki Museum pamphlet) I also learned that "Morongo" is not the original name of the reservation, it was "Malki." "Morongo" is a word of Serrano origin, taken from the name of the Serrano people's early leader, John Morongo, who was an active force on the reservation around the turn of the century. The reservation was renamed "Morongo" by the federal government. I just assumed that Morongo was the name of the tribe all along. Even though it may just be a name, this made me realize the power of the government and it could so easily overlook the importance of culture and heritage. I was also taken aback by the beautiful baskets with their detail and display of talent. It made me sad to think that because of the decimation of the their tribe, hardly anyone is left to pass on the knowledge of this part of their culture.|
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