Speakers Bureau Topics

This gallery offers a look at the topics presented by the Las Guias Speakers Bureau. Each segment below has an illustration and a brief description of what the topic covers. Think of it as a shopping list you can use to help you choose the presentation you would like to schedule. Individual presentations can also be tailored on request to your particular interest.

Geronimo bustBeyond Geronimo, the Apache Experience
The name “Geronimo” is known internationally as the legendary Apache Warrior, and also as a synonym for anything “Apache.” But few people know the mixed emotions and many perspectives on Geronimo held by Apache people. In this presentation we introduce Apache leaders and attempt to dispel some of the myths surrounding the larger-than-life figure of Geronimo. We also take a look at the iconic imagery of Geronimo and the Apaches in movies and popular culture. We end with a look at how contemporary artists reflect on Apache experiences and are inspired by continuing cultural traditions to tell stories of courage and endurance. This presentation is based on the Heard Museum 2012 Exhibit of the same name.
SB_SW_ArchitectureArchitecture and Pre-History of the Southwest
This presentation provides an overview of the pre-historic people who lived in the environmental zones of the Sonoran Desert, the Uplands, and the Colorado Plateau. It shows their housing, canals, crops, pottery, textiles, and projectile points. This presentation is appropriate for elementary school students.
Arctic Animals
Artic_AnimalsThis presentation is based on the Albrecht collection of Inuit art which features animals of the far north. Animals of the land, sea, and air depicted in drawings, prints, carvings, and textiles are used to tell the story of life in this inhospitable region. Also, there is a section on hunted animals and the one domestic animal of the Arctic, the dog. Several Inuit animal tales are included. One gains an understanding of the importance of animals to the Inuit throughout their history and why they continue to be important to the present.
Native_AmericansArizona’s Native Americans
There are 22 Federally recognized reservations in Arizona. The largest is theNavajo reservation, roughly the sizeof West Virginia. Many people live on reservations and in the same areas as generations before them. We show the history, locations, and some of the traditions, housing, clothing, food, and arts as well as present day occupations of Arizona’s Native peoples.
Beautiful_Resistance_IIBeautiful Resistance II
The style of American Indian painting became popularly identified as “flatstyle,” “studio style,” or “traditional.” The popular subjects or themes centered on tribal cultures, and paintings were produced principally in water-based pigments called gouache and were greatly encouraged by non-Indian collectors, educators, and curators. The works of art in the Heard Museum collection, now numbering over 3,000, are not so much a reflection of a painted past but, rather, a poignant visual diary of human resistance and cultural persistence.
Chocolate,_chile,_CochinealChocolate, Chilies and Cochineal
Chocolate has long been cultivated and used as a drink in South American and Mexico at least since 1900 B.C. Evidence has been found that American Indians drank chocolate from cylinder ceramic jars at Chaco Canyon around 900 A.D. When Spain came to the New World, they discovered chocolate (cacao) and soon a lively trade developed between Europe and the New World. In addition, many new food items were traded to Euope including chilies, potatoes, and tomatoes. Cochineal, a tiny insect indigenous to the America, made a brilliant red dye which was used in historic Navajo textiles and was highly prized in Europe when traded by the Spanish. The dye became the main red wool dye there and was used by painters such as Rubens and Rembrandt.
Commerce_TrailsCommerce Trails in the Southwest: El Camino Real
The tale of the trails starts with the Silk Road, voyages during the Age of Discovery, and the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade. Some of these trade goods wound their way up El Camino Real to supply the Northern frontier. Various Viceroys encouraged exploration to link New Spain’s frontiers in CA, AZ, NM, and TX and to foster economic development through trade. Learn how the Indians, French, and Americans influenced development of the Southwest during the Spanish Colonial Period.
Commerce_Trails_in_SWCommerce Trails in the Southwest: Santa Fe, Chihuahua, Old Spanish
Part II begins in 1821 when Mexico gained its independence from Spain and opened its borders for wagon trains to roll over the Santa Fe Trail.  It connected with the Chihuahua Trail, formerly called El Camino Real, as well as the Old Spanish Trail pushed west to California by the fur trappers.  The Spanish frontiers were finally linked and Santa Fe was their hub.  Meet traders, health seekers, and tourists who traveled these trails and share in their trials and delights along the way.
Contemporary_Amer._Indian_WomenContemporary American Indian Women
The popular idea of the American Indian was created by 19th and early 20th Century writers, artists, and photographers who traveled throughout the United States recording what they believed to be the reality of American Indian life: the glorified brave and the downtrodden woman walking behind her man. The reality was far from this scenario. The lives of women varied from tribe to tribe but generally women had power and authority over their lives. This also gave them a great deal of control within the community. During the 20th and into the 21st Century, the American Indian woman has claimed her place in society in the arts, community, medicine, law, and government. This presentation highlights some of the leaders in their fields.
DineDine’ – The Navajo
The Navajo, who prefer to call themselves the “Dine,” which means the “People,” live on the largest reservation in the United States (more than 15 million acres, about the size of West Virginia) located in northeast Arizona and parts of Utah and New Mexico. We show their history and location and highlight some of the Navajo traditions, housing, clothing, food, and arts and crafts.
Every_PictureEvery Picture Tells A Story
This presentation introduces audiences to Native Americans of the Northwestern United States, Canada, the Colorado Plateau, the Rio Grande River, the Sonoran Desert, the Great Plains, and the Great Lakes. It focuses on the environments of each geographic area and demonstrates how elements of these environments are depicted on objects created by Native Americans or appear on their arts. Thus, whatever is seen on pottery, baskets, and tapestries tells a story about the makers and their environment.
Faces_of_the_PeopleFaces of the People
This presentation focuses on the many ways American Indian artists present themselves in paint, stone, beads, and ceramics. For many it was a way to record the history, religion, customs, and way of life. The presentation also highlights the different phases of American Indian art, from untrained and narrative to University fine art graduates working in contemporary style and media. From these portrayals we can learn about Indians in different parts of the continent including the Pueblos, Navajo, Apache, Sonoran Desert, Northwest Coast/Arctic, and post-modern Indian faces.
FRed_Harvey_CollectionThe Fred Harvey Company Collection
Maie Bartlett and Dwight Heard began collecting American Indian artifacts soon after their move toPhoenix in 1895. They built much of their collection through trading posts as well as puchasing from Indian arts dealers such as the Fred Harvey Company. In 1978, the Heard Museum received a donation from the Fred Harvey Company containing more than 4,000 examples of Western American Indian ceramics, textiles, basketry, beadwork, jewelry, and ethnographic material. The donation was a major addition to the Heard’s collection, not only in terms of its considerable quality but also for extending the collection’s strength in major Southwestern American Indian arts back into the last half of the 19th Century. This presentation shows 80 of these pieces currently on display in the Museum’s permanent exhibit, “Home: Native Peoples in the Southwest.”
Goldwaters_AZGoldwater’s Arizona
Barry Morris Goldwater began photography as a hobby in 1934, producing a massive archive of negatives and film over the length of his lifetime. He donated 950 slides to the Heard Museum. This presentation shows images of the Hopi and Navajo, the Colorado River, and the Grand Canyon.
HOHOKAMThe Hohokam and the O’odham
The prehistoric Hohokam people inhabited the Salt River Valley from about 1 to 1450 AD. The desert tribes who today inhabit the Sonoran Desert are known as the O’odham. This presentation shows some of the history of these two cultures, including the periods, traditions, housing, farming, clothing, food, arts and crafts, and present day occupations of the O’odham.
5_Southwest_tribes 500Home: Native Peoples of the Southwest
Home: Native Peoples of the Southwest is the permanent, signature exhibit of the Heard Museum. Through its great Southwest collections, the Heard tells the individual and collective stories of Indian families and their homelands from their prehistoric and historic pasts through their present and looks forward to their future. Past, present and future merge in the art fence which ushers us into Home.
The Colorado Plateau in northeastern Arizona is a land of high open mesas, rocky canyons, and a few small streams. Ancestors of the Hopi people have been living here for hundreds of years. Many Hopi still reside in villages atop three mesas in northeastern Arizona on the Hopi reservation, over 1.5 million acres. The presentation includes the Pueblo Revolt, Hopi history, and location as well as some of their traditions, housing, clothing, food, arts and crafts, and present day occupations. The updated version includes fine art photos from the 2008 exhibit at Heard North, “We Are About Beauty.”
The_ApacheInde’ – The Apache
The Apache are Athapascan speaking people who arrived in the Southwest sometime between 1000 and 1500 AD, migrating from western Canada, where there are still Athapascan speaking people. They separated, moved to different locales, and adapted to each environment and to contact with other Indian peoples. They still retained core traditions and values and continued to be hunters and gatherers with a nomadic lifestyle. We show their history, location, and some of their traditions, housing, clothing, food, arts and crafts, and present day occupations.
Ledger_ArtIndian Ledger Art
Ledger Art refers to the art form that happened on the Plains during the transition time when Plains Indians were moved onto the reservation and the bison were depleted.
Ledger Art is the paintings and drawings of the Indians which was done on accountants’ ledger books,. This pictographic style of painting was a new way to record events between 1865 and 1930. Subjects included historic deeds in battle, stories of hunts or horse captures, new life on the reservation, ceremonies and the traditional way of life.
Northwest_CoastLife on the Northwest Coast and in the Arctic
This presentation describes life in two northern areas – the Northwest coast and the Arctic area of North America. Art of the indigenous peoples and photographs tell a story of quite different life ways. Environment largely determines the materials available for artists’ use. Since the climate is quite different in these two northern areas, the cultures and art differ as well.
Chaco_CanyonMysteries of Chaco Canyon
Between 850 and 1250, the area now known as Chaco Canyon, in New Mexico, served as a major urban center of ancestral Puebloan culture. Remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings, engineering projects, astronomy, artistic achievements, and distinctive architecture, it served as a hub of ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric Four Corners area for 400 years—unlike anything before or since. This presentation presents some of the newest information about this incredible site.
Native_FoodsNative Foods
As in many cultures, food plays a central role in the life of Native Americans in the Southwest. This presentation on southwestern Native American food will looks at only a few of the various kinds of foods that Native Americans eat in the Southwest and evidence of the integral position of food in native life. Cultural traditions are interwoven in telling the story of food from soup to nuts. Images of food sources used by Native American artists on media as diverse as paintings, basketry, pottery, jewelry, and carvings enliven the presentation.
PHX_INDIAN_SCHOOLPhoenix Indian School
This presentation focuses on the history of the Phoenix Indian School from 1892 to 1990. The off-reservation Federal Indian Boarding School system began in 1879 with the opening of Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Boarding Schools were under the jurisdiction of the U.S. War Department. The founder of the Phoenix Indian school was Richard Henry Pratt whose philosophy was, “Kill the Indian in him and save the man.” Pratt believed that only off-reservation boarding schools, by removing children from the influence of family and tribe, could accomplish the goal of assimilation.
RAINRain: The Importance of Water to Native Americans
This presentation explores the relationship between rain and indigenous people of the Southwest. From prehistoric time to the present, American Indians have welcomed rain into their lives and land, and prayed for its blessing through ceremony and creative expressions. Many expressions of rain and water focus on rain’s essential relationship to fertility – to the generation of life in all forms. Some expressions are enduring, like the embroidery on clothing. Others are temporary, like body paint on a ceremonial dancer or pigments in a sand painting. Song, poetry, and prayer petition the spirits and celebrate rain’s blessing.
SANTA_FE_ARCHITECTSanta Fe Style Architecture
The journey starts with the pithouse and ends in the present day. Along the way we discover that there are three heritages (Indian, Spanish, and Anglo) that result in not one Santa Fe Style but two: Pueblo Spanish and Territorial Revival. By the end of the presentaion, you will be able to pick out the salient characteristics of the style and you will start to see these characteristics in the buildings surrounding you in Phoenix . As a bonus, learn how Santa Fe became known as City Different.
STORY_TELLINGStory Telling and Games
This presentation is designed for children in preschool, kindergarten, and 1st and 2nd grades. The stories presented come from the books: The Goat and the Rug, Lizard on the Wall, When Clay Sings, The Coyote and the Butterflies, and others chosen by the guide. The guide can work with the requester as to which props he or she may bring: stuffed animals ( goat, rug, coyote, butterfly finger puppet). Each guide who tells stories usually augments the presentation with his or her own objects.
SW_ARTSSouthwest Arts
Southwest Arts begins with an overview of environmental zones of the Hopi, Navajo, Apache, and O’odham reservations. The presentation includes examples of textiles, basketry, pottery, jewelry, painting, and sculpture from these diverse tribes.
SW_BASKETSSouthwest Baskets
This presentation focuses on the Southwest baskets currently on display in the Heard Museum’s exhibit Home: Native Peoples of the Southwest. It includes baskets from the Apache, Pai, O’odham, Navajo, and Hopi reservations with descriptions of the materials, construction, and uses of the baskets.
SW_JEWELRYSouthwest Jewelry
This presentation focuses on jewelry made by American Indians in the Southwest. We begin with a brief history and move on to important jewelers of the past who changed jewelry making in the Southwest, and then to cutting edge jewelers of today. The presentation also explores the mentoring process that goes on, not only by peers, but through cultural tradition. Jewelers today are informed by work done in the past. Yet modern day Indian jewelers feel free to improvise and go in different directions while still paying attention to their heritage.
SW_TEXTILESSouthwest Textiles
This is a presentation on the textiles and clothing in Home: Native Peoples in the Southwest. Most examples are Navajo and Pueblo with a few clothing examples from other Southwest communities.
THINK_LIKE_A_POTTERThinking Like a Potter
The knowledge and experience that contributes to the traditional pottery making technology of the Indians of the Southwest is explained utilizing Hopi, Acoma, Pueblo and Maricopa communities as examples of how the pottery making experience continues into the present day maintaining direct linkages to the traditional past.. The knowledge that is handed down from generation to generation involves many decisions and judgments that are integral aspects of the high quality ceramics and the technology as learned from ancestral resources. This study focuses upon the four main activities of contemporary Indian potters who are utilizing traditional methods: Mining the clay, processing the raw materials, forming and decorating the pottery, and firing the pottery. In every case discussed, methods described are attributed to grandmothers and great-grandmothers as the teachers of the technology.
WINDOW_ON_THE_HEARDWindow on the Heard
This is a presentation about the Heard Museum and its beginning in 1929 and about Arizona in the 1920’s. There is a Heard biography, with photos showing them at various places throughout the world. It gives an update on the Heard Museum as it exists today and the mission of the museum. Included is education, American Indian artists who demonstrate on the grounds, the artists in residence, the Museum Shop and Bookstore, the restaurant, the annual Indian Fair & Market, Hoop Dance Championship, Heard North, and the signature exhibit: Home: Native Peoples in the Southwest.
ZUNI_JEWELEYZuni Jewelry: A Metaphor for Zuni Society
There is a very strong relationship between an art form and the culture of which it is a part. In the Zuni Pueblo of western New Mexico, the art of jewelry making is definitely not apart from the everyday life of the Zuni people, but a phase of activity that is economically and socially related to the total activity of the Pueblo, as it has been for hundreds of years. This presentation is not simply about the jewelry of Zuni, which is spectacular, but about the life and historical background of the Zuni people and how they are reflected in their beautiful jewelry.