The Cheap Sunglasses Tour, 13: Meeting the Mastodon

February 22, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

           Not all roads in Bentonville led to Crystal Bridges.  In preparation for our car trip, HL had read a description of The Museum of Native Indian (sic) History.  We decided to see it on our last morning in Arkansas.   True to the forecast, the rain was torrential.  When HL turned the car into a modest residential neighborhood, I wondered if he were looking for the correct address.  I should not have doubted his oft-proven sense of direction, as, suddenly, a Plains tipi appeared before us in the gloom.  

          The museum seemed to have been deliberately concealed in that conventional neighborhood.  A mastodon skeleton dominated the entryway, a towering Pleistocene doorman. Its extravagant tusks almost filled the narrow passage.      

          Very few others had ventured out in the wet weather that Monday.  The museum was far larger than it appeared from the street, like a building in a dream where every room leads to a series of more mysterious chambers.  Despite its extent, it retained the atmosphere of an idiosyncratic collector's home.   There were so many Amerindian artifacts that many had to be displayed in drawers below the showcases.  The arrowhead collection was as comprehensive as it was well organized, by culture as well as by historical period.  
 

 

Kelly Green painted a mural of Plains riders on one of the museum's interior walls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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