Malki Fiesta Gathering Scheduled Sunday May 26th 2013

The Malki Museum’s annual Kewét, or Fiesta, opens at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 26, on the grounds outside the museum at 11795 Malki Road on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Cabazon.

The Fiesta is a time of gathering together to share culture and traditions. It is also the major fundraising event for the museum since 1966, when the Kewét — the Cahuilla word for fiesta — tradition was revived after an absence of 20 years.

The all-day event honors Native American veterans.

Many Native Americans have attended since they were children and have grown up watching first-hand as their culture comes alive on the center stage with dancing, drums, bird singing, native arts and crafts, and the smell of fresh-cooked Indian fry bread. At the first Fiesta there was pit-roasted barbequed beef served with other traditional foods, such as corn, beans, and homemade tortillas, and these foods are still served every year.

The Indian dancers and singers represent several tribes from Southern California, and many of the vendors in the ramada booths are Native Americans from all over the Southwest. The ramada booths were constructed by volunteers especially for this annual event and are made from alder forks, willow, arrow weed, and palm fronds that were brought from the local desert canyons.

Malki Museum is the oldest museum founded by Native Americans on a reservation in California, and has been the inspiration for several other Indian museums, according to a news release.

To reach the museum, exit Interstate 10 at Malki Road, formerly Fields Road, and continue on Malki north through the Morongo Reservation security checkpoint to the museum parking.

Information: 951-849-7289 or on the Web:

Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, normally closed on Sunday and Monday.

The Press-Enterprise
May 24, 2013