Cultural Performances

Indian Detours

The Fred Harvey Company created the Indian Detours in response to the growing automobile industry after World War I. “Harveycars” would pick up tourists at one of two locations for one- to three-day tours of the various Pueblos, Southwest landscape, and artist studios. The Indian Detours offered an up-close and personal view of the region’s Native Americans. In addition, the Fred Harvey Company produced many postcard images and souvenir books of the Indian Detours and Native Americans which allowed its passengers the opportunity to take a piece of their visit home.

The Harvey Company took great care to arrange everything with the consumer in mind. The Indian Building, located at the Albuquerque depot, served as one way to entice tourists to buy Native American goods. The Indian Building was designed so that passengers walked past museum-like displays before finally reaching a gift shop containing Native American arts and crafts. Craft demonstrators present on site also became part of the tourist attraction. Notable artists employed by the Harvey Company include Elle of Ganado, a Navajo weaver at the Indian Building, and Nampeyo, a Hopi-Tewa potter at the Hopi House.

Gallup Indian Ceremonial

The Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, held annually in Gallup, New Mexico, began in 1922 and has since expanded to include an array of different events for both Native and non-Native visitors. The “Ceremonial” began as a way to capitalize on the tourist industry created by the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railway when they built the El Navajo Hotel in Gallup in 1918. Like many other Harvey hotels, El Navajo was extravagantly furnished and a welcome site to tired travelers along the Santa Fe Railway. El Navajo closed down in 1957 and later reopened, but the “Ceremonial” continued running.

The Gallup Indian Ceremonial is no longer considered an event made for tourists although it still attracts them. The “Ceremonial” has become a gathering place for Southwest Native peoples. In addition to the specific dances performed by certain tribes, the “Ceremonial” also offers an all-Indian rodeo, a contest pow-wow, parades, craft demonstrations, a tribal pageant, and the chance to view and purchase various Native arts and crafts. The “Ceremonial” is considered a place where people from other cultures can come and have the opportunity to learn more about various aspects of Native American culture.

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