Sunday, February 14, 2010

Roseville’s Maidu Museum & Effie Yeaw Nature Center

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about the closing of the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, which has as one of its central exhibits, a replica of a Maidu Indian summer village, this story in the Sacramento Bee about the opening of the new Maidu Museum and Historic Site in Roseville is a contrast in the visionary development and support of cultural resources.

An excerpt.

“To say today's opening of Roseville's new Maidu Museum and Historic Site celebrating native California culture has been a long time coming is an understatement measured by centuries.

“The nine years the museum spent in temporary quarters (a 4,800-square-foot modular building) was a short duration compared with the thousands of years the native peoples waited for the kind of recognition they will get with the grand opening of a 10,000-square-foot brick roundhouse museum and art gallery.

“The $4 million museum may get most of the attention today, but the 5,000- to 10,000-year-old petroglyphs in nearby sandstone are the true superstars. The native carvings are the reason the museum is there is the first place, said Kris Stevens, the museum supervisor.

"This was a significant town site. It was a sacred area inhabited for thousands of years," Stevens said earlier this week during a break in the helter-skelter rush to move into the new museum, vacate the old building and prepare for the grand opening. "Roseville has always been a great place to live."

“The new museum, built a few feet from the temporary building on Johnson Ranch Drive, attempts to expand upon what the old facility did well, while adding some contemporary displays, meeting space and modern art.

“The museum was funded through a combination of state bond money, matching local funds and a smattering of federal dollars.”