By Mariamne Beuscher, communications intern

Ute Indian MuseumThe Ute Indian Museum, which originally opened its doors in 1956, recently celebrated its completed expansion and renovations. The museum, located in Montrose, Colorado, sits on land purchased during the 1920s by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Uncompahgre Chapter.

The museum’s re-opening boasts a fresh, contemporary perspective highlighting the rich culture and customs of the Nuchuu—the people.

It was important to the museum’s renovation organizers that the update, “convey that the Utes are not gone. We are still very much alive,” former Ute Mountain Ute Tribe councilwoman, Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk told The Daily Sentinel.

Visitors will walk through the exhibit area counterclockwise, to mimic the flow of Ute ceremonies. Modern exhibits, a cultural heritage library, and a new meeting room with windows looking toward the San Juan Mountains have replaced old dioramas. Among the artifacts that have never been displayed are a beaded buckskin shirt made for Chief Ouray and a velvet dress belonging to his wife, Chipeta.

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