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About the Sierra Mono Museum

In 1966, a group of dedicated visionaries of the Mono Indians of North Fork drew up plans to create the first museum solely owned and operated by the Mono people. The purpose was to preserve and protect their artifacts and make sure their culture was not lost. This was especially important at a time when the federal government was terminating formal recognition status for Western Mono tribes and many cultural items were removed from Native possession after being lost, destroyed or sold. The museum incorporated as a private, non-profit 501(c)3 institution in 1966 and in 1970 acquired 1.7 acres of land from the local school district, opening its Museum's doors a year later to the public. 

Progress and Challenges

Over the years, the Sierra Mono Museum has earned a solid reputation for its wide variety of Native American baskets and cultural artifacts, its extensive Tettleton Wildlife Diorama Collection consisting of more than 100 free standing taxidermy animals of North America and Asia, and its collection of historical photographs, bead work and weapons. The Museum relies almost exclusively on modest entrance and annual membership fees as well as proceeds from the annual Indian Fair Days and Pow Wow, held the first weekend in August, to cover operating costs. 

 

About the Mono People

The Mono are American Indians traditionally from the central Sierra Nevada, the Eastern Sierra, the Mono Basin, and adjacent areas of the the Great Basin. They were gatekeepers of the trans-Sierra "Mono Trail" trading route connecting indigenous peoples on both sides of the Sierra to the Pacific Ocean. The Mono lived on the western side of the Sierra in a wide area from Yosemite in the North to Tulare watershed in the South and the Sierra peaks in the East and the Valley Floor in the West. Modern tribal entities include the North Fork, Big Sandy, Cold Springs, and Table Mountain Rancherias as well as the Dunlap Band of Mono Indians, Dumna Wo-Wah, and North Fork Mono Tribe. Working closely with members of the local community, the Mono people helped build many of the defining and enduring industries and institutions of the region between Fresno and Kern Rivers.

Museum Hours:

Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 3pm

Closed Sunday and Monday

Admission:

  • Members FREE
  • Adults $7
  • Children & Seniors $5
  • Free with NARM Member ID
 

Our Mission:

Preserving & Protecting Mono Indian culture

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