November is Native American Heritage Month! I was fortunate enough to get to travel to Malki Museum and Reservation in Banning, CA near Palm Springs with a class from my college. It was truly a fascinating place and definitely one of the must do’s in Southern California if you’re interested in history and looking for a visit along the way to Palm Springs.
This museum is located in the reservation, so you will need to drive through this pretty intense metal gates to get inside the ground. Once you get there, there should be plenty of parking since the museum is quite small and it is rather unknown.
Although this place is really small, the museum contains more literature and Native American artifacts than any universities in the country. I didn’t take too many pictures of the inside of the museum but I got some shots. There will always be someone there to give you more information, but i highly recommend that you check the website first because it is always better to know a little bit about the history before you visit.
Aside from the museum, there’s a big open area that where they do a couple of festivals per year. Hundreds of people come from everywhere; there will be plenty of food, arts and crafts, and fun activities. I was told that they cook hundreds of pounds of beef for the participants! Sounds delicious. Not sure about the time frame though.
The reason why this trip was special for me was because I went with a professor who knew everything about the history and he shared his knowledge and insights with me and other students. I learned a lot about the area especially how it was establish. Oh, the word Malki means “hiding” because when the Europeans used to hunt down Native Americans back in the day, they used to escape into this valley and named it the “hiding place” or Malki.
There’s a garden next to the museum and there are many different types of plants that are local to the area. You can learn how the natives used them for and how they created houses and crafts out of these plants.
The exact address is 11795 Malki Road Banning, CA 92220 and the phone number is (951) 849-7289. If you type in the address on Google Maps, it is very accurate.