California State Indian Museum

In the shadow of Sutter’s Fort sits the small but lovely California State Indian Museum.  The museum was created in 1940 and tells the story of many of the Indian tribes of California.  It highlights more than 60 indigenous groups who lived in our great state long before Mr. Sutter brought his Fort to the area and long before the Gold Rush encouraged waves of people to come out West.

Highlights of the museum are an impressive grouping of baskets, an 18 foot Yurok Redwood Canoe, a large number of beautiful photographs of Indigenous peoples in native outfits during dances or traditional activities, and detailed handmade clothing.

The relationship between California and the local Indian tribes has been a complicated one over time.  Disease brought by Europeans, forced movement, slaughter, and destruction of the local environment have changed the face of indigenous people forever.  This museum tells the story of California Indian heritage through physical items, clothing, photographs, landscaping, local events, and music and dance. It is a lovely reminder of the pride and history of the first Californians.  I only wish the museum were bigger and housed even more beautiful artifacts because I know there is much more to see.




Take note of the feathers weaved in to the spectacular smaller baskets.


This thing is HUGE and must weigh an enormous amount.


Not sure what these berries are. I can’t say I ever remember seeing them in the area but they were beautiful.

12 thoughts on “California State Indian Museum

  1. In Sacramento? – have to look it up – is this in or near Old Town? (since I’m Dutch) it is one of these things people don’t know what to say when I ask about the Native Americans! Were they also involved in the Gold Rush that you know of? Their art is phenomenal. Have two small woven rugs
    Thanks for the like!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there. Thank you for the comment. Good to hear from you. The museum is in downtown Sacramento which is near old town Sacramento but they are distinct too. As far as I know the Native Americans were not involved in the gold rush. At least not of note. I am by no means an expert. But I do not recall hearing stories of that. However there were a lot of Chinese immigrants involved in the gold rush. Take care.


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