David Bogle will share his collection of Native artifacts during November

David Bogle will share his collection of Native artifacts during November

The first question visitors to the Museum of Native American History in Bentonville tend to ask is an obvious one: “Who created this?”

To mark Native American Heritage Month in November, the creator is going to answer that question himself.

It all started as one little boy’s interest in Scouting, which added Native American “history and lore” to what he already knew of his Cherokee heritage.

Over the years since David Bogle founded the Museum of Native American History in 2004, those childhood fascinations have grown into a collection of more than 10,000 artifacts spanning 24,000 years, along with an annual Native American Cultural Celebration that has drawn more than 200,000 participants from around the globe.

“I tell people all the time, we are an art museum because that’s what we have here,” Bogle says. “We have the finest pieces of Native American art in the country. But just as important, we are a history museum. What we do with these pieces is teach Native American history. And that is my goal here. To try and expand people’s knowledge.”

“Through the years, we have highlighted David Bogle’s vision of teaching history through our art collection that honors the artistry and diversity of the First People of ALL the Americas,” adds the museum’s director, Charlotte Buchanan-Yale.

“Traditionally MONAH offers a self-guided tour with a free audio wand,” continues Jazlyn Sanderson, the programming manager. “So when we were thinking about what we could do during Native American Heritage Month, we had the idea to offer personal tours with David Bogle.

“We hope everyone can take a tour with Mr. Bogle,” Sanderson enthuses. “Hearing him give a tour gives a newfound perspective to every age group or background! Generally, during Native American Heritage Month, we have everyone from family groups to large-scale corporations call and ask how to get involved and learn more, and this is a great place to start.”

Bogle began building his dream in 2002, when he bought a large arrowhead collection from John Fryer, a former Bentonville school administrator and later the city’s mayor. Fryer was Bogle’s scoutmaster when he was a boy, and the two families were longtime friends, Sanderson explains.

Over the next few years, Bogle’s collection grew so much that the museum’s first public display was in 2004, in a converted home near Bogle’s residence on North Main Street. In the spring of 2007, when the museum outgrew that space, Bogle bought the current facility on Southwest O Street. The museum officially opened in June 2008. Since then, Bogle has renovated the property three times to its current footprint of about 13,500 square feet.

“As of today, MONAH has been featured three years in a row in the Top Ten History Museums within the United States and has become a key destination when you visit Northwest Arkansas,” Buchanan-Yale says proudly.

Tours will be available on select days throughout November. To schedule, visit monah.org or call 273-2456.

“I hope people leave MONAH with a greater knowledge of the diversity of Indigenous peoples but also a hunger to learn more about the past, present and future,” Sanderson says. “One fact I like to blow people away with is there are 574 federally recognized tribes within the United States alone, so there is a lot to learn about!”




Schedule a tour with MONAH founder David Bogle during Native American Heritage Month in November. Public tours of six to eight people can be scheduled online at monah.org. Organizations of 45 people or fewer can be scheduled by calling MONAH at 273-2456.

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