When it was completed in 1925, the rustic, stone-and-timber Yosemite Museum was the first structure built in the National Park System to be used specifically as a museum. Today, it works to keep alive the culture, history, and artistry of the valley’s Miwok and Paiute peoples—in the very same spot they lived more than 150 years ago. Descendants of the tribes are on hand to give demonstrations in basket-weaving and beadwork, and to answer any questions about the museum’s large collection of artifacts, which range from clothing and tools to religious items. Just outside, a trail leads to a series of Miwok structures, including a bark home, a chief’s cabin, and a sweat lodge.

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