Koshare History

First Koshare Chiefs, circa 1935

Koshare Beginnings

In February 1933, Bill Sisson and Bob Inman called the first meeting of a dozen close friends to form a Boy Scout Indian Club patterned after Troop 10 of Colorado Springs. After a dozen meetings through the spring, they gave up until September when they gathered again using a shack in Buck’s backyard, and started in earnest. That September, the group presented their first show in the basement of the St. Andrew's Episcopal Church for a holiday party.

The dancers had used a remodeled chicken coop in Buck's backyard as their first dressing room. The show presented was unlike that of Koshare shows today as their footwork was unsure and their costumes simple. When the show was over Dr. Johnston gave the kids five bucks and they felt like millionaires. This proved to those kids that they were not limited to backyard talent shows, but could put on shows for admission.

Kiva History

A dream that originated in the minds of the Koshare members in 1939, while they sat in the great sanctuary at Aztec National Monument, came to realization on November 13, 1949. At Aztec National Monument, the Koshares heard the ranger tell the story of the prehistoric Indians who built the great ceremonial Kivas a thousand years ago. From that visit and other visits in 1941 and 1946, the Koshares resolved to invest surplus Koshare money in the building of a giant Kiva.


At the end of World War II, the Koshares were beginning to get ready to plan their kiva and go to work on it. They had the architect’s plans in hand. So far the Koshares had collected about eight thousand dollars which was hardly enough to start, but they were ready to go. They planned to start in September of 1948, but a committee of towns people wanted one month to raise additional funds for the Koshares. This committee, a newly formed group by the Rotary and Lions Club Members, collected an additional ten thousand dollars within one month. On October 3, 1948, the ground was broke and the Koshares came to a fine start. However, many obstacles were soon to come. more...

Archives Project
1937 group photo

For seventy-five years the Koshares have created magical moments in history and the history has been well documented in news articles, films, photographs, letters, and books. Fifteen years ago, these documents were stored away unseen and forgotten in the basement. And with each passing year, a piece of that history faded away and continues to disappear.

It has been said, “All we are or all we can be, we owe to what came before us.” It is this link to the past that will build a bridge to the future of the Koshare organization. And yet the history remains buried in the Koshare Archives. It is the goal of this site to identify, preserve and organize seventy-five years of the Koshare history.

2013 saw the Koshare 80th Anniversary.