Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Reparations

Has anyone thought about how all the Native American artifacts and art pieces came to be displayed in art museums and natural history museums all over the country?

Apparently, a lot of those objects have been stolen or cheated from the tribes in which they belong too. Many of those objects are sacred, and not meant to even be seen by us, only within the ceremonies for which they were created. Some of those objects were taken from graves. Objects meant to help the spirit in the afterlife. Tribes still exist from those looted plots, and they want those items returned and reburied.

Just as in Nazi Germany, where many Jewish homes were robbed of paintings and jewelry. Now those paintings and such are being returned to their rightful owners.

Is this any different?

6 comments:

akeime said...

No, Genocide is genocide. The tribes just want to honor their ancestors and bring them back to where they belong.

I was just at the Peabody Museum at Harvard researching for a series I am working on about the Native American experience. Cases upon cases of artifacts were labled to be returned to their tribes for re-burial, I even saw a portion of a skull in a case. It was horrible. It did make me wonder when they would have nothing left of their collection....

Krissysart said...

Wow. Something to think about. All in the name of 'American history', I guess.....
Absolutely LOVE the map paintings, by the way!

CraBBy GaBBy said...

This is very thought provoking..and you are so right..it needs to be returned. I adore your work!! if you ever decide to do a class please let me know! Besids Pho grand my other fav resturant is Rasoi's indain food..love to see a fellow St. louis posted to my blog.
Wishing you a joyous weekend..
heidi

sarah said...

Akeime-Wow, I would love to hear about the series you're working on, and I'm glad to hear about what the Peabody is doing.

Krissyart - Thank you!

Crabby gabby - I think the only art classes I will be teaching anytime soon will consist of 4th graders :) But you never know... Where I live now, I go to India Kitchen, but Rasoi is the best. It's not ethnic, but have you tried Fraziers in Soulard? Yummmmmm

akeime said...

Sarah,
check out pbs.org/weshallremain
doesn't air until 2009, but you'll get a sense of the scope of the project. And I think that a lot of museums are having to return things. I heard that NAIM in D.C. keeps shutting down bits of exhibits as things get returned. And thats a museum of and for Native peoples.

sarah said...

Akeime-I just finished reading several essays from "All Roads are Good" which talks about NAIM and some the Native Americans like that the museum is protecting, preserving and educating. I guess when the items are returned, some groups can resubmit items for display of their choosing.