Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/12/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'These are not decorative masks,' Hopi tribesmen say, who call their sale 'sacrilege'

In spite of protests from Native American Hopi tribesmen, in addition to international efforts, the auction of 70 sacred Hopi masks will proceed at the elegant Hotel Drouot in Paris.

The masks, constructed out of leather or wood and ornamented with horsehair or paint, as art, but rather as living beings that never should have left their native land.

The masks, constructed out of leather or wood and ornamented with horsehair or paint, as art, but rather as living beings that never should have left their native land.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/12/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Hopi tribesmen, sacered masks, kachinas, France, auction, sacrilege


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Arizona-based tribe protested the sale. Survival International, a London-based association that defends indigenous populations filed a court action in France. However, a Parisian judge ruled on Friday to allow the event to proceed.

French lawyer Pierre Servan-Schreiber told reporters that "It's very odd that there are 70 masks that end up in the hands of a collector.

"We're not saying they were obtained illegally, but given American and international laws that forbid the sale or exportation of such objects, there are questions that must be raised and answered. Once the sale is completed, we'll lose track of the masks. It will be too late."

Servan adds that "These are not decorative masks . They are [according to Hopi culture] something that connects the world of the living to the spiritual world."

There are 18,000 Hopi Indians spread out around 12 towns in northern Arizona. The masks, constructed out of leather or wood and ornamented with horsehair or paint, as art, but rather as living beings that never should have left their native land.

"[The masks] personify spirits, called 'Kachinas,' which are thought to bring rain or encourage fertility," anthropologist Patrick Perez, the author of a book on the Hopi Indians of Arizona, says. "They are used in a religious context."

The auction sale, Perez says amounts to sacrilege, and is the cause of genuine suffering among members of the tribe. "They feel awful about this. They are responsible [for the masks] and are supposed to guard them," Perez said.

"Now they believe that because of this auction, there may be less rain this year or fewer children born, or more disease. Imagine if we collected Eucharist's [Christian communion wafers] and put them up for auction. These are living rituals."

In response, French auction house Néret-Minet Tessier says that the collection of the masks was acquired legally by a French citizen who lived for more than 30 years in the U.S.

"The claim that Hopi cultural patrimony is exclusively their property has no legal basis according to French law," the auction house told French press agency Agence France-Presse. "They're building their case around an article of the Hopi Constitution, which is not recognized in France because the tribe is not a state or country in and of itself."

However - according to the federal NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) of 1990 formally requires all Native American cultural items to be returned to the appropriate tribe, and the type of auction set to take place in France is strictly forbidden.


 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

$3,600,000,000,000: the price to repair America Watch

Image of America's infrastructure is in need of improvement. Why isn't this a national priority?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

We have money for perpetual war and can afford generous foreign aid, tax subsidies and cuts for the wealthy, but we cannot find the money to fix a pothole or repair a collapsing bridge. This is the sorry state of affairs U.S. infrastructure is in as we let the nation ... continue reading


Violent riot erupts at Trump rally in New Mexico Watch

Image of Unsurprisingly, a Trump rally erupted into a riot in New Mexico (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Protesters at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's New Mexico rally erupted in violent acts including the attempted stoning of police, glass bottles thrown at mounted units and their horses, burning shirts and more. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Record-breaking 38,000 illegal aliens apprehended in the month of April Watch

Image of April 2016 reaches new record for illegal alien apprehensions.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Illegal aliens continue to surge into the United States from the Southwest U.S. border, leading the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) units to announce record-breaking apprehensions in April, 2016. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the U.S. ... continue reading


Edward Nero, arresting officer of Freddie Gray, NOT GUILTY. Will Baltimore erupt once more? Watch

Image of Officer Edward Nero arrives at court. Nero has been acquitted of crimes in the death of Freddie Gray.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The arresting officer in the Freddie Gray case, Edward Nero, has been declared "not guilty" by the judge in his criminal trial. Now, the community waits to see if violence will erupt or if the streets will remain quiet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Officer ... continue reading


Tell Me About the Trinity: Honoring Jerry and Plumbing the Mystery of God Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

'The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Father Daniel Berrigan's Pro-Life Activism Watch

Image of Fr. Daniel Berrigan

By Fr Frank Pavone

Father Berrigan was a radical figure who sent a total of almost seven years in prison.  What many don't realize though is that his activism extended beyond the anti-war movement and into the anti-abortion movement. Believing in what he called a consistent ... continue reading


Law allows persons to sue if you don't use the correct pronoun out of 58 to describe a person's sexual identity Watch

Image of We're going to need a lot more restrooms.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Under a new law, businesses in New York will be fined if they don't use a person's preferred pronoun when referring to them. This especially becomes a problem when it is understood there are at least 58 possible pronouns with at least five grammatical variations ... continue reading


Science fiction? Feds discover the 'Grocery List,' post tweets to promote new technology Watch

Image of After millions of dollars in federal spending, government scientists have discovered the grocery list technology. Where would we be without such courageous efforts?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Federal Government has discovered the grocery list technology. This unlock apparently occurred recently as the Department of Agriculture sent encouraging, rapid-fire tweets to the public about how to use this remarkable new advancement. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Texas to build own version of Ft. Knox, is secession next? Watch

Image of Texas is bringing home its gold.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Texas is taking another step to becoming an independent Republic by recalling its gold and other precious metals home. A private company is planning to construct a bullion depository south of Houston, creating a virtual Ft. Knox for the state. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


We Need a New Pentecost and Whatever Happened to those Charismatic Catholics? Watch

Image of The fire of Pentecost

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am one of countless thousands upon thousands whose life was profoundly changed by an experience, an encounter, with the Holy Spirit decades ago. I am old enough to remember when we who had this encounter were sometimes  called Pentecostal Catholics. That ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 27, 2016
  • $3,600,000,000,000: the price to repair America
  • :-D MILLENNIALS REJOICE! New emoji Bible translation is coming!
  • States revolt, 11 sue to block disruptive Obama restroom edict, ...
  • St. Augustine of Canterbury: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 27, 2016
  • Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Saturday, May 28th, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 14:18-20
18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought bread and wine; he was a priest of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:11-17
11 But the crowds got to know and they went after him. He made them ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 26th, 2016 Image

St. Philip Neri
May 26: If one had to choose one saint who showed the ... Read More