Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/12/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More U.S.

What is she hiding? Hillary Clinton refused to use government email address while Secretary of State Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton did not use an official government email address while she was Secretary of State, potentially violating a law regarding open and free access to official documents.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Potential 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may have shot herself in the foot; it has been revealed that as Secretary of State, Clinton used a personal email address for official government business, which may be a crime. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Is your teenager in danger? 1 in 5 teen girls experience dating abuse in the U.S. Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems like teenagers nowadays have forgotten what "respect your partner" means. Oftentimes, teenage couples leave one battered and the other selfish. Some even find fulfillment in impeding the rights of other people, and American teenagers have fallen into the hands ... continue reading


The top 5 things you need to know about the United States' quickly changing religious landscape Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For many years, Protestants made up the majority of the United States' population. A recent report from America Values Atlas tells us that, as the United States demographically shifts, this is no longer the case. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United States as ... continue reading


EMPTY! Is there any gold in Fort Knox? Government's denial of audit raises serious concerns Watch

Image of While the U.S. government claims that about 3% of all minted gold sits in Fort Knox, recent and troubling rumors say that this is not true.

By Al Wooltin (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 3 percent of the gold ever refined in the entire history of mankind sits in the vaults of the United States Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, equaling about 5,000 metric tons of gold. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At least this is what the government of ... continue reading


Billy the Kid's New Mexico hideout now up for sale Watch

Image of According to legend, Billy the Kid is said to have killed 21 men, but it is generally believed that he killed eight.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a beautiful home in New Mexico, spacious, with breathtaking mountain views. It's hard to believe that it at one time sheltered Billy the Kid, also known as William Bonney, one of the American Wild West's most notorious outlaws. It is now on the market for ... continue reading


Obama spends an alarming $3 billion on Obamacare WITHOUT Congressional approval Watch

Image of President Obama's administration is being accused of illegally spending money on Obamacare without Congressional approval.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Treasury Department may be moving forward with Obamacare regardless of Congressional concerns and a lack of funding, approving a $3 billion payment to health insurers despite the fact that Congress has not authorized any payments in annual ... continue reading


Obama Administration as Global Advocate for Radical LGBTI Agenda

Image of Randy Berry

By Keith A Fournier

Robert Reilly is right. The Obama administration is doing profound damage to the very understanding of human rights. We have fundamental human rights precisely because we are human persons. No-one should support the denial of truly fundamental human rights for ... continue reading


Climate change - WHERE IT HURTS: Scientists say warming will hit nation's agricultural heartland Watch

Image of The climate change panel's verdict came as a bit of a surprise: Greenhouse-gas emissions played a substantial role in Europe's misery, but not so much in California.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are very few positive things to result from climate change. Researchers now say that warmer temperatures will hit America where it counts: the nation's agricultural heartland. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers presented their latest findings ... continue reading


WITCHES ARE BACK: Witchcraft reappears in today's popular mainstream culture in unexpected ways Watch

Image of Witches are seen in both religion and as a feminist symbol.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The idea of the witch is making its rounds through history again. Females, both young and old, are embracing the power that comes with the feminist witch in today's society. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a recent twitter post, popular female rapper, Azealia ... continue reading


Alaska lights up as it become the third U.S. state to legalize marijuana Watch

Image of Twenty-three states still prohibit cannabis outright. The other U.S. states have either legalized medical marijuana or decriminalized marijuana possession.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The state of Alaska is lighting up in celebration... following Colorado's lead, Alaska has become the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Voters passed the Alaska Marijuana Legalization ballot measure last ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
10 Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
8 'It is not with your sacrifices that I find fault, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Katharine Drexel
March 3: Saint Katharine Drexel, Religious (Feast Day-March 3) Born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter