Monday, February 22, 2016

How NAGPRA Works in Museums

February 9, 2016.
Evan Hawkins, of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Blog, has written an interesting post about how NAGPRA, or Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is followed through a museum staff's perspective.

"Another consultation process at DMNS involved a sacred medicine bundle and eagle feather war bonnet repatriation, but NAGPRA was not involved. The medicine bundle was needed for traditional adherence to an ongoing religious practice, and through research I found that the war bonnet was sold under duress by a woman who did not have the right of alienation. These objects belonged to a society of warriors, so they could not be sold by an individual. This is an example of objects of cultural patrimony.

Because the group requesting the consultation was a Canadian First Nation, NAGPRA did not apply. This First Nations group had American tribes in its confederacy, so DMNS [Denver Museum of Nature & Science] sought to deaccession it out of the collection so it could eventually return to Canada. However, the presence of eagle feathers made international travel impossible because of restrictions on protected species. "

To read the full postclick here.

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