Friday, December 6, 2013

Selling off sacred Hopi artifacts (audio)

Xochitl, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; A Martinez, Leo Duran (Take Two/KPCC/
Sacred Hopi Kachina figurines, Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, USA (
Don't look! Kachinam or "friends" (Laurel Morales)
The Hopis say Katsina masks, which are embodiments of devas, cannot be sold. These fantastic artifacts invested with life are usually given to a young girl at a public ceremony as a blessing and part of her education.
But in France, a judge will decide today whether 32 Hopi artifacts can go up for sale at an "art" auction. However the Hopi tribe, indigenous Native Americans or First Nations people, say those objects contain the spirits of ancestors, and selling them as commercial art is illegal.
The question "What is Art?" can have an open-ended answer. But what if that art is a really important part of one's own culture? A French judge will decide whether they can go up for sale at an art auction.
Laurel Morales is a reporter for Fronteras (frontiers, borders) based in Flagstaff, Arizona. She explains the details and whether this case may end different than a similar suit earlier this year. LISTEN

Georgia O'Keefe in New Mexico: ...Katsinam and the Land

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