Q: PARIS (AP) – The Native American Hopi tribe took a Paris auction house to court Tuesday to try to block the upcoming sale of 32 sacred tribal masks, arguing they are “bitterly opposed” to the use as merchandise of sacred objects that represent their ancestral spirits. The Katsinam masks are scheduled for sale at the Drouot auction house on Dec. 9 and 11, alongside an altar from the Zuni tribe.
A. In the spring of this year a larger collection of Hopi Indian masks was auctioned off in Paris for over a million dollars. You can click here for our brief blog on that. Three different masks from that sale are shown. The mask illustrated above came from another source. Authentic Hopi items often reflect a high level of creativity, but are not supposed to be sold to collectors or museums. The Indian culture feels strongly about this. Obviously, some French dealers feel just the opposite. How about you?
A reader of the the blog wants us to know about a recent development in the Hopi mask controversy. Please see this article: http://www.pressherald.com/news/Charity_buys_Indian_masks__returns_them_to_tribes_.html
I am also sad to see the rapid loss of culture. This is yet another example of a highly refined culture ceremony is being lost and forgotten. A larger melting-pot is not always a great thing. Education, understanding, and tradition are great tools. One self-identity should always be grounded in the way of history, and the past. My generation lost its identity with its french language, foods, and traditions in a single generation as the French often were viewed as a nuisance in their hard-work ethics that would lead to re-defining local work-ethics. The lazy tend to see issue with this. Needless to say, Its taken me 30 years to learn that the KKK in northern new England was often represented in a high density than its become known to be in the South by most common-folk today. It doesn’t take too many lost artifacts, story tellers, or variations on truths to loose something.