Sacred artifacts returned to Northern Calif tribe in major repatriationBy Sudhin Thanawala, AP
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Sacred artifacts returned to Northern Calif tribe
SAN FRANCISCO — The Smithsonian Institution has returned more than 200 headdresses, hides, condor feathers and other ancestral items to a Northern California American Indian tribe in what officials say is among the largest repatriation of Native American artifacts ever.
The Yurok Tribe welcomed the items back at a ceremony on Friday afternoon. The tribe is based on 55,000 acres along the Klamath River near the Oregon border.
Tribal officials say the items date back hundreds and maybe even thousands of years and were used in ceremonies intended to restore balance and heal the world. They will continue to be used in those ceremonies.
The tribe’s repatriation coordinator, Buffy McQuillen, says at least some of them will also be displayed at a cultural center on the reservation that will be open to the public.