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70 Hopi and Zuni Masks to be Auctioned in Paris

ICTMN Staff
3/7/13

On April 12, a collection of 70 Hopi and Zuni masks will be auctioned by Neret-Minet at the Druout Richelieu gallery and auction house in Paris, France. The array of katsinam masks was amassed by a collector over the course of 30 years, and date to the late 19th and early 20th century, according to the description at Druout.com (a translated version can be found at ArtDaily.org).

"The idea that a people would dedicate so much time and energy to the rise of celestial bodies fascinated our collector," reads the auction's description. "In his collection, the CROW MOTHER mask, Angwusnasomtaqa in the Hopi language, held pride of place, and he had to wait over 20 years to attend the Powamu rituals in early February, the only time the mother of all the Katsinam appears in the village. By his own admission, you have to see the masks in dances to fully appreciate them."

The text goes on to describe ten other masks being auctioned.

Not everyone is thrilled about the auction. In a post at Muddy Roads & Dusty Trails, a blogger describes the Hopi as "horrified."

"Under American law [the masks] should be repatriated to the Hopi Nation," the blogger writes. "The auction house knows this, from their good description of the pieces on can easily deduct that they know about the power of these friends but prefer the power of cash and carry. Katsinam should never be sold on the auction block. The sadness on Hopi is immeasurable. The art stolen under the Nazi regime is also in the process of being returned to their original owners families. Let the same rule be applied."

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Very Traditional's picture
Very Traditional
Submitted by Very Traditional on
This is a very sad and disappointing event to hear about! Any kind of ceremonial or religious Native artifact needs to be returned to their decsendants not only here in the states but from around the world. We need to form an organization where we have people looking out for objects being sold or auctioned off like this case and use the power and knowledge that the Great Spirit gave us to bring our ancestors and implements home where they belong. "The Spirits are not happy, neither am I."

indianmedicine's picture
indianmedicine
Submitted by indianmedicine on
It is so interesting that NAI Culture has recognized "ET's", influencing this World;when conventional Science denied any "Life Force" off this Planet. Through the "Art & Ceremony", NAI have taught their Generations of the vast Celestial Bodies that are just now being recognized and told to the General Public and Science's that NAI have always called "The Great Mystery of The Creator". Conventional European Thought publicly denied the existence of Extra Terrestrial Life, Beings, and Space Travel - where NAI in their Art captured the very essence of what the European Mind denied; and Secret Societies taught in their "Schools of Thought". Look at the Anasazi Ancient One's and their Legacy Painted on Canyon Walls - which includes ET existence, visitation, and interface with "The People".

margarita fox's picture
margarita fox
Submitted by margarita fox on
It is my understanding that many "friends" were stolen from the Kiva at First Mesa approximately thirty years ago -- interesting that this "collector" began accumulating them "thirty years ago". Unless the collector is Native American he would not have been permitted to see the dances on the Mesa at any time. These should be returned to the Hopi. They carry a power that helps all mankind and can destroy those who hoard them.

proud indian's picture
proud indian
Submitted by proud indian on
first our land now our religion and beliefs... its just plain disgusting!!

A random Navajo 's picture
A random Navajo
Submitted by A random Navajo on
Man this is what I call a double standard, the French get all of their art stolen by the Nazi's back, yet the Hopi who are Indigenous Americans can't even get there sacred objects back even though according to law it is theirs. It is almost disgusting to see that for a people whom respect human rights that they cannot respect our rights as a people.

Joe Abodeely's picture
Joe Abodeely
Submitted by Joe Abodeely on
I have been the CEO of the Arizona Military Museum for a third of a century. Arizona's rich and colorful history was forged by the militaries of the Spanish, the Mexicans, and the U.S. Before them were the various Indian cultures dating from prehistoric times. Those great Indian cultures and artifacts were lost through history, but some have survived and should all be honored and kept among the original peoples' descendants. These masks should be returned to the Hopi people. I am not a tree hugger nor a naive idealist. I am a retired Army Colonel who served his country in Vietnam as a combat infantry unit commander. I love my country and iits history which includes that of the Native American Indian.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am Hopi and I can speak on behalf of my fellow Hopi Sinom, that this is terrible! We do not sell these as these are very sacred to us. This outrages me as an individual. So very sad.

Zuni Pueblo 's picture
Zuni Pueblo
Submitted by Zuni Pueblo on
This is very sad that we do not know that collecters all over the world can collect this like this and auction them off. This is wrong!!!

Zuni Pueblo 's picture
Zuni Pueblo
Submitted by Zuni Pueblo on
This is very sad that we do not know that collecters all over the world can collect this like this and auction them off. This is wrong!!!

maktima's picture
maktima
Submitted by maktima on
this is very heart breaking but just know that the persons who will possess these sacred beings will be dealt with by the katsina spirit itself. they don't know how powerful these katsinas are but they will know later on in life.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Hopi would never give their tradition away let alone sell them. The katsinams need to be return to the Hopi land as well as the Hopi people.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
This is a complete outrage! Something must be done to keep our most sacred possessions just that-sacred! This is exactly why outsiders are not allowed at out cermonies, if these are sold this would be a blaitent disrespectful action to my Hopi people. These must be returned immediately! These artifacts are products of centuries old ceremonies done every year to pray for the Earth & the well being of our people. Our name means the Peaceful People & for this to be done to us gives me a feeling of great disgust.

Never lost but still not at home's picture
Never lost but ...
Submitted by Never lost but ... on
I am appalled!! No respect for any kind of property or the Hopi self preservation. The person who didn't have any idea what they were doing and obviosly still doesn't, will only be sent to his own doom. We are all sad, and will pray for their safe return home.

RedInjun's picture
RedInjun
Submitted by RedInjun on
It not a question of art pieces taken at a time of war. It has a deeper meaning then a stolen Hitler portrait. This is equal to the Vatican being uprooted and sold on the black market. Who ever is selling our religious sentiment has to look at what there are doing from a religious point of view. I would think the tribal government would try and work this out with the France ambassador.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
It not a question of art pieces taken at a time of war. It has a deeper meaning then a stolen Hitler portrait. This is equal to the Vatican being uprooted and sold on the black market. Who ever is selling our religious sentiment has to look at what there are doing from a religious point of view. I would think the tribal government would try and work this out with the France ambassador

Stacey E. Carr's picture
Stacey E. Carr
Submitted by Stacey E. Carr on
Just wrong! As a Native American and of the Hopi Tribe, these masks have no right to be sold to the highest bidder. There is a purpose for these, and a place, and it sure as sh%t is not in an auction house!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
This is horrible. How can they do such a thing?! As a Hopi myself I'm very upset and hurt by this. Again, how could they?!

Laguna Pueblo's picture
Laguna Pueblo
Submitted by Laguna Pueblo on
This is very awful and terrible to hear that they will be auctioning the kachina masks. It is disheartening that this person would auction them off when they should be returned. They shouldn't be disrespected like that. This is a disgrace. They belong to the Hopi and Zuni.

HOPI GIRL's picture
HOPI GIRL
Submitted by HOPI GIRL on
THOSE ARE NEVER SUPPOSE TO BE SOLD!! I HAVE STRONG BELIEFS IN MY CULTURE AND I BELIEVE THAT WHOMEVER IS BEHIND ALL THIS AND EVERYONE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS WILL PAY BACK IN HARDSHIPS, SICKNESS AND EVEN DEATH, IT'S JUST HOW KARMA WORKS. THIS IS UPSETTING TO HEAR THIS IS HAPPENING.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
why is this even happening!!!!! this is very wrong!!!! who ever this person is has no respect at all! U have no idea how important and how much our katsina spirits mean to us hopi people. U are a disgusting individual and this auction should not take place. HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!!!

concerned tribal member's picture
concerned triba...
Submitted by concerned triba... on
This is very Bogus! I am very angered when i heard of this news. First the French ran away from the mistreatment of their rule there, then they came here escaping that mistreatment. They came in the door without knocking and this is what they had in mind for our sacreligious societies. Yes, what goes around comes around and it may be in any form. That would be from the Kachina themselves. Respect others as you've been preaching to us the Natives since1540.

Karma's picture
Karma
Submitted by Karma on
I've always heard since I was a little girl that bad things will happen to those who posses items such as these. It's disgraceful to know that in the year of 2013 our ppl still have to fight for what is ours. These ppl will regret doing this!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I have so many thoughts about this that I don't know where to begin. It's no wonder that our world is in turmoil. These items are sacred and are each tribe uses them to ask for blessing for all people. Once someone misuses them for nothing but personal gain, it only disrupts the environment and the peace we have here on earth.

Amanda longoria 's picture
Amanda longoria
Submitted by Amanda longoria on
We try hard to preserve our heritage and to teach our children our way of life and to have someone sell our traditional things like this things that we hold sacred to our people hurts my heart. If only they knew the ceremonies one has to go through to obtain the right to obtain the knowledge of our ways. No respect what so ever. And they called us the savages . Angered and hurt by this.

Proud Zuni's picture
Proud Zuni
Submitted by Proud Zuni on
This is wrong in so many ways. Our native people do not authorize sells such as this!!! Our culture and beliefs are sacred to us and no one should exploit our sacred way of life. Those who do this do not understand the spiritual value and what it represents.

NDN's picture
NDN
Submitted by NDN on
They ARE STILL ALIVE AND WILL ONE DAY FIND THEIR WAY BACK HOME!! JUST SAD THAT THEY ARE NOT RESPECTED BY ALL WHO SEE THEM ABROAD> MAYBE THEY WANTED TO SEE THE WORLD BEFORE THEY CAME BACK HOME!! WILL PRAY FOR THOSE WHO TREAT THEM AS AN OBJECT OTHER THEN WHAT THEY ARE> JUST A WORD OF ADVISE RETURN THEM BEFORE THEY SPANK YOU FOR YOUR WRONG DOINGS!!

1 Shiwi's picture
1 Shiwi
Submitted by 1 Shiwi on
From the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples... Article 11 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature. 2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.

Mascareñas's picture
Mascareñas
Submitted by Mascareñas on
As a Pueblo Indian, it hits home hard knowing our masks that belong to our katsinas are being auctioned. Disrespectful and masks need to go to their proper homes, families, villages and kivas.

Zuni and Hopi's picture
Zuni and Hopi
Submitted by Zuni and Hopi on
As a Zuni woman this absolutely disgusting, and no words can appropriately describe my rage.

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