Navajos buy back artifacts at disputed auction

Posted on

MONDAY, DEC 15, 2014 11:15 AM PST
Navajos buy back artifacts at disputed auction
THOMAS ADAMSON, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Navajos buy back artifacts at disputed auction
French lawyer Pierre Servan-Schreiber defending Native Americans speaks to the media at the Drouot’s auction house during the contested auction of Native American items in Paris, Monday Dec. 15, 2014. Navajo officials have spent several hundred thousand euros to buy back seven tribal masks put up for sale at a disputed auction despite the U.S. Embassy in Paris asking Drouot to suspend the sale to allow Navajo and Hopi representatives to determine where they came from. (AP Photo/Francois Mori )(Credit: AP)
PARIS (AP) — The Native American Navajo tribe won its bid Monday to buy back seven sacred masks at a contested auction of tribal artifacts in Paris that netted over a million dollars.

The objects for sale at the Drouot auction house included religious masks, colored in pigment, that are believed to have been used in Navajo wintertime healing ceremonies.

The sale went ahead despite efforts to halt it by the U.S. government and Senator John McCain of Arizona.

The sale — which totaled 929,000 euros ($1.12 million) — also included dozens of Hopi Kachina dolls and several striking Pueblo masks embellished with horse hair, bone and feathers, thought to be from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Read More

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