Law | National

Apache tribes await repatriation of sacred items from museum

A group of Apache tribes is awaiting the repatriation of sacred items from the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

But the items are being held up because the museum won't refer to them as "sacred" and “items of cultural patrimony." The tribes say the designation is important since it shows they are the owners of items that should have never been taken from them.

“This is them telling us they know more about Apache culture than the Apaches,” Vincent Randall, the cultural preservation director for the Yavapai-Apache Nation in Arizona, told The New York Times.

The museum says the "cultural items" were legally acquired. Nevertheless, the museum insists it is complying with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Get the Story:
Where Words Mean as Much as Objects (The New York Times 8/20)

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