Law | National | World

Acoma Pueblo waits on France to return stolen ceremonial shield






Conroy Chino, left, a traditional leader of Acoma Pueblo in New mexico, joined Gov. Kurt Riley to ask “people of France to honor our humanity" and return cultural items set for auction. Photo by Emily Zentner / Cronkite News

Authorities in France have asked Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico for more information about a ceremonial shield that was stolen from the reservation, the Associated Press reports.

The shield was put on the auction block before it was pulled by the EVE auction house late last month. The tribe hopes it will come back home.

“When these items do go, we don’t really know when, where, how it all occurred, and all of the sudden they’re popping up overseas,” Gov. Kurt Riley told the Associated Press. “We’re in the dark as well. But we do know it never should have left the bounds of the reservation, and so once it’s gone, we know it’s a violation of our traditional law.”

The shield belongs to the entire tribe and was being held by a caretaker when it was stolen, sometime in the 1970s. Eventually it ended up at the auction house, which sold hundreds of other items on May 30 despite complaints from other tribes.

Get the Story:
Tribes hail shield’s halted sale; collectors ask what’s next (AP 6/22)

Related Stories:
Lakota Country Times: Tribes fail to stop auction of warrior shirt (06/08)
Editorial: Acoma Pueblo needs justice for theft of sacred property (06/06)
Auction of tribal property goes ahead in France amid opposition (06/01)
Auction house in France won't stop sale of sacred tribal property (5/26)
Cronkite News: Tribes seek return of property up for sale in France (5/25)
Tribes meet to discuss sale of ancestors and property in France (5/24)
Secretary Jewell addresses auctions of tribal property in France (12/04)
Auction house in France sells sacred tribal property for $450K (06/10)
Hopi Tribe and Acoma Pueblo seek to block sale of sacred items (06/09)
Hopi Tribe trying to stop yet another auction of sacred property (06/02)
Hopi Tribe seeks to prevent auction of sacred property in France (05/27)
Leader of Hopi Tribe sues over sales of sacred items in France (04/10)
Navajo Nation buys sacred masks from auction house in France (12/15)
Annenberg Foundation acquires sacred items for Alaska Natives (09/03)
Opinion: Auction of tribal property in France sets bad precedent (07/25)
Auction house in France goes ahead with sale of tribal property (06/30)
Sacred property being returned to tribes in Arizona after auction (02/20)