Is The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Displaying Objects That Belong To Native American Tribes?

Is The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Displaying Objects That Belong To Native American Tribes?

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Upon entering the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Shayanne Beatty was eager to see the Native American artwork that art collectors Charles and Valerie Dyker have been collecting for nearly half a century. But when he entered the American wing of the museum that day in 2018, his excitement was dashed when two wooden masks appeared.

Beatty, originally from Alaska, was working on a radio documentary about two Alutiiq sites and how they and others like them were stolen from tribal land about 150 years ago. The masks are now on display in the largest and most prestigious art museum in the Western Hemisphere. "It was very surprising to me," he said.

The history of mask ownership, also known as provenance, makes no mention of the masks' whereabouts for over a century. Historians say that the masks were made in 1871. But the history of the museum only begins in 2003, when the Daikers bought it from a collector. The property was transferred to the Met in 2017.

The Dykers, who have built one of the largest private collections of Native American art in the world, have donated or loaned items to the Met since 1993. In 2017, as other organizations struggled to return colonial-era loot, the Met announced. give away From 91 other American works in Dykers.

A ProPublica review of documents posted online by the museum found that only 15 percent of the 139 pieces Dyker has donated or loaned over the years have a strong or complete ownership history, and some have no provenance. Most have no listed history, leave ownership gaps of 200 to 2,000 years, or identify previous owners in vague terms such as "English lord" and "Scottish family".

© Courtesy of ProPublica Charles and Valerie Dyker attend the 2017 Guggenheim International Gala in New York. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Experts say the absence of a documented history is a sign that items have been stolen or tampered with.

"There's a lot of missing material that's a problem," said Kelly Hayes-Gilpin, curator of the Museum of Northern Arizona. The Arizona Museum has documented about 80% of its collection, as have the Brooklyn Museum and other less-heard-of institutions than the Met but with significant Native American collections. Some museums, such as the University of Denver Museum, refuse gifts from the wrong source.

For centuries, Native Americans have resented hunters and scientists robbing the graves of their ancestors and displaying their remains and artifacts in museums. In 1990, Congress passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to facilitate the return of these artifacts and human remains to the tribes that legally own them.

NAGPRA requires government-funded museums to notify a tribe within six months of receiving money by contacting and consulting with that tribe's elected representative, often known as the tribe's conservation officer, and allowing them to return their items. The law also requires museums to send copies of these notices to the National Park Service.

Thanks to these interactions, institutions can learn more about the history of objects, whether they are real or stolen, and can be displayed. But as ProPublica reported earlier this year, museums have often delayed those discussions, keeping human remains and objects that are required by law to be returned.

Some items in Dyker's collection are sacred, such as a shaman's rattle made of human or horse hair; some funerals and they were buried with the dead. (Matt recently returned Dyker's rattle and the museum says "Inquiries are underway regarding other items.")

"Most of this stuff could have fallen into private hands through trade and theft," said Shannon O'Loughlin, director of the American Indian Affairs Association, which works to promote tribal sovereignty and protect Native American culture.

"It's amazing that so many of these items end up in museums," said Rosita Warl, president of Sealaska Heritage and a Tlingit citizen. New York law works on the principle: if it's stolen, it's stolen, and you said the parts were damaged. "It's right to bring those things home."

Many structures were originally loans; Because of a flaw in NAGPRA, this meant that the museum did not have to notify the tribes or the NPS. So far, the museum has agreed to transfer 77 pledged donations from the Dyker collection, according to the Met.

Learn about the history of Dyker's art collection.

The Dykers have long been known for their art collection and philanthropy.

Valerie Dyker is the daughter of the late Norman Tishman, who played an important role in the revitalization of Park Avenue in Manhattan and the development of Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles in the 20th century. Charles Dyker grew up in Brooklyn and became president of Cantel Medical, which he sold for $4.6 billion in 2021.

Both are founding members of the National Museum of the American Indian and Charles is an honorary trustee of the Met. However, their collection has sparked controversy.

ProPublica discovered the object that the couple obtained while excavating an ancient Mayan courthouse in Guatemala. According to published reports, the La Corona site has been a source of black market antiquities since the 1970s.

In 1995, Daikers donated a bridge to the Israel Museum to commemorate the birth of the Mayan king's son in 660 AD. Guatemala banned the export of its cultural heritage only in 1999. But the 1970 UNESCO Convention, signed by the United States, prohibits the export and import of cultural property.

"While the export may have been legal at the time, it was definitely unethical and had to be returned to Guatemala," said Jaime Ave of Northern Arizona University, a Belizean archaeologist who has conducted legal excavations at Maya sites.

In a statement, Dyker said: "We believe blindly in the UNESCO Convention." In the 1990s, Daikers also donated three 1st century CE Mayan works from Guatemala to the Met. Co. IX. century The history of their ownership is blank or begins in the 1970s during the Guatemalan Civil War.

"Our collecting practice for more than 50 years has always focused on a cautious approach, evaluating all available provenance information before purchasing a work and welcoming new information as it becomes available," Dykers said in a press release.

When the Dykers pledged to donate part of their Native American collection to the Met in 2017, they insisted that the museum place it in the American Wing's ethnography room, along with Frederick Remington and other Native American artists.

Some art critics applauded this decision. But some of the 20 tribal monument commissioners and other tribal representatives interviewed by ProPublica about the exhibit refused to call the ancestral objects decorative.

In a statement, Dykers said, "As we said when we first commissioned the works to the museum, our vision and commitment has always been to create broad recognition of the power and beauty of these works, and as part of the Met's guiding scholarship on Native American art and culture. and promote understanding". ".

But ProPublica found that in the years after it took over, the Met failed to adequately and consistently consult with the necessary tribal officials about items in its collections. It took a year before the museum contacted someone from the Alutyi tribe to let them know they had the masks. (Mythology declined to identify who contacted them.) Four years later, the NPS published abstracts sent by the Met to 63 tribes related to items in Dyker's collection in September 2022. The Met did so after ProPublica asked the museum about the masks and other sacred and culturally sensitive objects.

During this period, the museum exhibited misrepresented artifacts, ignoring or downplaying the wars, occupations, massacres and exploitation that dominated the tribal past.

Matt's descriptions of his exhibits "are fictional," said Wendy Teeter, a former curator at UCLA's Fowler Museum. "The audience will have no idea what the play actually is or how it got there." This, Teeter said, "perpetuates stereotypes and prejudices against indigenous peoples."

© Metropolitan Museum of Art ProPublica plaque

Dan Monroe, who helped write NAGPRA and is a former director of the Art Museum Directors Association, said the long delays in notifying the tribe and the NPS violated the law: "You have a responsibility to follow the law and you're subject to fines if you don't."

In a statement, the museum said, "While progress has been made in updating the online catalog information and providing more complete provenance information, we recognize that there is work to be done and that it is an ongoing process that requires fine-tuning, patience and careful attention. It is important work, and One of Dyker's ambitions is to create an organization as large and resourceful as the Met to devote time and study to these local issues.

The museum also said that using "entire ownership histories as a standard for evaluating collections" was misleading, noting that much of Dyker's collection had previously been exhibited and studied at other major museums. "As new information about collectibles comes to light, we share it openly (with advice from indigenous leaders) or remove culturally sensitive items from view, as appropriate."

Get an update on ProPublica's investigation into the postponing of Native American human remains.

During the investigation, ProPublica asked the Met for comment on the allegations about the collection. Some of the sources who released official statements ProPublica shared with the museum later asked to retract their statements. One revealed he had contacted a Met officer. (Matt said he constantly interacts with various professionals and did not press sources for this story.)

Dykers declined requests for an interview. In a statement to ProPublica, they said, "For nearly 50 years, fostering an appreciation of American art has been our greatest passion." The couple also said they evaluated "all available provenance information" before purchasing the works.

If the museum can prove that it has legal title, that is, that the creator of the object, his descendants or a representative of the tribe voluntarily surrendered the object, the museum does not have to return the object. However, if a tribal official requests the return of an object, the museum must comply unless it can prove that it is part of a chain of ownership, preferably by going back to its origin. To top it all off, thousands of Native American works have been in the Met's collection since 1889, a time when many museums had no record of the ownership history of these works.

Questions about the legality of the Met's possession of artworks extend far beyond its South American origins. As part of a wide-ranging antiquities investigation, Manhattan prosecutors have issued nine warrants to seize about three dozen artifacts looted by the Met over the past five years, along with computers, notes and other related documents. .

Find out about allegations of stolen artefacts donated or loaned to the Met.

In July, officers seized 21 works worth $11 million from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Over the years, dozens of stolen works of art have been given or loaned to mead donors, who have subsequently been flagged for obscenity. Among others, British antiques dealer Robin Symes, who was linked to human trafficking in 2006 and is now believed to be on the run; Gallerist Subhash Kapoor, arrested in Germany in 2011 for art theft and sentenced to 10 years in prison in India in 2022; and hedge fund founder Michael Steinhardt, who bought dozens of stolen antiquities without provenance and denied wrongdoing, but endorsed an unprecedented antiquities ban in 2021. Steinhardt's name adorns the Met Gallery.

The Met is also negotiating with the Cambodian government over dozens of items allegedly stolen, including items donated or sold by the late dealer Douglas AJ Latchford, who worked with the former Met commissioner.

Matthew Bogdanos, an assistant Manhattan U.S. attorney who heads the office's antiquities division, said he and his team found sales histories of confiscated antiquities that were false, incomplete or non-existent. Prosecutors charged them with felony possession of stolen property. "But their actions did not pass 'beyond a reasonable doubt,'" Bogdanos told ProPublica, so no charges were filed.

© Courtesy of ProPublica. Patricia Marroquin Norby has been hired as the Met's first curator of Native American art in 2020. (Jeremy Dennis/The New York Times via Redux)

In a statement, the Met said it was developing a new Native American art initiative in 2021, led by its "first" Native art curator, Patricia Maraquin Norby (Purepecha, an indigenous community in Mexico). The initiative, according to the museum, includes "establishing an advisory board and hiring a full-time staff member" to collectively focus on NAGPRA's mission and prioritize building partnerships and "community engagement" across courses. In March, the Met announced it would. also hire a Native American art student whose duties would include "native research."

Here are the stories behind the many Indigenous works that Dykers have loaned or donated to the Met. ProPublica interviewed cultural experts and leaders of related tribes to learn how some of the artifacts in Dyker's collection have survived the cruelty, theft and exploitation that paying visitors won't learn from the museum.

Alutiiq masks, 1870

In 2017 it was transferred to the Met

© Courtesy of ProPublica Representatives of the Alutiiq tribe told ProPublica that it was appropriate to publish the image of the mask. (Charles and Valerie Dyker Native American Art Collection)

Two of the carved masks that Beatty marveled at when the exhibition opened still hang in the museum. Their description on the Met's website states that "spirits communicate with humans through whistles. These masks may be the faces of these supernatural beings."

They can be saints. But that's only part of the story.

The Aleutians lived on the Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska for 7,500 years. Once upon a time, in the winter, people gathered at home to make tools, clothes and ceremonial objects. Using beaver tooth tools, they carved faces from wood, painted them blue, green and red and decorated them with feathers and fur.

At an appointed time, the Alutiyk donned masks and ritually danced and chanted, said April GL Sovetnik, director of the Alutiyk Museum and Archaeological Site in Kodiak, Alaska. He said: "In other ceremonies, masks were a means of communicating with spirit helpers." After the ceremony, people hid the masks in caves so that the "semi-gods" could rest until the next ceremony.

In 1740, the Russians invaded this area for sea otter skins. Aleut men as young as 12 were forced to hunt and Aleut women demanded ransom. People were dying of hunger, disease and abuse. A century later, the sea otter population dwindled and the Russians disappeared. Then came the United States and created schools where local children were punished for speaking their own language. By 1890 the population of Alutiyte had decreased by 90% to 1500 people.

Museums have quickly embraced the remains of Alaskan cultures. When the Western Union expedition headed north, Smithsonian Deputy Superintendent Spencer Baird made sure 20-year-old William Dahl was on board to "save" the tribe's lands. Baird paid Dahl $200 a year ($7,000 in today's dollars) to send his treasure to the museum. Baird also used "lifeguards" on military expeditions, warships and other missions, acquiring tens of thousands of them. Программына ў эзы час Мэт сайл ад донарав цымшыйския бразготки и тлинкри и тлинкр.

© Прадаставленна ProPublica The opening of the security tender was done by Caadzyak, before it started. Астанки как падляяющие перапахавану, былы репатряваны з Университет ваштют перапахавану, былы репатряваны з Университет ваштета ваштета ваштета ваштета ва, ваштета в ичиган, вернуты Мичигрант, веанпа зябдли ли дезе яны былы д час найдавняга выходника. (Provided by Alyutsi Museum)

"Almost everything that wasn't brought in or hidden was taken out," said Worl, president

Find out stated that прадаставила "абновлиненье свободные суполкам каренных онлайн Аляпаі прадаставила" плапаі плад плапаі план плапіла зяццца ў намім листі атры атим цлеры е NAGPRA”.

© Прадаставленна ProPublica Альфонсам Пинартам (National Library of France)

In 1871, 19-year-old Alfons Pinar arrived from France. Йон некалк'e месяца ве н на крычтай скурай байдарцы па 600-м млю зы. Унутры дешех пячор Пинарт раскапав магилы и дапамог сабе чалаверчры к,э к,э пары к,э кры пары пары.

When you know Cadezin and finish what you have to do in this way, this is how the result is achieved; йон паджилёў очень черезомиі и апубликуваў актуры пра сваје высновы.

Праз павгода йон адправиў маскі можей ў Па-де-Кале и з'еху. Perad died in 1911 and donated 87 artifacts to a small museum. Яны седядели, забытыя Алуцитам на друга сёмі гентраўў.

Only the owners of the last 20 years are listed. Дайкеры набылі две маскі ў 2003 рорум и перадали их Met у 2017 рорум. My NPS approval was given in the year 2022, before the end of the year.

The Museum declared that in 2023 "by 2023, it was recommended that masks should be worn." For the whole family, for those who want to pay 3500 ml, they pay 3500 ml, which can be consumed in the yu -Arka.

Kalchan и стрелы апача, 1875 год

Адданый ў печать «Мету» ў 2018

© All rights reserved ProPublica ць пахнава. The full image is not displayed.

In 2019, one of the most popular topics in the world is: тым калчане сымболизуайт аховну сакральную силу».

It is a set of information that is able to create a delicious atmosphere and not an intimate atmosphere. « But I need to see the documents that show how they are

Мет пераличвае такую​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ So, Dajkery pazychili набор калчана Мет у 2017 рору и не перадали права провойсти мунет, ямёитнци мунет, ямёитнци мунет, ямёлснасти мунет, ямётнь.

So the first point of the question is, that means it's worth it, let it be 1 1 1 1 of the group. To solve the problem, you can say goodbye to "Close your account in a book".

© ProPublica ProPublica ь бупайвалав, ProPublica расла. All Cherapy bought a saber in the city of Ruzhvili, that is, Michga, in 1892 г. (Historical Collection Bertana, Public Library of Detroit)

In 1870, х гадах одін з майский белизлитасных ледирав у вайтеный история УСАСА, генеьраг ,смасных лидиерав у вайтеный историй УАСА, майский беликолитасных лидиерав. Падчас цијанскай воган йон спалив Atlantu. Будучы комнадуючим генералам армия и частьом Индыйских войнаў, йон вытывыкят эттамны алетомна мы и, части метабладны алн ан лнамы алнады ия нады ветарамы и, вав бизнес 5 мильнё бизнес 5 мильнёны .

© Прадаставленна ProPublica Sherman

That's why you can read this article: The 1876 Centenary was born in Philosophy. Most installations of this type are in the "artefaktas" gallery, which is also the recording channel of ў еропыпских музыах.

In 1873 the director of Смитсанауски інстытута Жозеь Генры написай Шееьанауски інстытута Жозеь Генры написай Шееьанауски, і»зуэьарман, к. Yon asked Sherman to tell his soldiers, so that they sent "узоры" з поля б. To promote weapon types, you can buy a "vyviralniku" amount of money in the form of 500 dollars (equivalent to 14,000 dollars).

When planning an upgrade to a single storage solution, you can use Apache. Кали выстава закрыласья, выстайте Генры спакавав калекцию ў 48 генры спакавав калекцию ў b

He was born in 1878 "indzeysk" очень верас остарать, so Смитсанаўскі інстытут paprasіла парасркики парасркики ны хкалин моски інстытут. There is no voice and there is not much to discover new American music, like the Met, even through the conversational method.

© Прадаставленна ProPublica Рамонам Райли, културным ресурсом и правницом NAGPRA рам палемя лаКале)

Райли found out about this during the search for his parents in the clan. When you produce Armyskim razvedchykam, you have урадавую вінтовку і опівни лук і строы. Але продажа разни яго райставали за мяцеж и павесили, деказ Райли. Razvedchyka pahavali together with majomastyu. Several days ago, his body was vykapana і vystavlenna ў шафе ў Форт-Грант, ѹ то. У решце размещение яго астанки былы пагавлены ў Смитсанаўскі іступуть.

Райли не думае, что набор калчана яго кавая был выставлини Met; He thinks that the collection of Dikera is a funeral object. "But for people like Daikers, this is art," he said. "It's crazy".

On the one hand, in terms of what ProPublica creaked about in the first place, the Met paid attention to, that was the first step, the whole package. Пазычаны объявление не все вернуты Дайкерам.

Lakota "Вокладка типу TYпи", year 1875

Translated Discover у у 2018

© Прадаставленна ProPublica Rosebud. (Collection of Indian art by Charles and Valery Dyker)

Кали Мет выставив эзы программу у 2019, на табличцы было пристояние: ин станин б'ебекты программу у на табличцы.

"Rasproda? » – said Peter Gibbs, archivist of the office for preserving historical monuments of the tribe «Musea pamylilas».

© Прадаставленно ProPublica ванне» tens of thousands. (William Bel/Archive of the Smithsonian Institute)

If you want to be careful, so the agent is "in case of season" and the palace is held in the evening, so you can go anywhere in the world зервацыях. У 1886 урод наняв збанкрутавалага 52-gadvaga vyazanaka Ню-Йорка Л. F. Spencer in his capacity as an agent.

Спенсер прибыл у герсия часы ў резеврация Rosebud на телерия нейашнай Падн. In the same way, the channel is very popular, the person who speaks the language is in the language of दिला दा द्वारी. Урад спашивў пайками пайками пайтры, кая нетызёлся додавая девушка.

Спенсер пасябравав з пламистим хвастом-малодшим, сынам правадыра пламистир киной бытоми некрами на правадыра тым личу разЋіманя . After the death of Plyamistaga Hvosta in 1888, Spencer declared that he was the leader of Hvosta, after the death of Plyamistaga Hvosta, including "a great kind of treatment".

Гибс чичи завчистанне падманам. Люлка была передавана Плямистаму ад патри и зеда. "Джуниёр никола б не передав Ни цый трубку, ни тыпі" to Spencer, — said Gibbs.

© Прадаставленна ProPublica The main spotted tail, in the center, is with its own sons, who are studying in the Indian industrial school of Karlaila in Pennsylvania (Centr digital resources of the Indian school of Karlaila).

У 1889 рорю Спенсер сабрав савой ўдачу и з'еху. Вярнулся ў Ню-Йорк, йон читаў лекції ў клубах аб савав подзвигах «Дзікага Захаду», демонструючи типі и ангресы тречі.

After Spencer's death, his daughter Gariet Lund bequeathed a portion of his property to his relatives and unnamed museum. According to Spencer Dzik Miler, in 1963, Spencer's granddaughter Vivian Baeken sold the bequest of Plamistaga Hvosta and other items to art dealers from Denver. Correspondence between Becken and artists from Denver confirms this story.

Але походже Met does not show these names. Гандляр мастатком прадав тыпи са хованки са хованки са шкованки сансера на Денверская мастацкаму музею за 500 доллар, обо каля 5000 доллар очай, нават кали на им была гнилая цвил и былы залатаные дзирки.

У 1965 захавалка музея прадав тыпі. In the records, it is said that the buyer was Larry Frank from New Mexico. After the death of Frank Dykery, I found him in 1989. У 2018 яны перадали яго ў Met, дзе йон был вставлини ў некранутым стане.

I called it souvenirs. Але Бан Род, тагачасны афіцер па музыку културы племя Розбад Сиу, said that this was a completely different purpose. Тыпи оченье трымфучучичих воинав на конях, кяя тримают шкыты, кая преднедуют их мучсксия суполки. Гэта быў адукацыйны інструмент, закліканы выклікаць у дзяцей лакота гонар за дасягненні іх сваякоў — і навучыць іх, як пабудаваць тыпі, сказаў ён.

«Гэтая недакладнасць з'яўляецца вынікам адсутнасці кансультацый», – сказаў Род ProPublica. «І я думаю, што кавалак быў разрабаваны».

Прайшло пяць гадоў з таго часу, як Мет прыняў гэты падарунак, а прадстаўнікі племені кажуць, што да гэтага часу не атрымалі ніякіх паведамленняў ад музея. Прадмет больш не выстаўлены; Met заявіла, што мае намер звязацца з племем і падаць зводку ў рамках «нашай бягучай працы NAGPRA».

Хопі «Полацкі паліхромны слоік для вады» Нампейо, 1895 год

Перададзены Met у 2017 годзе

© Прадастаўлена ProPublica Прадстаўнікі племені хопі сказалі ProPublica, што дарэчна паказаць выяву слоіка. (Калекцыя індзейскага мастацтва Чарльза і Валеры Дайкер)

«Нампейо была першай паўднёва-заходняй ганчаркай, якую пазналі па-за межамі сваёй суполкі хопі, і яна славіцца сваімі тэхнічнымі навыкамі і эстэтычнай адчувальнасцю», — гаворыцца на вэб-сайце Met. Яна таксама была адной з першых індзейскіх жанчын, якія кантралявалі сваю працу, прадаючы непасрэдна пакупнікам.

У гісторыі слоіка Met адсутнічаюць даты, але ёсць дастаткова дакументаў, якія паказваюць, што ён, верагодна, быў атрыманы законным шляхам. Гэта прыклад камерцыйнага твора мастацтва ў калекцыі Дайкера, які можна выставіць. (У сваёй заяве Met сказаў, што «прызнае канфідэнцыяльнасць некаторых прадметаў у сваёй гістарычнай індзейскай калекцыі» і ў выніку аддае перавагу набыццю «больш сучасных і сучасных твораў карэнных мастакоў».)

У 1874 годзе Нампейо быў сарамлівым 15-гадовым падлеткам, які часам насіў традыцыйную манту, разнавіднасць шалі. Геадэзіст зрабіў яе фотаздымак, які трапіў у аб'явы аб прыцягненні турыстаў на тэрыторыю Арызоны. Мімаволі Нампейо стаў знакавым вобразам Паўднёвага Захаду.

© Прадастаўлена ProPublica Мастачка хопі Нампейо трымае ў руках адзін са сваіх твораў керамікі. (Карл Мун/Аддзел мастацтва, гравюр і фатаграфій Мірыям і Айры Д. Уолах: калекцыя фатаграфій, Нью-Йоркская публічная бібліятэка.)

Гэта было неадназначнае шчасце, сказаў Лі Куванвісівма, былы супрацоўнік аховы гісторыі племя Хопі. На працягу стагоддзяў хопі жылі на аддаленых гарах, якія ўзвышаюцца больш чым на мілю над навакольным ландшафтам, дазваляючы ім свабодна вызнаваць сваю мову, рэлігію і культуру.

Аднак у 1880-я гады паток саноўнікаў, «збіральнікаў» артэфактаў і навукоўцаў прыбыў, каб убачыць «экзатычную» культуру хопі. Убачыўшы магчымасць, стары салдат з армейскай брыгады Кіта Карсана, Томас Кім, стварыў гандлёвую станцыю каля высакагорных гор. Ён рабаваў магілы і руіны, каб прадаць гаршкі і слоікі.

Даведайцеся больш пра кавалак хопі ў калекцыі Дайкера, які, верагодна, быў разрабаваны.

Частка старажытнага хопі (або продкаў пуэбла) у калекцыі Дайкера — чорна-белы слоік для захоўвання Сакора, зроблены паміж 1050 і 1100 гадамі — верагодна, была разрабавана, паводле нябожчыка Тэры Моргарта, даследчыка культурнага офіса хопі. Паходжанне слоіка пачынаецца прыкладна праз 800 гадоў пасля яго вырабу, у 1984 годзе, калі Дайкеры купілі яго ў галерэі ў Скотсдэйле, штат Арызона.

«Раней людзі рабавалі ўсе добрыя рэчы з магілы і выкідвалі чалавечыя парэшткі», — сказаў Моргарт у мінулым годзе. «Потым яны ўсё гэта развязваюць па музеях».

Дайкеры накіравалі ProPublica ў Met для каментароў наконт чары.

Музей прызнаў, што не кансультаваўся з офісам культуры хопі наконт старажытнага слоіка, калі атрымаў яго ў 2019 годзе. У заяве музея гаворыцца: «У 2022 годзе The Met некалькі разоў падтрымліваў сувязь з офісам па захаванні культуры хопі для кіраўніцтва адносна прадметаў хопі ў калекцыі. Ніякія патэнцыйныя праблемы з гаршком Socorro не былі прыцягнуты да нашай увагі ў той час ".

У 1889 годзе Кім прадаў 3000 твораў хопі Смітсанаўскаму інстытуту за 10 000 долараў — або сёння 350 000 долараў. Калі ў Кіама скончыліся нарабаваныя гаршкі, ён звярнуўся да жанчын-хопі, у тым ліку Нампейо, каб іх вырабіць. Яе маці была тэва, бацька – хопі, і яна вырасла каля закінутай старажытнай вёскі. Гуляючы з малюнкамі, Нампейо рабіў гаршкі з жоўта-аранжавай гліны і маляваў на іх фігуры чорнымі, чырвонымі і белымі мінеральнымі пігментамі. Then, she polished the surface to a high sheen.

Keam sent some of her pieces to the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. Collectors took notice, and Keam sold them her work. According to some scholars, Nampeyo received a fraction of the profits. By the late 1890s, she was selling directly to customers.

An ex-mayor of Chicago, Carter Harrison Jr., acquired one of Nampeyo's works. The burnt-amber pot had a stylized face of a dancing kachina. In the 1930s, Harrison gave the object to his men's club named the Cliff Dwellers. It sat in the foyer for decades.

© Provided by ProPublica The Met's provenance description of the Nampeyo jar (Screenshot from The Met's website)

The Met's provenance says the piece was sold in 2010 by Bonhams auction house. Bidding was intense. When the gavel came down, the Dikers had bought it for $350,000, a record for Southwest American Indian pottery.

The Dikers gave the jar in 2017 to the Met, where it is currently on display. Since it's not a sacred or funerary item and was made for commercial use, the museum is not required to file a NAGPRA summary.

“The Objects are Not Well Documented”

Midway through the Diker exhibit's setup and development, the Met hired some advisers. But this group did not have time to contact the appropriate tribal officers, said one of the advisers, Brian Vallo, the then-director of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe and a former governor of Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. Vallo stressed that he was not a tribal leader at the time but said it was important to educate the Met “on issues of cultural sensitivities and representation.”

(ProPublica spoke to Vallo several times for this story. The Met also invited the news organization to interview him, describing Vallo as an expert in “Native arts and culture” and “familiar with the field.”)

This advisory group learned the Met didn't have a procedure for properly curating, consulting, documenting and displaying Native American objects. They insisted that the museum hire an indigenous curator.

“The Diker collection is quite beautiful, but many of the objects are not well documented.,” Vallo said. “There needs to be an informed process that should be followed so the museum doesn't take in items protected by federal laws, including NAGPRA.”

Soon after the Diker exhibit opened at the Met in 2018, O'Loughlin, the Association of American Indian Affairs director, heard complaints about the show from members of her organization. She contacted the curator of the Met's American Wing, Sylvia Yount, hoping to connect her with cultural officers of the tribes that had made the objects in the collection.

“I offered to bring them to New York so they could give their perspective on the display,” O'Loughlin said, but Yount declined.

Yount said publicly that she had consulted with tribal “leaders.” The museum had hired Indigenous and nonnative academics and consultants — advisers who were not chosen by the tribes to represent them, as required by NAGPRA.

Of the meeting with O'Loughlin, Yount said in a statement that they had a “productive” session in which they discussed the Met's “ongoing NAGPRA efforts and potential future collaborations.”

As a nonprofit with $5.58 billion in assets, the Met should have hired the staff needed

to provide accurate information about its works years ago, experts said. “It could set an example about the importance of combating illegal trade and the need to protect cultural heritage,” said Tess Davis, director of Antiquities Coalition, which fights cultural trafficking. “But it seems they are doing the opposite.”

Tribal members are skeptical of many museums' willingness to consult with them. As a result, the Department of Interior in January announced proposals to improve NAGPRA by, among other things, emphasizing that museums consult with tribes at every step of the process and defer to the customs and knowledge of tribes and their lineal descendants.

When Riley, of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, learned the Met was displaying the quiver set, he grew upset. “I wanted the museum to take it down, but I didn't know who to ask,” he recalled.

He understood the limits of NAGPRA, having been rebuffed in a previous attempt to reclaim “four of our sacred objects” held by another East Coast museum. “We had to prove that it belongs to us, that it was stolen and that it should be returned. And the museum didn't have to prove a thing,” he said.

And those looted masks? In 2002, Sven Haakanson Jr., then-director of the Alutiiq Museum, stumbled upon some of his people's carvings at the Château-Musée de Boulogne-Sur-Mer in Pas-de-Calais. The French looter Pinart had given the masks to the museum a century earlier. Stunned, Haakanson met the facility's then-director and spent the next six years cultivating a relationship with the museum. Finally, in 2008 the French shipped 34 masks to the Aluttiq Museum as a temporary loan.

Haakanson mounted a groundbreaking exhibition. “We wanted people to see that the masks were not only striking, but part of an Alutiiq tradition of sharing 7,000 years of history,” he told ProPublica. The exhibit brought some people to tears. “It helped heal the unspoken wounds of the tribe,” he said.

Now, the Alutiit are relearning how to make masks as their ancestors once did.

Such successes inspire Gibbs and the Rosebud Sioux tribe. “There should be a Cultural Repatriation Day when it's safe for everybody and anybody who has something to give it back to tribes, no questions asked,” he said.

That includes the Dikers, he said, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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118 thoughts on “Is The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Displaying Objects That Belong To Native American Tribes?

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