Accessibility links

USA

Native Americans Buy Back Items at Paris Auction

  • VOA News

Kachina dolls made by the Native American Hopi and Zuni tribes are displayed at the Drouot auction house in Paris before auction, December 15, 2014.

Kachina dolls made by the Native American Hopi and Zuni tribes are displayed at the Drouot auction house in Paris before auction, December 15, 2014.

The largest Native American tribe in the American Southwest has bought back seven sacred masks at a Paris auction house after failing to stop the contested sale.

The objects sold Monday at the Drouot auction house included religious masks believed to have been used in Navajo wintertime healing ceremonies.

The U.S. Embassy in Paris had asked Drouot to suspend the sale to allow Navajo and Hopi representatives to determine if they were stolen from the tribes.

U.S. government officials and Arizona's Congressional delegation also tried to stop the sale that netted over $1 million.

The auction house said it acted within the limits of French law.

The purchased items 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.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG