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Free «Return of Artifacts: Kachinas» Essay Sample

In the article, there are several points made against the repatriation of headdresses to the Hopi people. Fist is the need to preserve culture which is presumed to be on the verge of disappearing. In is believe that with the forces of modernity old culture may disappear and be lost forever and therefore the best way to ensure that these culture are maintained is by preserving cultural items such as the Hopi  headdresses for posterity. Keeping the headdress in the museum is thus safer than returning the headdresses to the Hopi people. Another argument against the return of the masks to the Hopi people is the fact that the people may sale these masks private collectors due to economic hardships (Ceremonial Art: Kachinas/Katsinas, 106). In the article, it is confirmed that the Hopi people used to sell their article to tourist and private collectors due to their economic condition and some member of the community further used to steal this artifacts from their neighbors to sale them. In this regard, returning the mask will expose them to theft and sale to private collectors.  

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The authors present several issues on both sides first he notes that if the artifacts are left in possession of the Hopi people, they may be lost forever due to the prospects of indigenous culture being lost and second the indigenous people (Ceremonial Art: Kachinas/Katsinas, 106; Knight). On the other hand, the author make assertion that the notion that indigenous culture may be lost is unjustifiable since the culture is still vibrant several decades after it was predicted that it would be lost  (Ceremonial Art: Kachinas/Katsinas, 106). Second, the Hopi use their artifact as tools for educating their children; they hold strong cultural significance that has great meaning to the Hopi people as opposed to museums and collectors. The artifacts were also used for ceremonial purposes among the Hopi and should thus be returned to the Hopi for this cultural significance.

Painting depicting a Hopi dance by Fred Kabotie serves as an ethnographic document that since it is a part of cultural representations of the Hopi. It shows that the Hopi embrace dance as part of their ceremonial arts.

   

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