Message #28
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: AIQ Repatriation Volume 20(2)
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 18:06:10

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

The American Indian Quarterly

Special Issue
Repatriation: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue
Edited by Devon A. Mihesuah

No book reviews in this issue.
Excerpts from:
The Representations of Indian Bodies in Nineteenth-Century
American Anthropology; Robert A. Bieder 
Digging for Identity: Reflections on the Cultural Background
of Collecting; Curtis M. Hinsley
An Unraveling Rope: The Looting of America's Past; Robert J.
Why Anthropologists Study Human Remains; Patricia M. Landau &
D. Gentry Steele
American Indians, Anthropologists, Pothunters, and
Repatriation: Ethical, Religious ad Political Differences;
Devon A. Mihesuah 
Repatriation: A Pawnee's Perspective; James Riding-In
Repatriation at the Pueblo of Zuni: Diverse Solutions to
Complex Problems; T.J. Ferguson, Roger Anyon, & 
Edmund J. Ladd
Repatriation as Social Drama: The Kwakiutl Indians of British
Columbia, 1922-1980; Ira Jacknis
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act:
A New Beginning, Not the End, for Osteological Analysis - A
Hopi Perspective; Kurt E. Dongoske
Epilogue: A New and Different Archaeology?; 
Larry J. Zimmerman

Want to learn more about Repatriation? Follow these links.

Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (1990)
Summaries of Ethnological Objects in the National Museum of Natural
American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation

By Devon A. Mihesuah is an Associate Professor of American
Indian History at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. She
is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

"The issue of repatriation of American Indian skeletal remains
and funerary objects is a timely and complicated one. In the past
decade, scholarly conferences have included sessions about
repatriation, and the topic stirs heated debate even before the
presentations begin. American Indians have formed organizations
to help pass legislation to protect burial sites, to acquire
skeletal remains and sacred items from museums, university
archives, and private collectors, and to repatriate them to
tribes. Journals have published special issues that focus on
repatriation, and committees comprised of American Indians,
archaeologists, physical anthropologists, lawyers, museologists,
forest service officials, and military representatives have been
formed across the country in an effort to find common ground on
this issue. But many anthropologists, museum curators, landowners,
and hobbyists--some of whom are, ironically, American Indians--
are hesitant to return objects, citing scientific and academic
freedom. Non-academic looters find the monetary reward of
ransacking graves too enticing to stop. Indeed, this is not a
minor issue. At present, approximately one million American
Indian remains are in public and private institutions; this
number does not include the myriad collections of private
landowners, nor does it include the remains that have been
shipped to Europe, Japan, and other places.

Because of the varied viewpoints expressed in this special issue,
its aim has not been to prove only one thesis, nor to solve the
repatriation conflict. My intention has been to compile
thoughtful essays to be used as an educational resource for a
variety of readers, such as scholars whose careers focus upon the
tudy of American Indian skeletal remains; museologists who display,
store, and collect Indian remains and artifacts and who are faced
with requests from tribes wanting items returned to them; members
of the general public who plunder Indian burials for profit; and
those who know little about the issue and are not aware of the
complexity of the problem. "

The Representations of Indian Bodies in Nineteenth-Century
American Anthropology
Robert E. Bieder, Formerly Fulbright Professor of American
Studies at Kossuth University in Hungary, now teaches at Indiana
University, Bloomington.

"In America, early ethnology was both a political and ideological
discourse addressing national and international constituencies.
In the multiple ethnological narratives written during the
nineteenth century, representations of Native Americans
articulated different social agendas. Although other races
received attention, Native Americans were the privileged
object of ethnological scrutiny and knowledge. Because of the
repatriation theme of this special issue, this article will
explore concepts of the body and power along with how
representations of Indians were constructed and what these
representations meant in nineteenth-century ethnology and
archaeology. The concept of the body underlies nineteenth-century
ethnological theory. Depersonalized and desacralized, the body
became data. It was redefined symbolically, politically, and
scientifically and was seen more as a specimen for observation
than as a temple for the soul. The bodies of Indians became
important for the investigations of ethnologists and
anthropologists throughout the nineteenth-century. Here they
found the imprint of the environment, searched for Indian
origins, observed effects of disease and customs, and defined
the body's limitations and deficiencies."

Digging for Identity: Reflections on the Cultural Background
of Collecting
Curtis M. Hinsley has published widely on the history of
American Anthropology and Archaeology. He lives in Flagstaff,
Arizona with his wife, Historian, Victoria L. Enders.

"The cultural point at issue in the early American republic
was the relationship between historical time and the national
landscape. The panoramic historians of the early republic--
Bancroft, Parkman, Prescott, Motley--were concerned above all
with the violent, dialectical energies of history operating over
space; as Ann Douglas (1977:176) has summarized this complex
phenomenon, "their common interest was less in liberty than in
'the course of empire,' the phenomena of discovery, expansion,
struggle, conquest and exploitation." The preoccupation is widely
expressed in the cultural productions of the antebellum decades:
Fourth of July speeches, Thomas Cole landscapes, Revolutionary War
memorials, as well as the many volumes of George Bancroft's
history; and it reaches an apotheosis of sorts with the brilliant
sacralizing of space in the Gettysburg Address (Wills 1992).
Understandably, then, the particular force of the prehistoric
narrative lay in granting primal, deep meaning to place(s), in
a timescape prior to the speeches, signings, and other nation-
building acts of the more recent national memory. Prehistory was
deep history, deep knowledge, deep longing. According to Susan
Stewart, the acts of collecting--finding, selecting, ordering,
displaying--establish control over environment, objects, and
history. The process may be especially prominent, she argues,
under conditions of pioneering, exploration, and settlement, when
claims to locale, landscape, and property are tenuous, and thus
may involve "intentional ignoring of properties of native history
and topography" (Stewart 1984:153)."

An Unraveling Rope: The Looting of America's Past
Robert J. Mallouf is Director of the Center for Big Bend Studies,
Sul Ross State University and served as Texas State Archaeologist
from 1982-1995.

"...most people have an inherent curiosity about the past, but
in varying degrees of intensity. The romanticism and mystery of
the past lead some people to seek higher levels of understanding
through reading and other educational outlets. For the vast
majority of people, however, this same curiosity--undirected and
unchanneled--evolves into an entangling web of unwitting and even
purposeful destruction. The site-looting phenomenon, which is so
rampant in Texas and in other states, should be of particular
interest and concern to archaeologists, conservationists, and
Native Americans and other minorities, for it is clearly the
single most destructive force to our nation's historical legacy.
The rise of Native American repatriation issues during the past
fifteen years has served to further exacerbate the site looting
problem. As archaeologists have become more preoccupied with the
pressing issues of reburial and have come increasingly under
attack by Native American and other proponents of repatriation,
pothunters and antiquities dealers have enjoyed unprecedented
periods of worry-free looting and commercial trade. Our potentially
most effective weapon in the battle with looters are Native
Americans and other victimized ethnic groups, who through
activism and/or emotional appeal could accomplish a great deal
more than archaeologists. Importantly, as noted by J. Frank
Dobie in Voice of the Coyote, "it takes more power of thought
to meet change than to make it."

Why Anthropologists Study Human Remains
Patricia M. Landau is a former graduate student in the Department
of Anthropology at Texas A&M University. D. Gentry Steele is a
Professor of Anthropology at Texas A&M University.

"One of the most controversial kinds of studies anthropologists
undertake is that of the biological remains of Native Americans.
The motivations of physical anthropologists to study human
remains often seem unfathomable to some members of Native
American communities, and our methods seem also to be
misunderstood. We recognize the differences between the values
and spiritual beliefs of Native Americans and those of other
Americans, and we respect the right of all people to maintain
their personal belief and ethical systems. We want to explain
the reasons why some physical anthropologists value the study of
human biology and history, and why we place so much importance on
the study of human remains. We also want to explain what kinds
of information can be gained from such studies, the methods used
in them, and the impact of those on the remains being studied."

American Indians, Anthropologists, Pothunters, and Repatriation:
Ethical, Religious, and Political Differences
Devon A. Mihesuah is an Associate Professor of American Indian
History at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

"If the Society for Archaeology ever gives a suitable answer
as to the benefits of studying Indian skeletons, some tribes
might be receptive to scholars who study remains. But to date,
the garnered scientific information has not been used to decrease
alcoholism or suicide rates, not has it influenced legislative
bodies to return tribal lands, or to recognize the sad fact that
Indians are still stereotyped, ridiculed, ad looked upon as
novelties. Since other Americans are not on view like Indians are,
there is without question a double standard at work: non-Indian
burials are left alone and those accidentally uncovered are
immediately reburied, but archaeologists and pothunters deem it
good and necessary to dig up Indians and display their remains
and funerary items. Indians are curious about their histories,
and they do not believe that all scientific and social
scientific studies are worthless. Indians are often treated as
if they have no comprehension of science or are too ignorant
to understand the need for continuing research. On the contrary,
Indians are aware that gaps in tribal histories have been filled
by the investigations of anthropologists, archaeologists, and
historians. The conflict arises because many archaeologists assume
that they are the caretakers and owners of the past, not
respecting the fact that Indians have oral traditions. Despite
what archaeologists think, Indians do not believe that tribal
histories are created by Archaeologists' findings. Regardless of
the differences in their cultures, American Indians are becoming
increasingly concerned about taking proper care of unearthed
remains of their ancestors and of sacred objects in or out of
the ground."

Repatriation: A Pawnee's Perspective 
James Riding-In is an Assistant Professor of Justice Studies
at Arizona State University, Tempe. 

"This essay offers some of my views concerning the reburial
aspect of the repatriation struggle. It seeks to show the
intellectual and spiritual foundations behind the movement as a
means for understanding the complexity of the controversy. It
also attempts to demonstrate how repatriation advocates managed
to effect discriminatory laws and practices. Finally, it conveys
a message that, although old attitudes continue to function within
the archaeology and museum communities, a concerted effort brought
to bear by people who espouse cooperative relations is in place to
bring Indian spiritual beliefs in conformity with non-Indian
secular values. At another level, I write with the intent of
creating awareness about a pressing need to disestablish racial,
institutional, and societal barriers that impede this country's
movement toward a place that celebrates cultural diversity as a
cherished and indispensable component of its social, political,
and economic fabric. Despite the tone of skepticism, caution, and
pessimism found within this study, I envision a society where
people can interact freely, respecting one another without regard
to race, color, ethnicity, or religious creed. Before this dream
becomes a reality, however, America has to find ways to dissolve
its racial, gender, cultural, and class barriers."

Repatriation at the Pueblo of Zuni: Diverse Solutions
to Complex Problems
T.J. Ferguson is an anthropologist in Tucson, Arizona. Much of
his work assisting the Pueblo of Zuni was accomplished while he
was employed as Director of Southwest Programs for the Institute
of the NorthAmerican West. Roger Anyon is the former Director of
the Zuni Heritage and Historic Preservation Office. He is now a
Cultural Resources management consultant in Tucson. Edmund J. Ladd
is curator of Ethnology at the museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe.
"The Pueblo of Zuni has been actively involved in the
repatriation of cultural property and human remains since 1977,
long before the passage of the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act of 1990. Several key elements of the Zuni
position regarding repatriation were incorporated into the act.
The Zuni War Gods were mentioned by name as an exemplar of cultural
patrimony to be covered by the law during the Senate hearings that
preceded its passage. During the last eighteen years it has become
clear that repatriation is not a monolithic issue, even where the
cultural concerns of a single tribe are considered. While the
Pueblo of Zuni has sought repatriation of some of the materials
to resolve problems defined by tribal religious leaders, it also
has declined or deferred the repatriation of other materials. There
are two conclusions that can be drawn from the analysis of Zuni
repatriation activities. First, there is no monolithic way of
adequately dealing with the diverse issues pertaining to the
repatriation of sacred objects, cultural patrimony, and human
remains in a single tribe, much less with multiple tribes. Second,
the sheer volume of work anticipated as a result of NAGPRA is
staggering from the perspectives both of the tribes and museums."

Repatriation as Social Drama: The Kwakiutl Indians of British
Columbia, 1922-1980
Ira Jacknis is Associate Research Anthropologist, Hearst Museum
of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley.

"The Kwakiutl Indians--who live at the north end of Vancouver
Island and the adjacent mainland of British Columbia--are well-
known from the extensive collections and writings of
anthropologist Franz boas. They also are the subjects of a classic
and well-documented case of the repatriation of artifacts from
museum collections. This essay will recount the history of this
process of inter-cultural definition and negotiation, and consider
some of the more general features of Native American repatriation.
What is of interest is the fundamentally different priorities of
Native and white. As in other cases of repatriation, this is a
tension which both parties have chosen not to resolve. Narratives
of repatriation are by definition intercultural. Each side has
its version, often many versions, which may not coincide with
those of the other(s)."

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act:
A New Beginning, Not the End, for Osteological Analysis--A Hopi
Kurt E. Dongoske is the Tribal Archaeologist in the Cultural
Preservation Office of the Hopi Tribe.
"Since NAGPRA was passed, the Hopi Tribe has been involved in
consultations concerning the human remains identified in four
large developmental projects within the Southwest. These projects
include the Transwestern Pipeline, El Paso Gas Pipeline, the
Roosevelt Dam Platform Mound Study, and the proposed Fence Lake
Coal Mine and transportation Corridor. To date, more than 1,000
burials have been recovered or disturbed by these projects and
the possibility of doubling that number in the near future is very
real. In the past, the Hopi Tribe actively maintained its
stewardship over a far greater area than now currently comprises
the Hopi Reservation. As a result of unilateral political actions
by the United States Government, much of the Hopis' ancestral land
claim is now contained within the jurisdiction of the Navajo Tribe.
Included in this land base are thousands of recognized ancestral
archaeological sites and human remains. Unfortunately, the final
regulations give ownership rights and the determination of the
final treatment and disposition of Hopi ancestral remains and
cultural items to a culturally unrelated tribe."

Epilogue: A New and Different Archaeology?
Larry J. Zimmerman is an adjunct professor in the Department of
Anthropology at the University of Iowa and a Research Associate
at the Office of the State Archaeologist of Iowa.
"The trajectory of the reburial issue has been like that of
classic syncretism--a coalescence or reconciliation of differing
beliefs. In the anthropological experience this most often happens
when a belief system, usually of a dominant group, imposes itself
on that of a less powerful group. The result is an amalgamation,
a hybrid structure in which each party can feel some comfort about
sacrificing some basic principles, or if not sacrificing them, at
least couching them in terms acceptable to the other. The
structure helps both groups adjust to the other with conflicts
eventually losing intensity as the syncretism expands. A similar
process seems to be at work between American Indians and
archaeology. In the reburial issue, the problem has been that the
belief system of western science about the past, through
archaeology, had imposed itself on belief systems of indigenous
peoples about their pasts and those they consider to be ancestors.
After little apparent initial resistance, archaeology erroneously
assumed a general indigenous acquiescence. The past quarter-
century has demonstrated just how wrong archaeology has been."

Comments, suggestions, or inquiries may be directed to the

American Indian Quarterly, Morris W. Foster, Editor;
University of Oklahoma, Anthropology Department, Norman, OK 73019
University of Nebraska Press, Daniel Ross, P.O. Box 880484,
Lincoln, NE 68588
(Publisher) Copyright University of Nebraska Press.
Web Design: Beatrice Thompson, Editorial Assistant, AIQ
Updated: 21-Aug-97