Native American Artifacts
These artifacts are man-made objects, such as statues, sculptures and other man-made objects that have survived from the past and are of historical interest. Over the years, other cultures have evolved and different materials have become available, and the Native American skills have increased in the manufacture of the American Indian artifacts so highly valued in our time. This is a diverse and fascinating subject and one of the most interesting aspects of our culture and history. Native and European settlers have engaged in brutal violence, and thousands of indigenous tribes have been forcibly driven from their ancestral homelands. They were ravaged by disease and driven out when settlers claimed the items left behind, such as food, water, medicine, clothing and other items. A 1990 law gave descendants access to collections of state-funded institutions, including those that are preserved and of lasting cultural and historical importance. Few museums have a working relationship with Native American communities, which meant that many suspected tribes would remove museums from their collections. These objects include items sacred to the local culture, such as sacred artifacts, sacred sites and burial mounds. There are places where I don't feel any sense of pride or even connection, but there are halls that adorn, people that you can admire, and various places that I call home. The other story is that these objects were created by cultures and peoples for meaning, meaning and power.
The Antiquities Act of 1906
Seeing a dying culture, they became known in the late 19th century, and the passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906 gave anthropologists free and legal control over indigenous sites, leading to museums, federal agencies, and private collectors amassing large collections of artifacts from Native Americans and other indigenous peoples from around the world. In the mid 2000's, the museum received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities' Save the American Indian Program, which was financed by private donations. Over the course of two years, technicians Tina Koeppe and Jessica Waite stabilised, relocated and catalogued hundreds of artifacts, including those from the Bristol collection. You can read an excerpt from Koeppe's article here, or request the recent issue of Nebraska History, or contact Landmark Stores to enquire here. The last time I visited a natural history museum, I saw display cases full of artefacts from the original inhabitants who still live in the Northwest. The objects were placed behind glass and the place came to life, said Lisa Schmitt, director of the Natural History Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. The 16 objects will be on display in the brand new Burke Museum, which will open next year after being returned from Europe. The woven baskets were collected by William Olsen, an Episcopal minister, who bought them from penniless tribal members in the 1870s and sold them to colleagues. Olsen met with elders from tribes in the region and then took them to the Natural History Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. The basket weaving workshop, collected by Dr. Andrew Kershaw, who worked on the reservation in the 1890s, also contains a number of other artifacts from the Burke Museum collection, including a basket collection from a Native American museum in New York. Together, the two collections are part of the Grand Ronde's efforts to process and examine its history for future generations - a mission that mirrors the efforts of other tribes in the United States. Native American advocacy groups, however, have protested and exhibited their remains in U.S. museums. These efforts have called museum practice into question and in recent decades have led to growing calls for museums to address the problematic history and to make the history of the Indians more transparent in their collections. By treating the remains as collectors "items, museums in the past paid little attention to the lives of the deceased and their families, and even less to their descendants.
Dutch Settlers and Lenape Natives
The practice of exoticizing and historicizing Native Americans has long been a theme for major U.S. museums. Dutch settlers, in which the Lenape natives interact with them, are now to be seen as an interpretative superposition on the back of the American Museum of Natural History. This presentation gives the visitor the impression that tribal societies are remnants of a past, while living indigenous communities on the American continent still live today. The museum receives millions of visitors every year and houses more than 1,000 exhibits and exhibits of Indian art and culture. For example, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History once housed an exhibition of Plains Indians, which featured a deerskin mannequin with an arrowhead that fell into the same category of misrepresentations exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science failed to comply with NAGPRA a few years after the law took effect, Colwell said. They have pledged to return the remains and sacred items of its ancestors to the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service.