Sacred Hopi objects sold off in Paris, leaders not happy - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

UPDATE

Sacred Hopi objects sold off in Paris, leaders not happy

Posted: Updated:
Hopi Katsina doll. Tribe says these are meant for public viewing, but not the objects up for auction. Hopi Katsina doll. Tribe says these are meant for public viewing, but not the objects up for auction.
(Source: KPHO-TV) (Source: KPHO-TV)
(Source: KPHO-TV) (Source: KPHO-TV)
(Source: KPHO-TV) (Source: KPHO-TV)
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Former Montgomery home of Rosa Parks heavily damaged by copper thieves

    Former Montgomery home of Rosa Parks heavily damaged by copper thieves

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-08-27 18:55:04 GMT
    The apartment complex that includes the home Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks and her husband shared while they lived in Alabama's capital city, was heavily damaged by copper thieves Monday.More >>
    The apartment complex that includes the home Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks and her husband shared while they lived in Alabama's capital city, was heavily damaged by copper thieves Monday.More >>
  • Teen shooting suspect turns himself in

    Teen shooting suspect turns himself in

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:39 PM EDT2014-08-27 18:39:09 GMT
    A suspect sought in connection to a murder and accused of shooting at three Columbus teens has turned himself in to police. Columbus police tell us 18-year-old Terrance Streeter, also known as Worm, turnMore >>
    A suspect sought in connection to a murder and accused of shooting at three Columbus teens has turned himself in to police. Columbus police tell us 18-year-old Terrance Streeter, also known as Worm, turned himself in to police around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.More >>
  • Consumers urged to support local businesses at Small Business Week

    Consumers urged to support local businesses at Small Business Week

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 1:45 PM EDT2014-08-27 17:45:17 GMT
    Columbus city leaders are asking residents to support the local economy by doing business locally this week. Today is "Support Locals Day," and it's all part of Small Business Week, which kicked off Monday
    More >>
    Columbus city leaders are asking residents to support the local economy by doing business locally this week. Today is "Support Locals Day," and it's all part of Small Business Week, which kicked off Monday. Their mission is to get people to shop at local businesses to keep dollars and jobs local.More >>
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

Sacred Hopi Indian objects have been sold at an auction in Paris, and the northern Arizona tribe isn't happy about it.

The Hopi tribe tried to stop the auction and get their pieces back. A Paris court authorized the sale to go ahead despite an appeal for a delay by the Hopi tribe and the U.S. government.

There are thousands of Native American objects inside the Heard Museum. Hopi Katsina dolls, pottery and dwellings are on display. But there are some objects that are culturally forbidden to showcase.

"In the eyes of our people, they are very valuable because they're central to the way that we worship," said Hopi Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa.  

Out of respect for the tribe, CBS 5 News won't show the objects or describe them because they're considered sacred. Shingoitewa says about 90 pieces showed up in a public online catalogue for the Neret-Minet, Tessier and Sarrou auction, which happened Friday. Starting bids of the pieces were between 2,000 and 20,000 Euros.

The Drouot auction house said that of the 70 masks up for sale, one was bought by an association to give back to the Hopis. The most expensive up for auction, the "Mother Crow" mask, sold for $209,000, more than three times the pre-sale estimate. As the "Mother Crow" mask sold Friday, a protester shouted "these are sacred beings!"

The Hopi tribe says the masks are not art and represent their dead ancestors' spirits.

"It was hurtful for our people to see them displayed so openly," he said.

The Hopi leader sent a letter to the auctioneers asking them to postpone the auction so they could find out how they got them.

"At this time, our investigation shows at least one of these is stolen," Shingoitewa said.

He says a lot of questions need to be answered because only certain tribe members are authorized to take care of them.

"Someone asked me, ‘Will the Hopi people just go buy those sacred objects back?' That is not the way we believe in doing it because the sacred objects do not have a price to it," he said.

The chairman says he has not heard back from the auctioneers despite several attempts to get a response.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.