Of all the occupations in the world, why did he trade in our ancestors!
January 3, 2014 6:33 PM Subscribe
NYTimes: "The paleontologist Richard Leakey has called their removal a “sacrilege.”
posted by jetlagaddict (20 comments total)
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Kenyan villagers have said their theft led to crop failure and ailing livestock. It is little wonder, then, that the long, slender wooden East African memorial totems known as vigango are creating a spiritual crisis of sorts for American museums."
The types of statues and their cost is discussed further here
, which is where the title quote was taken from. More on Udvardy's research here
, with much more background on the statues themselves and their use within Mijikenda society. National Geographic touches on Kenyan art and repatriation here
. California State University, Fullerton has an interesting pamphlet with background on their now repatriated collection of vigango here
, with a little background on how and why the statues are made and a brief print bibliography. When Denver's collection has been returned to Kenya:
Officials there will choose whether to display the objects, hunt through the nation’s hinterlands for their true owners and original sites, or allow them to decay slowly and ceremoniously, as was intended by their consecrators. Whatever they opt to do, Kenyan officials say, sovereignty over the objects should be theirs and not in the hands of foreign museums.