‘What Isn’t Visible in the Visible Storage Gallery?’

Louisa N InterventionWhat Isn’t Visible in the Visible Storage Gallery?
A curatorial intervention by Louisa Nash, MA student, Archaeology

This exhibit investigates the complex reasons why certain types of objects are inappropriate for public display in permanent and visible storage galleries at museums. Guests will be invited to explore challenging questions such as: What is sacred? Who should have access to certain religiously significant objects? Who is responsible for the interpretation and display of objects? These questions will be explored in relation to Native American cultural objects that originated from the Hopi Tribe and the Pueblo of Zuni. These objects, a Hopi Ceremonial Half-Mask and Zuni stone fetishes, are currently stored in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art’s Visible Storage Gallery and in the Native North American Permanent Collection respectively. While the Hopi Ceremonial Half-Mask is displayed, the Zuni fetishes cannot be viewed and are represented in this exhibit by an empty stand. Insight can be gained concerning how the Zuni fetishes demonstrate some of the legal and religious reasons why particular objects are not able to be displayed. Guests can also learn how the Hopi Ceremonial Half-Mask reveals the ways that religious objects can cause museums to enter into productive dialogues with Native American communities concerning the ownership, display, and storage of important cultural and sacred objects.

Presently, many museums create and maintain visible storage galleries in addition to permanent galleries. The former facilitates the display of additional materials from stored museum collections and thus enhances learning opportunities. However, certain items are not suitable for public display in visible storage or permanent galleries for legal, cultural, and religious reasons. Certain items protected under laws such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) are repatriated, or returned, to the Native American tribes and nations that are culturally affiliated with these objects. In particular instances, when Native American groups continue to allow their repatriated objects to be housed in museum collections, it is often requested that these items not be displayed. This request is often due to religious or cultural beliefs that emphasize that the disclosure of esoteric knowledge should be limited to only those who have been educated and initiated into Native religions.

When considering which items will be displayed in permanent and visible storage galleries at museums, important questions should be considered, such as, “What is sacred? What is ownership? Who owns what? What can be bought and sold?”[1] Further questions include, “Who has access to knowledge (even simply the knowledge gained from gazing upon an object of power): only those who have been initiated, or all who pass through the doors of a cultural institution? Who has the right to say what the objects mean, and whether or how they are displayed?”[2] These questions are particular to each culture and may differ between objects, yet they elicit important discussion about and awareness of a museum’s stored and displayed objects. These questions can be considered when contemplating the types of objects that remain invisible at museums and the reasons why an object’s concealment can be just as important as its visibility.

To illustrate how the Visible Storage Gallery at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Johnson Museum) can raise dynamic questions and cross-cultural dialogues, two Native American objects have been selected for analysis: a set of Zuni fetishes and a Hopi Ceremonial Half-Mask, both part of the Johnson Museum’s Native American art collection. The stored Zuni fetishes, presently represented by a blank stand in the Visible Storage Gallery, demonstrate some of the legal and religious reasons why particular objects are not able to be publically seen, and the Hopi Ceremonial Half-Mask reveals how religious objects can cause museums to enter into productive dialogues with Native American communities concerning the ownership, display, and storage of important cultural objects. These objects also illustrate the importance of NAGPRA in relation to the display of important Native items and the law’s role in facilitating communication with communities.

Objects are very important in Native cultures because material culture is central to the recording, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge in the absence of written texts. When these significant cultural and religious objects are removed and kept in museums away from affiliated communities, political and sacred knowledge is lost and cannot be passed to subsequent generations.[3] NAGPRA, along with respect for religious traditions and privacy, affords Native Americans control over their heritage.

The set of Zuni animal fetishes that the Johnson Museum accessioned in 1972 are among the sacred items that cannot be displayed within the museum. A fetish “is an object, natural or manmade, in which a spirit is thought to reside”; these fetishes can be utilized for a multitude of purposes.[4] Much of the detailed information about the use and care of fetishes is reserved for members of the Zuni Pueblo, located primarily in New Mexico, who have undergone proper initiation ceremonies into the Zuni religion. This results in the discussion of fetish usage and care to be of a generalized nature.[5] While many fetishes are produced and subsequently sold by the Zuni, members of the Pueblo identify these as merely carvings; for the carved stone animal to obtain the status of a fetish, a Zuni religious leader must conduct an appropriate ceremony that bestows power upon the carving, rendering it a recognized fetish. These ceremonies are done “only by Zuni priests for other Zunis and only during the winter solstice.”[6]

Scholars believe that the use of fetishes dates to the 7th century A.D., as archaeologists have found evidence of early fetishes at excavated sites.[7] These early fetishes were natural concretions of stone that resembled humans and animals and were sometimes further adorned by sinew wrappings that affixed shells and stones.[8] These fetishes are regarded in traditional Zuni religious beliefs as the petrifactions of the animals that they resemble. According to religious traditions, the petrified bodies of animals are representative of the dangerous creatures that inhabited the Earth before humans first emerged from the Underworld.[9] The legendary Warrior Twins then shot lightning arrows that turned the animals into stone and provided the emerging humans with a safe environment. The spirits of these animals are believed to remain alive within these stone forms.[10]

The Zuni traditionally and presently use fetishes in relation to diagnosing and curing illnesses, as an aid in hunting and farming, assisting with fertility, promoting good weather, conducting witchcraft and defense against witchcraft, and punishment.[11] Because these fetishes are considered to be alive and to contain the spirit of an animal, the fetishes must be fed and protected. Fetishes are given offerings of turquoise, coral, shell, or projectile points.[12] These offerings are often seen tied as bundles onto the fetish; the offering bundles help to honor and nourish the animal spirit that resides within the stone.[13] Food, daily prayers, songs, or chants can also serve to strengthen and nourish the fetishes.[14] Fetishes among the Zuni are generally kept in a guarded location within a special pottery vessel, or within a kiva, which is an underground form of religious architecture that is utilized as both a place for religious ceremonies and as a secular place for community meetings.[15] However, those functional fetishes that have been blessed by a religious leader through the appropriate ceremony are rarely seen by non-Zuni people.[16]

If scholars or museums assign only an aesthetic value to these functional religious items, then the purpose of these objects is missed.[17] Many Native American artifacts and objects presently in museums are not intended to be art objects, and this classification may be explicitly rejected by the creators.[18] By viewing ceremonial items as simply art objects that can be acquired and displayed, the complex cultural meanings that are unique to a community are removed.[19] Many Native cultures find that only judging the aesthetic value of a piece “stifles the full expression of ideas and the proper performance of religious acts.”[20] Sacred objects like fetishes or masks were created to be utilized in religious ceremonies and private acts of reverence.

When considering Zuni religious items, two important elements must be taken into account: relatedness—or similarity, and the potency of secret knowledge.[21] The relatedness of a subject is often discerned through resemblance. Therefore, a fetish that resembles an animal is thought to contain that animal’s spirit and the attributes that animal possesses.[22] Animals are considered to be related to both deities and humans; they contain characteristics such as flight, speed, and strength that humans do not, and thusly they cannot fully be understood by humans. However, like humans, animals eventually die.[23] Although fetishes can take the form of any animal, the most important forms of fetishes are those that resemble animals that are perceived as ‘custodians of the hunt’ and those directional fetishes that guard specific areas.[24] These two religious elements of relatedness and secret knowledge are also core principles that are seen in kachina ceremonies and among other Pueblo groups, such as the Hopi Tribe, located in northeastern Arizona.

Another important aspect of Zuni religion is balance.[25] Balance or harmony can be achieved through proper treatment of religious items and through respect shown to the ancestors and gods. Harmony and balance are also ensured through group cooperation and by everyone in the pueblo working together.[26] These are important principles that are also needed between museums and the Zuni to engage in productive dialogue concerning traditional religious objects held by museums.

With the passage of certain laws, Native American sacred items, such as Zuni fetishes, became eligible for repatriation. According to the National Parks Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, “the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was enacted on November 16, 1990, to address the rights of lineal descendants, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations to Native American cultural items, including human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.”[27] Before this law was enacted, federal laws that covered the protection of gravesites and associated property did not extend to Native Americans.[28] NAGPRA was intended to “end the centuries-old practice of removing human remains and cultural items from Native American graves, lands and communities; treating them as collectibles to be stored, studied, and displayed in museums and repositories in the name of scientific study, education, and cultural preservation.”[29] NAGPRA is a central factor in the considerations and decisions of what can be made visible within the Visible Storage Gallery.

The importance of NAGPRA also becomes apparent when it is revealed that the majority of Native American objects in both private and public collections were acquired during the 1830s-1930s, a period of high colonialism.[30] Furthermore, the federal government passed laws during the 1890s-1930s to actively outlaw Native American dances and religious ceremonies. These types of discriminatory laws that precluded basic religious rights led to the enactment of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in the 1970s.[31] However, this act was not enforceable in court, so during the 1980s-1990s more policies were put forth to protect sacred and burial sites as well as ceremonial objects.[32]

After the Supreme Court case, Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Associations, whose ruling further precluded Native religious practitioners from protecting their sacred sites through the First Amendment, work was done to create laws mandating repatriation and to afford protection to Native American sites, objects, and remains. NAGPRA was produced from this effort.[33] Additionally, scholars have noted that one of the central purposes behind NAGPRA was to assist in repairing centuries of discrimination against and persecution of Native Americans.

NAGPRA applies in different areas, including: protecting human remains and cultural objects against trafficking; protecting these remains and objects on federal and tribal lands; and the repatriation of material and human remains from federal agencies and federally-funded museums.[34] All federally-funded museums and agencies in the United States had to create a comprehensive inventory of cultural items and human remains so that cultural affiliation could be established between these materials and Native American tribes in order for the process of repatriation to begin.[35]

Museums and federal agencies must now repatriate human remains and cultural items that include funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. Sacred objects are ceremonial in nature and are needed for present-day ceremonies. It falls upon Native religious leaders to determine which objects are to be considered sacred. Objects of cultural patrimony include “those objects that have ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural importance central to the Native American group or culture itself and were owned by the tribe…and could not be sold or given away by an individual.”[36]

With this knowledge of NAGPRA in mind, federal institutions and museums—such as the Johnson Museum—contacted culturally affiliated Native American groups concerning objects stored and displayed within the museum. In 1995 the Johnson Museum worked closely with Cornell’s American Indian Program and with members of the Zuni to determine the fate of three fetishes given to the Museum in 1972. Once contacted with information about their sacred objects, the Pueblo of Zuni provided general information concerning their position on repatriation. For the Pueblo of Zuni, as with many Native tribes and nations, repatriation is a complex process. This is often because different religious groups may be present within the tribe, and decisions affecting cultural, sacred, and funerary objects and remains must be deliberated on by the entire community. Tribal understanding of the term ‘ownership’ is often different than the English use; many objects that fall under NAGPRA jurisdiction are owned by the entire community or even by supernatural entities, and therefore decisions that are appropriate for the entire tribe regarding the transferal of objects from museums can be a difficult matter to finalize.

After the initial correspondence between the Johnson Museum and the Zuni, the tribe requested that these three fetishes be stored in a purpose-built box for perpetuity and not be exhibited. This concealment is important because, as the Pueblo of Zuni Heritage and Historic Preservation Office disclosed, it would be very inappropriate to release any esoteric or ritual knowledge of religious and ceremonial practices. The Johnson Museum agreed to these requests concerning the three fetishes. While many tribes have taken repatriated materials from museum collections back to tribal lands, there is a full spectrum of responses to NAGPRA from Native communities. Each Native American tribe or nation is able to apply the law as they see fit.[37] In certain cases, some Native American groups have selected museums as the “safeguards” of their repatriated materials, which will continue to reside in concealed permanent storage areas.[38]

While the Zuni requested that the three fetishes received by the Johnson Museum in 1972 be removed from display, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), a branch of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., includes photographs of a number of similar fetishes on their website. This is indicative of at least an implicit agreement for display of these or similar objects within a museum context. It is likely the nature or background of these fetishes that allows for their image to be posted online. Owing to the complicated process behind following the meaning and spirit of NAGPRA, as well as honoring and understanding shifting cultural values, concepts of appropriate and inappropriate use of cultural and sacred objects must be considered carefully, on a case-by-case basis. It is this variability of decision-making that allows the fetishes in the NMAI’s collection to be published as images on their website, but the three Zuni fetishes the Johnson Museum acquired in 1972 to be removed from circulation. If one looks on the LUNA image database online, there are photographs of four Zuni fetishes that the Johnson Museum accessioned in 2006. The continued accessibility and online viewing status of these objects has yet to be determined given the complex considerations surrounding sacred items.

NAGPRA creates an opportunity for both museums and Native American tribes, such as the Johnson Museum and the Pueblo of Zuni, to interact through consultation.[39] New relationships between museums and tribes are able to be forged through mutual respect and openness and the fostering of an intercultural perspective. These relationships can contribute to a deeper knowledge about Native objects, such as awareness of what makes an object sacred and what type of appropriate treatment a sacred object should receive.

This inter-cultural dialogue can further museums’ effectiveness as places for learning. Through the exposure of multiple viewpoints, different interpretations of objects can be cultivated. In learning that it is inappropriate to display Zuni fetishes and that secrecy is an important aspect of Pueblo religion, questions such as “Why keep knowledge a secret?” can be addressed in galleries where these objects would have typically been presented or visibly stored. Fresh, broader lines of inquiry can be created in galleries, such as the Visible Storage Gallery, where the stories of these concealed items can be contrasted against presented objects and knowledge.

The question “Why keep knowledge a secret?” has been a central consideration that scholars have pursued with regard to Pueblo religions.[40] Secrecy surrounding esoteric knowledge and religious performances is often attributed to the violence and repression that societies like the Hopi and Zuni have faced from the Spanish, Mexican, and United States governments and dominant cultures. Throughout much of the history of the United States, Native Americans were marginalized, discriminated against, and denied basic rights. They were demonized and had literal bounty prices placed upon their heads, enabling others to legally capture or execute them.[41] Tribes and nations were denied religious freedoms and traditional land holdings and were forced into programs that aimed to create assimilation to the dominant American culture.[42]

Many cultural items and human remains were taken from Native Americans when graves, temples, shrines, or villages were robbed in order to fill museums.[43] These items were also taken as souvenirs or to be sold for private collectors. These items and remains were often removed without the “free, prior, and informed consent” of Native American Nations, governments, communities, or individuals.[44] Salvage anthropology, which occurred during the nineteenth and part of the twentieth centuries when scholars erroneously believed that all Native cultures would become extinct, was also a central force behind the acquisition of objects into museum collections. It was believed that museums would be able to preserve aspects of these cultures once they vanished.[45] These instances of violent acquisition of funerary, sacred, and cultural objects prompted many tribes and nations to become more secretive in their ceremonial and cultural events to better protect their items and traditions.

Scholars have also noted that information regarding the sacred is not freely and widely distributed even within some Native American communities. Among the Pueblo cultures “knowledge is tightly controlled and judiciously disseminated—mediated through different levels of ritual authority.”[46] The amount and type of knowledge that a person is able to amass is prescribed to their earned status within a religion’s hierarchy.[47]

Many scholars have observed that secrecy has social functions, which include the formation of a student-mentor relationship and the continuance of valuing oral communication. Anthropologists have noted in their studies of Pueblo societies that knowledge is powerful because it is kept secret; however, traditional Pueblo religious leaders have responded by stating that knowledge is kept a secret because it is powerful.[48] When those who are not properly educated or initiated into Pueblo religions make use of knowledge that they cannot fully comprehend or control, the religious knowledge loses its potency. Through secrecy and control, knowledge is used properly and, it is believed, the order of the cosmos is maintained.[49] However, once sacred knowledge has been made profane, it may not be possible to make it sacred again.[50]

Among Pueblo communities, the Hopi, Pueblo of Acoma, Pueblo of Zuni, and the Pueblo of Zia have been termed the “four repatriating Pueblos.”[51] Seventeen other Pueblos support their efforts. When requesting items for repatriation, the Hopi Tribe or Pueblo of Acoma often lead in the reburial of remains. In addition, the Zuni Pueblo have been particularly active in requesting the repatriation of religiously powerful cultural objects.[52] Restricted access to religious objects and knowledge ensures cultural survival. As Zuni Octavius Seowtewa states, “It’s a way for us to keep our culture, by restricting it.”[53] NAGPRA assists in providing guidelines for consultations and collaborations between institutions and Native communities so that Native collections can be beneficial both to individuals and communities. Respect for Native beliefs, ethics, and rights can be achieved, and, in cases concerning religious objects, secrecy can be maintained.

Similar to the Pueblo of Zuni, secrecy is an important aspect of the Hopi Tribe’s traditional kachina, or katsina, religion. Due to the significance of secrecy, issues of concealment and display also figure prominently in discussions of Hopi sacred objects, including masks used in kachina ceremonies. According to Glenna Nielsen-Grimm, the Anthropology Collections Manager at the Natural History Museum of Utah, the kachinas “are believed to be the ancestral spirits who visit the pueblos in the year during kachina season, the masked dancers who perform the rituals, and the kachina dolls that are carved by uncles, brothers, and fathers to help children, especially girls, learn about them.”[54] Each of these three different meanings to the word kachina carries different connotations.

Hopi religion involves the belief that the world of the dead is not truly divided and disconnected from the world of the living. Masks play an integral role in the communion between these two worlds. Upon death, a white cotton mask is placed over the face of the deceased, and this symbolizes their birth into the lower world.[55] The spirits of the deceased can return to the upper world of the living by travelling in the form of a cloud and becoming kachinas. The rain is understood to be the spiritual essence of the kachinas. In this way, the kachinas are not just deity spirits but also the ancestral spirits that bring clouds and rain to their descendants. It is believed that these spirits reside in either the mountains or the lakes.[56]

Within the Hopi calendar, divisions are made in regard to lunar months and the duration of certain ceremonial seasons. The period of December to July is the Kachina season, in which masked ceremonies are performed to mark the arrival of the kachinas and the initiation of children into kachina societies.[57] Only boys and men are initiated into kachina societies, and they are the only members of the tribe who wear the costumes and masks of the kachina spirits.[58] The female kachinas are also impersonated by men. Hopi clans traditionally have been matrilineal, and women are recognized as the owners of farm lands, houses, and wells. Through the matrilineal kinship structures, property rights, and the ability to produce new life through the process of giving birth, Hopi women embody sacredness, while Hopi men express sacredness through the performance of ceremonies.[59]

There are over 200 different kachinas and many different classificatory categories.[60] Kachinas often represent themes or elements from the natural world. This association indicates the close relationship that the Hopi have with their land and environment.[61] The all-encompassing aspects of the kachina religion become more evident within the Hopi language; the Hopi have no word meaning “religion,” and it is argued that this is due to the understanding that “all aspects of their life have a sacred quality.”[62]

The kachinas are referred to as “our friends”; kachina masks are often called this as well, because it is the mask that defines each individual kachina and that is the essence of each personality and type of kachina.[63] Since masks are often referred to in this manner, the Hopi word meaning mask is rarely used.[64] As discussed by scholar Louis A. Hieb, this likely conforms to the belief that “uninitiated Hopis should not have knowledge or contact with the mask” because “the mask, is what defines the katsina.”[65] The designs of the kachina masks allow for the different kachina spirits and deities to be distinguished from one another.[66] As a ritual object, ceremonial kachina masks, similar to fetishes, must receive proper care through the acts of feeding and of performing both songs and prayers.[67] Often the masks are hidden from view in a protected place when they are stored.[68]

The kachina mask worn by performers is the most highly developed aspect of their costume.[69] There are several variations of the masks that are used during kachina ceremonies, such as the half mask, face mask, and helmet mask.[70] The half mask, made of heavy buckskin or rawhide, conceals the performer’s face from the hairline to the mouth. Affixed to the top of this mask is a fringe made of horsehair or goat hair.[71] Black horsehair and sometimes feathers are attached to the lower extremity of the mask and cover the performer’s mouth while still allowing for clear pronunciation of songs and prayers. Half masks are often representative of female kachinas.[72]

Face masks usually have molded or stylized features that sometimes appear exaggerated, similar to caricatures. Helmet masks encircle the performer’s entire head, completely concealing all aspects of the face and hair.[73] They are also made from buckskin, buffalo hide, or leather that has been buried in wet sand to soften it. The leather is then conformed to the size and contour of the performer’s head, who will wear the mask in ceremonies. The role of masks in kachina performances is of immense importance. Emory Sekaquaptewa, a kachina performer, discusses the role that he has observed masks to play during kachina ceremonies, stating: “I am certain that the use of the mask in the kachina ceremony has more than just an aesthetic purpose. I feel that what happens to a man when he is a performer is that if he understands the essence of the kachina, when he dons the mask he loses his identity and actually becomes what he is representing.”[74]

Hopi rituals employ masks and costumes in the performance of dances and religious ceremonies as the utilization of mimetic rituals whose efficacy lies in imitation. This is similar to the Zuni concepts of relatedness or similarity, and this imitation is believed to ensure that the rituals and ceremonies are effective in producing their desired result, such as producing rain.[75] As with the Pueblo of Zuni, secret knowledge is also important to the Hopi Tribe, as only the initiated men and boys of a certain age are allowed into kachina societies and to wear the costumes and masks of the kachina spirits.

As the Hopi Ceremonial Half-Mask at the Johnson Museum is potentially a very important sacred object that is culturally affiliated with the Hopi Tribe, it is essential that contact between the museum and tribe occurs to thoughtfully ascertain the most appropriate and culturally sensitive practices regarding the future storage and display of this item. The Johnson Museum can enter into the process of consultation and repatriation as outlined by the National NAGPRA website.[76] Museums working with tribes can also consult the Bureau of Indian Affairs; federal, state, and local governmental agencies involved in Native American issues; and national, regional and local archives concerning matters of cultural affiliation. As with the Zuni fetishes, over which the Johnson Museum engaged in an active dialogue with the Zuni Pueblo, the Johnson Museum will work with the Hopi Tribe concerning the Ceremonial Half-Mask. This Hopi mask is an example of how certain objects lead museums and institutions to engage in productive dialogues with Native American communities. The ownership, display, and storage of this mask will be determined through these open, respectful, and multicultural dialogues.

Through the process of consultation and repatriation, federal institutions and museums, such as the Johnson Museum, have been able to consider not only their collections but also the living people and cultures from which the materials and knowledge originated. The process evokes important questions previously mentioned, including: What is sacred? Who should have access to knowledge—only the initiated of a specific religion, or the general public? Who is responsible for the interpretation and display of objects? Through cooperative efforts between Native communities and museums, these questions can be assessed from multiple viewpoints, and answers regarding particular objects can be reached.

The observance of NAGPRA and the start of these communications could potentially change the viewing status of the Hopi Ceremonial Half-Mask. Given the importance of secrecy in the religious practices of the Hopi and the significance that masks carry, if this is a ceremonial piece used in secret dances, Hopi religious leaders may have the object removed from the museum or request that it is no longer displayed. Due to this type of closed storage, where access to these objects is limited, some scholars, particularly physical anthropologists, as well as certain archaeologists and some museum curators have voiced opposition to the repatriation of human remains and objects from museums and federal collections.[77] These scholars argue that our understanding of a universal human past and heritage is threatened when specific ethnic or cultural boundaries have exclusive control of artifacts and limit scientific study and inquiry. They claim that the law of NAGPRA weighs the traditions and beliefs of Native American tribes and nations more heavily than a universalist perspective and that the law puts these traditional religious beliefs on an equal standing with science.[78]

Tribes are able to remove culturally affiliated objects from museums, as items of cultural patrimony can include a wide variety of objects affiliated with tribes. This ability allows many items in a museum collection to fall under tribal authority; tribes can even rebury items if so desired.[79] Certain scholars argue that NAGPRA legislation, which delegates the control and fate of objects explicitly to particular racial or ethnic groups, endangers academic research opportunities. It has been claimed that, because of NAGPRA, “the worldview of western science is under serious and sustained assault.”[80] These opinions might have formed due to the value that Western societies place on an open system of information sharing.[81] Yet, many museums would “not return anything if NAGPRA was not in place.”[82] Despite protests against NAGPRA, it is an important piece of human rights legislation that affords Native Americans equal protection of their funerary, sacred, and cultural goods, as well as human remains. It forces scholars to consider other perspectives and religious beliefs outside of research interests, and it allows for face-to-face consultation and collaboration between scholars and Native communities.

Ultimately, as Elizabeth Sackler states,NAGPRA “demands that we confront our country’s history of conquest, genocide, and racism.”[83] The law, along with respect for Native religious and cultural viewpoints, allows new opportunities for Native and non-Native Americans to engage in productive dialogues. Often it is felt by tribes that the unwanted excavation and curation of both human remains and cultural objects by institutions has removed the voices of Native Americans and has resulted in their lack of power to control or to participate in determining the fate of their ancestors and cultural objects.[84] Many scholars now recognize the importance of multiculturalism and pluralism and welcome the opportunity to have diverse viewpoints concerning the research and display of Native objects.[85]

In addition to permanent galleries, visible storage galleries are vital and dynamic museum spaces that also enable visitors to consider the types of objects that are suitable for public display and the legal, cultural, and religious motives behind the concealment of items. The two selected Native American objects, a set of Zuni fetishes and a Hopi Ceremonial Half-Mask, both part of the Johnson Museum’s Native American art collection, exemplify the importance of secrecy and concealment as well as the ongoing need for museums to enter into productive dialogues with Native American communities. These dialogues and relationships, guided by federal laws like the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), can allow for culturally sensitive decisions to be reached regarding the ownership, display, and storage of significant cultural and sacred objects. As the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington allows for the representation of contemporary Native people,[86] the continual dialogue between museums and Native communities, as reflected in this project, also reveals how Native communities have the opportunity to actively control their material culture and the dissemination of their religious and traditional knowledge.

Notes
[1] Sackler, Elizabeth. “Chapter One: About the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation.” In Mending the Circle: A Native American Repatriation Guide, Understanding and Implementing NAGPRA and the Official Smithsonian and pother Repatriation Policies. editor Barbara Meister. (New York, New York: American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation, 1997), 70.

[2] Berlo, Janet Catherine, Ruth B. Phillips. “The Problematics of Collecting and Display, Part 1” The Art Bulletin, 77, No. 1 (1995), pp. 6-23, p. 6.

[3] Berlo and Phillips, “The Problematics of Collecting and Display, Part 1” p. 9.

[4] Rodee, Marian and James Ostler. The Fetish Carvers of the Zuni. Albuquerque, New Mexico: The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, The University of New Mexico,1990, p. 15.

[5] Rodee, and Ostler. The Fetish Carvers of the Zuni. p. 30.

[6] Rodee, and Ostler. The Fetish Carvers of the Zuni. p. 30.

[7] Whittle, Kay. Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2006, p. 30.

[8] Finkelstein, Harold. Zuni Fetish Carvings. Decatur, Georgia: South West Connection, 1994, p. 1.

[9] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 13.

[10] Finkelstein, Zuni Fetish Carvings, 1994, p. 1.

[11] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 14.

[12] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 14.

[13] Rodee, and Ostler. The Fetish Carvers of the Zuni. p. 15.

[14] Bennett, Hal Zina. Zuni Fetishes: Using Native American Objects for Meditation, Reflection, and Insight. (New York, New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993), p. 40.

[15] [15] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 14.

[16] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 14.

[17] Gill, Sam D. Native American Religious Action: A Performance Approach to Religion. Colombia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1987, p. 41.

[18] Gill, Native American Religious Action, 1987, p. 41.

[19] Gill, Native American Religious Action, 1987, p. 41.

[20] Gill, Native American Religious Action, 1987, p. 44.

[21] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 13.

[22] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 13.

[23] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 13.

[24] Finkelstein, Zuni Fetish Carvings, 1994, p. 7.

[25] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 13.

[26] Whittle, Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest, p. 13.

[27] http://www.nps.gov/nagpra/INDEX.HTM

[28] Chari, Sangita and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. “Introduction.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp. 7-18. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013, p. 7.

[29] Chari, and Lavallee. “Introduction.” p. 7.

[30] Berlo and Phillips, “The Problematics of Collecting and Display, Part 1” p. 6.

[31] Trope, Jack F. “The Case for NAGPRA.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.19-54. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013.

[32] Trope, “The Case for NAGPRA.” p. 19.

[33] Trope, “The Case for NAGPRA.” p. 19.

[34] Trope, “The Case for NAGPRA.” p. 29.

[35] Trope, “The Case for NAGPRA.” p. 29.

[36] Trope, “The Case for NAGPRA.” p. 32.

[37] Watkins, Joe “Native Americans, Western Science, and NAGPRA” In Working Together: Native Americans and Archaeologists editors Dongoske, Kurt E., Mark Aldenderfer, and Karen Doehner. Washington D.C.: The Society for American Archaeology, 2000, p. 93.

[38] Capone, Patricia. “Amending Wonder: Museums and Twenty Years of the Native Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.115-134. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013, p. 125.

[39] Hemenway, Eric. “Finding Our Way Home.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.83-98. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013, p. 88.

[40] Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip. “Sketching Knowledge: Quandaries in the Mimetic Reproduction of Pueblo Ritual.” Journal of the American Ethnological Society 38 no.3 (2011): 451-467 Denver Museum of Nature and Science, p. 452.

[41] Bernstein, Jan I. “The Impact of NAGPRA on Communities.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.263-282. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013, p. 265.

[42] Bernstein, “The Impact of NAGPRA on Communities.” p. 265.

[43] O’Loughlin, Shannon Keller. “Moving Forward from the Last Twenty Years.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.221-236. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013, p. 234.

[44] O’Loughlin, “Moving Forward from the Last Twenty Years.” p. 234.

[45] Berlo and Phillips, “The Problematics of Collecting and Display, Part 1” p. 6.

[46] Colwell-Chanthaphonh, “Sketching Knowledge” p. 452.

[47] Colwell-Chanthaphonh, “Sketching Knowledge” p. 452.

[48] Colwell-Chanthaphonh, “Sketching Knowledge” p. 453.

[49] Colwell-Chanthaphonh, “Sketching Knowledge” p. 453.

[50] Colwell-Chanthaphonh, “Sketching Knowledge” p. 453.

[51] Bernstein, “The Impact of NAGPRA on Communities.” p. 277.

[52] Bernstein, “The Impact of NAGPRA on Communities.” p. 277.

[53] Colwell-Chanthaphonh, “Sketching Knowledge” p. 459.

[54] Nielsen-Grimm, Glenna. “Southwest Cultures and the Kachina Cult.” In Mesoamerican Influences in the Southwest: Kachinas, Macaws, and Feathered Serpents editor Glenna Nielsen-Grimm. pp. 1-20. Utah: Museum of Peoples and Cultures Popular Series #4, Brigham Young University, 2008, p. 2.

[55] Nielsen-Grimm, “Southwest Cultures and the Kachina Cult.” p. 7.

[56] Nielsen-Grimm, “Southwest Cultures and the Kachina Cult.” p. 7.

[57] Nielsen-Grimm,. “Southwest Cultures and the Kachina Cult.” p. 9.

[58] Nielsen-Grimm,. “Southwest Cultures and the Kachina Cult.” p. 9.

[59] Loftin John D. Religion and Hopi Life in the Twentieth Century. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1991, p. 28.

[60] Nielsen-Grimm,. “Southwest Cultures and the Kachina Cult.” p. 9.

[61] Eggan, Fred. “The Hopi Cosmology or World-View.” In Kachinas in the Pueblo World editor Polly Schaafsma. pp. 7-16 Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1994, p. 15.

[62] Eggan. “The Hopi Cosmology or World-View.” p. 15.

[63] Hieb, Louis A. “The Meaning of Katsina: Toward a Cultural Definition of “Person” in Hopi Religion.” In Kachinas in the Pueblo World editor Polly Schaafsma. pp. 23-34 Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1994, p. 27.

[64] Hieb, “The Meaning of Katsina” p. 27.

[65] Hieb, “The Meaning of Katsina” p. 27.

[66] Adams, E. Charles. “The Katsina Cult: A Western Pueblo Perspective.” In Kachinas in the Pueblo World editor Polly Schaafsma. pp. 35-46 Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1994, p. 37.

[67] Parsons, Elsie Worthington Clews Hopi and Zuni Ceremonialism. The American Anthropological Association, 1933, p. 40.

[68] Hieb, “The Meaning of Katsina” p. 28.

[69] Roediger, Virginia More. Ceremonial Costumes of the Pueblo Indians: Their Evolution, Fabrication, and Significance in the Prayer Drama. Berkley: University of California Press, 1991, p. 159.

[70] Roediger, Ceremonial Costumes of the Pueblo Indians, p. 159.

[71] Roediger, Ceremonial Costumes of the Pueblo Indians, p. 161.

[72] Roediger, Ceremonial Costumes of the Pueblo Indians, p. 161.

[73] Roediger, Ceremonial Costumes of the Pueblo Indians, p. 163.

[74] Gill, Native American Religious Action, 1987, p. 43.

[75] James, Susan E. “Mimetic Rituals of Child Sacrifice in the Hopi Kachina Cult.” Journal of the Southwest, 44 no. 3 (2002): 337-356, p. 338.

[76] http://www.nps.gov/nagpra/INDEX.HTM

[77] Clark, G.A. “NAGPRA, the Conflict between Science and Religion, and the Political Consequences.” In Working Together: Native Americans and Archaeologists editors Dongoske, Kurt E., Mark Aldenderfer, and Karen Doehner. Washington D.C.: The Society for American Archaeology, 2000, p. 87.

[78] Clark, “NAGPRA, the Conflict between Science and Religion” p. 87.

[79] Clark, “NAGPRA, the Conflict between Science and Religion” p. 87.

[80] Clark, “NAGPRA, the Conflict between Science and Religion” p. 89.

[81] Colwell-Chanthaphonh, “Sketching Knowledge” p. 453.

[82] Hemenway, “Finding Our Way Home.” p. 89.

[83] Sackler, “Chapter One: About the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation,” 70.

[84] Watkins, “Native Americans, Western Science, and NAGPRA” p. 92.

[85] Berlo and Phillips, “The Problematics of Collecting and Display, Part 1” p. 7.

[86] Rickard, Jolene. “Absorbing or Obscuring the Absence of a Critical Space in the Americas for Indigeneity: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.” RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, No. 52, Museums: Crossing Boundaries (2007), pp. 85-92.

Bibliography
Adams, E. Charles. “The Katsina Cult: A Western Pueblo Perspective.” In Kachinas in the Pueblo World editor Polly Schaafsma. pp. 35-46 (Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1994).

Bennett, Hal Zina. Zuni Fetishes: Using Native American Objects for Meditation, Reflection, and Insight. (New York, New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993).

Berlo, Janet Catherine, Ruth B. Phillips. “The Problematics of Collecting and Display, Part 1” The Art Bulletin, 77, No. 1 (1995), pp. 6-23.

Bernstein, Jan I. “The Impact of NAGPRA on Communities.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.263-282. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013.

Capone, Patricia. “Amending Wonder: Museums and Twenty Years of the Native Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.115-134. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013.

Chari, Sangita and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. “Introduction.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp. 7-18. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013.

Clark, G.A. “NAGPRA, the Conflict between Science and Religion, and the Political Consequences.” In Working Together: Native Americans and Archaeologists editors Dongoske, Kurt E., Mark Aldenderfer, and Karen Doehner. Washington D.C.: The Society for American Archaeology, 2000.

Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip. “Sketching Knowledge: Quandaries in the Mimetic Reproduction of Pueblo Ritual.” Journal of the American Ethnological Society 38 no.3 (2011): 451-467 Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Eggan, Fred. “The Hopi Cosmology or World-View.” In Kachinas in the Pueblo World editor Polly Schaafsma. pp. 7-16 (Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1994).

Finkelstein, Harold. Zuni Fetish Carvings. Decatur, Georgia: South West Connection, 1994.

Gill, Sam D. Native American Religious Action: A Performance Approach to Religion. Colombia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1987.

Hemenway, Eric. “Finding Our Way Home.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.83-98. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013.

Hieb, Louis A. “The Meaning of Katsina: Toward a Cultural Definition of “Person” in Hopi Religion.” In Kachinas in the Pueblo World editor Polly Schaafsma. pp. 23-34 (Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1994).

http://www.nps.gov/nagpra/INDEX.HTM “National NAGPRA” U.S. Department of the Interior.

James, Susan E. “Mimetic Rituals of Child Sacrifice in the Hopi Kachina Cult.” Journal of the Southwest, 44 no. 3 (2002): 337-356.

Loftin John D. Religion and Hopi Life in the Twentieth Century. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1991.

Nielsen-Grimm, Glenna. “Southwest Cultures and the Kachina Cult.” In Mesoamerican Influences in the Southwest: Kachinas, Macaws, and Feathered Serpents editor Glenna Nielsen-Grimm. pp. 1-20. Utah: Museum of Peoples and Cultures Popular Series #4, Brigham Young University, 2008.

O’Loughlin, Shannon Keller. “Moving Forward from the Last Twenty Years.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.221-236. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013.

Parsons, Elsie Worthington Clews Hopi and Zuni Ceremonialism. The American Anthropological Association, 1933.

Rickard, Jolene. “Absorbing or Obscuring the Absence of a Critical Space in the Americas for Indigeneity: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.” RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, No. 52, Museums: Crossing Boundaries (2007), pp. 85-92.

Rodee, Marian and James Ostler. The Fetish Carvers of the Zuni. Albuquerque, New Mexico: The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, The University of New Mexico,1990.

Roediger, Virginia More. Ceremonial Costumes of the Pueblo Indians: Their Evolution, Fabrication, and Significance in the Prayer Drama. Berkley: University of California Press, 1991.

Sackler, Elizabeth. “Chapter One: About the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation.” In Mending the Circle: A Native American Repatriation Guide, Understanding and Implementing NAGPRA and the Official Smithsonian and pother Repatriation Policies. editor Barbara Meister. New York, New York: American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation, 1997.

Trope, Jack F. “The Case for NAGPRA.” In Accomplishing NAGPRA : perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act editors Sangita Chari and Jaime M.N. Lavallee. pp.19-54. Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2013.

Watkins, Joe “Native Americans, Western Science, and NAGPRA” In Working Together: Native Americans and Archaeologists editors Dongoske, Kurt E., Mark Aldenderfer, and Karen Doehner. Washington D.C.: The Society for American Archaeology, 2000.

Whittle, Kay. Native American Fetishes: Carvings of the Southwest. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2006.

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