The Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde are celebrating the return of 16 artifacts from Europe. As KLCC’s Brian Bull explains, the items are back after nearly 120 years…but aren’t home permanently.
Between 1870 and 1910, two men – minister Robert Summers and Indian agent Doctor Andrew Kershaw – acquired various baskets and bowls from the tribal members they served. A colleague eventually bought the artifacts, and gifted them to London’s British Museum.
Now those objects are on display at the Grande Ronde tribe’s own museum.
David Harrelson is the tribal Cultural Resources Manager. He says in a year, they’ll go back to London.
“Yeah, the objects will go back, we’ll retain 3-D scans of the objects. Which we’ll be able to use," Harrelson tells KLCC.
"To us, the important thing to retain is the cultural practices that go along with them. We’re interested in living things and being a living culture, not a dead culture.”
The tribe has worked for two decades to reacquire the artifacts. Part of the effort involved upgrading and expanding the tribal museum.
Copyright 2018, KLCC.