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german-museum-repatriates-lakota-chief’s-shirt,-citing-‘ethical-and-moral causes’

German Museum Repatriates Lakota Chief’s Shirt, Citing ‘Ethical and Moral Causes’

With German establishments inserting a renewed emphasis on the repatriation of assorted objects of their holdings, the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt mentioned this week that it had given the leather-based shirt of Chief Daniel Hole Horn Bear (Mato He Oklogeca), of the Teton Lakota, to his great-grandson Chief Duane Hole Horn Bear. In a press launch, the museum cited “ethical and moral causes” for the return.

The leather-based shirt was handed over to Duane Hole Horn Bear on June 12 in Rosebud, South Dakota. Duane Hole Horn Bear had visited the Weltkulturen Museum in 2019 and submitted a request for the shirt’s return that included a historic portrait {photograph}, dated to 1900, by John Alvin Anderson. The image confirmed Chief Daniel Hole Horn Bear, who died in 1913, sporting the shirt. Chief Daniel Hole Horn Bear was a well-respected chief and politician who advocated for the rights of his folks and was typically a chief negotiator with the U.S. authorities.

Daniel Hole Horn Bear, photographed in 1900, sporting the shirt previously within the assortment of the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt. Photograph: John Alvin Anderson/Supply: www.firstpeople.us

In 2019, when he requested the shirt’s return, Chief Duane Hole Horn Bear mentioned in a video documenting the repatriation course of, “It’s been a tough journey simply to return right here right this moment. I’m humbled not simply to see [his shirt] in an image, however to carry it in my hand, like I’m holding his hand. . . . Grandpa come dwelling. We want you.”

In an announcement, the Weltkulturen Museum mentioned, “The Chief’s shirt is a culturally particular, identity-forming object of spiritual significance to the Teton Lakota Indigenous neighborhood. It bears particular patterns of brightly coloured glass beads and human hair, that are undoubtedly attributable to the Hole Horn Bear household and show private possession previous to 1906. . . . For Chief Duane Hole Horn Bear and his household, the return of the shirt is just like the return of the great-grandfather himself.”

The Weltkulturen Museum got here into possession of the shirt in 1908 by an trade with the American Museum of Pure Historical past in New York. For the previous 30 years, the shirt had been on everlasting mortgage and show to the German Leather-based Museum in close by city of Offenbach.

The AMNH had obtained the shirt solely two years earlier as half of a bigger donation by James Graham Phelps Stokes, a New York millionaire and philanthropist whose household’s wealth got here from the Phelps-Dodge Firm. In its launch asserting the shirt’s repatriation, the Weltkulturen Museum mentioned, “The circumstances underneath which the shirt beforehand got here into the possession of J.G. Phelps couldn’t be reconstructed.”

In an announcement, Ina Hartwig, deputy mayor in command of Tradition and Science for the Metropolis of Frankfurt am Most important, mentioned “Provenance analysis is without doubt one of the nice challenges going through museums within the twenty first century. The Frankfurt museum panorama has been taking this problem very significantly for years and is subjecting its collections to a scientific revision. Even when it represents a loss for the gathering and the item was legally acquired by the Weltkulturen Museum: I see the return of the leather-based shirt to Chief Duane Hole Horn Bear as an obligation that outweighs the formal authorized state of affairs.”

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