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Update: Annenberg Foundation buys Hopi masks from French auction house, returns to tribe




The tribe says Katsina dolls can be sold. A doll is typically given to a young girl at a public ceremony as a blessing and part of her education.
The tribe says Katsina dolls can be sold. A doll is typically given to a young girl at a public ceremony as a blessing and part of her education.
Laurel Morales

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UPDATE Dec. 12:

The Hopi tribe had argued these ceremonial masks were sacred and should be returned to the tribe, not left to a French auction house to sell. A judge ruled private collectors could buy the ceremonial items, and the Annenberg Foundation paid more than a $500,000 24 of the masks.

In a surprising twist, the Foundation will be returning the auction items to the tribe. The Fronteras Desk's Laurel Morales has been following the story and joins the show with more.

UPDATE: Judge approves sale of Hopi sacred items 

The question "What is Art?" can have an open-ended answer. But what if that art is a really important part of your own culture?

In France, a judge will decide on Friday whether 32 Hopi artifacts can go up for sale at an art auction. However, the Hopi tribe say those objects contain the spirits of their ancestors, and selling them as commercial art is illegal.

Laurel Morales is a reporter for Fronteras based in Flagstaff, and she explains the details of the case and whether this case may end different than a similar suit earlier this year.