Sacred Navajo masks part of controversial auction

Americas Now

Sacred Navajo masks part of controversial auction

Last December, seven Navajo masks were put up for auction in Paris, despite the efforts from the U.S. government officials and representatives of the Native American tribe to block the sale, which according to their tradition constituted a sacrilege. The artifacts are considered living, breathing beings by the Navajo and Hopi nations.

Faced with the possibility of these ritual objects being sold to private collections, the Navajo sent a delegation to Paris to participate in the auction, winning the bid for the seven masks, believed to have been used in wintertime healing ceremonies. The total cost of the sale amounted to $1.1 million.

Sacred Navajo masks part of controversial auction

Sacred Navajo masks part of controversial auction

The Navajo sent a delegation to Paris to participate in an auction, winning the bid for the seven masks, believed to have been used in wintertime healing ceremonies. The total cost of the sale amounted to $1.1 million.