The Chilkat box-piece The Chilkat box-piece

The Chilkat box-piece will be stored at the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau and The Chugach mask has been given to Chugach Alaska Corp.

The Sealaska Heritage Institute discovered the sacred box-piece on the Paris auction houses sale list, along with artifacts from the American Southwest and asked them to hold the sale, when the auction house refused the state department contacted an Annenberg Foundation trustee who lives in Paris, to help out.

Although the Alaskan nature is intact their cultural heritage has been pillaged. Although the Alaskan nature is intact their cultural heritage has been pillaged.

The Chilkat box piece, probably stolen from a Shaman's grave sit, is believed to have been made in the early- to mid-1800s, a time during which Alaska Native artifacts were heavily, and illegally, collected. It was likely been used to transport sacred objects belonging to one of the Chilkat clans that now populate the Haines and Klukwan area.

Using foundation money, the group was able to anonymously purchase 25 of the 27 Native American artifacts for sale at the 2013 auction. Both the box piece and the Chugach mask were returned to Alaska in August. The remaining 23 items are from the Hopi and San Carlos Apache tribes of Arizona and will be returned to tribe members there soon.

See more Native artifacts on Barnebys here.

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