African Tribes mourn theft of burial statues for Western collectors
Hundreds of "vigango" totems have been looted from rural homesteads near Kenya's coast, home to the Mijikenda tribes about which little is known.
The 4ft wooden statues, carved with triangular etchings and believed to incarnate the spirits of dead elders, are shipped via dealers living in luxury beachside villas to private collectors in the United States and Europe.
"Moving these objects goes against every cultural and spiritual belief of these people, and they are too afraid to put them up now because they are sure they will be stolen," said Monica Udvardy, anthropology professor at the University of Kentucky and a specialist in east African tribal customs.
"It would be like us stealing our grandfather's tombstone or our grandmother's ashes, and selling them."
comments powered by Disqus
- Could another English king be buried under a parking lot?
- Huckabee says archaeology supports the Bible
- George W. Bush's CIA Briefer: Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public
- Unfinished film about the Holocaust made in 1945 to finally be seen by audiences
- Two-Thirds of European Men Descend From Three People
- Daniel Pipes calls the rulers of Iran "madmen" on official Iranian TV
- A Professor Tries to Beat Back a News Spoof That Won’t Go Away
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Sean Wilentz is being called “Hillary’s Historian"
- Hundreds of British historians challenge assumptions of “Historians for Britain” campaign