African Tribes mourn theft of burial statues for Western collectorsBreaking News
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
- Why You Should Feel Free to Ignore Polls for a Few Weeks
- Neanderthals in Germany Went Extinct Right After Population Peak
- A Worker Broke a Window at Yale and Shed Light on History
- Which Barack Obama speech is the one for the history books?
- A Brief History Of Spousal Speeches At Political Conventions