October 16, 2012

Sacred Native meteorites

Sacred Meteorites Under Glass: Tribes and First Nations Fight for Spiritual IntegrityIn the Native community, deep-space rocks are not just astronomical curiosities; they are sacred objects. The recent sale of a piece of the Willamette Meteorite, revered by the Grand Ronde tribes of Oregon, and the Cree struggle to retrieve a 330-pound meteorite that is house in an Alberta museum, are raising ire in Indian country on both sides of the 49th Parallel. When pieces of Turtle Island’s most famous meteorite, the Willamette, came up for auction on October 14 in New York City, the news did not go over well in Indian country.

“We’re deeply saddened that any individual organization would be so insensitive to Native American spirituality and culture as to traffic in the sale of a sacred and historic artifact, which is what the tribe considers any parts of Tomanowos,” said Dean Rhodes, publications coordinator for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Oregon.
And:The sacred status of meteorites is much in the news, as spotlighted by the recent discovery of a statue thought to be of a Buddhist god, carved out of a rare ataxite meteorite. And currently, the Cree of Alberta are battling the Royal Alberta Museum for the sacred pahpamiyhaw asiniy, a 330-pound meteorite that is 4.5 billion years old.

Unlike the Willamette, this meteor’s descent was widely witnessed, with the rock landing hundreds of years ago in a blaze of light near what is today Hardisty, Alberta, CBC News said. The Cree say it contains the face of the Creator, but the museum wants to keep it on display as one of Canada’s largest meteorites.
Comment:  For more on Natives and meteorites, see Peary's Inuit Family and Friends.

Below:  "Piece of Willamette Meteorite that sold for $2,000 via Heritage Auctions."

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