In this paper I will discuss the early explorers to Alaska and their practice of collecting cultural artifacts for their own personal collections, or those of major museums in their home country. This paper will review the historical, political and ethical ramifications of collecting artifacts in order to store or display in museums throughout the world, more often than not in countries far removed from their origins. The paper will focus on Inupiat artifacts from Alaska, United States, with emphasis placed on cultural items collected by Rasmussen. The discussion will include indigenous Inupiat views regarding the relocation of their ancestral remains and cultural artifacts. Also discussed will be the justification of keeping cultural items in spite of increasing demand for their return to home villages.
|Keywords:||Alaska Inuit (Inupiat), Museum Collections, Indigenous Culture|
Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Webster University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
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