Navajo Nation Retrieves Yei Bi Chei Masks from Auction

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown December 16th, 2014 Last Updated on: December 16th, 2014

Associated Press

Francois Mori/Associated Press – “We are not for sale”

According to the Navajo Times, a delegation, led by Vice President Rex Lee Jim, was sent to Paris to secure all seven masks that went on sale at the Paris auction house.

“This was a very delicate mission,” Jim told foreign reporters after the auction, according a press release from the Navajo Nation Washington Office. “We are happy to be taking these Navajo sacred masks home to be cleansed by our Navajo medicine people, who will determine when these masks will be used for our wintertime ceremonies.”

Associated Press

Francois Mori/Associated Press – Navajo Nation Vice president, Rex Lee Jim

According to a report from The Associated Press, the U.S. Embassy in Paris asked Drouot to suspend the sale to allow Navajo and Hopi representatives to determine if they were stolen from the tribes. But Drouot refused, arguing that the auction was in accordance with the law — and that a French tribunal had previously ruled that a similar sale was legal.

So happy that these masks are back where they belong!

Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » Navajo Nation Retrieves Yei Bi Chei Masks from Auction

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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