In 1995, the governor of the Pueblo of Zuni requested the repatriation of two items identified by the elders and religious leaders of Zuni Pueblo as both “sacred objects” and “objects of cultural patrimony” under NAGPRA (25 U.S.C. 3001). The two prayer sticks in question had been listed in the summary that was sent to the Zuni in 1993. The prayer sticks were further identified as having been used in ceremonial practices associated with the Ahayu:da or Twin Gods in Zuni cultural ideology. They were originally removed from their shrine on the Zuni reservation in 1903 and collected in situ by Frank C. and Clara G. Churchill at Zuni Pueblo; they were subsequently donated to Dartmouth College in 1946.
The Hood Museum of Art acknowledged the importance of the two prayer sticks to the ongoing religious practices of the Zuni, and noted that both were well documented as being culturally affiliated with the Zuni. The two prayer sticks were repatriated back to the Pueblo of Zuni on August 22, 1995.
Last Updated: 8/16/11