It’s crass and disrespectful to treat these objects like this. The picture above of one casually manhandled on a boardroom table, apparent scrape marks down its side, is angry-making! These objects routinely have handling, viewing, and storage restrictions in museums and at cultural centres.
Anyway, the attempted sale of stone figures (bowls and sculptures, for the most part) has led to some of the more bitter legal tussles in recent years* (if only The Midden was online to link to, they have some great articles on this topic edit: look here), while their repatriation through legitimate means has led to remarkable scenes of reconciliation (e.g., Stone T’xwelátse, this stone bowl (PDF).
This figure bowl sold recently for $18,000. There’s a lot at stake for all sides.
Does anyone know if this is a known bowl. Has it been documented and if so how/where, what is its original origin? To which First Nation does this bowl belong? What are the current legal rights of the owners to sell such an object? I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted but it’d be good to see some discussion around this CBC show generally and this bowl specifically.
*in fact the ASBC site as a whole appears to be down.