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Gilcrease Museum

Saturday, January 14th, 2006


By:       Virgil G. Richards

            Field Trip Chair


What a great turnout we had for our first field trip of 2006! We had approximately thirty-five attendees for the guided tour of the Native American art exhibits entitled “The Enduring Spirit” tour. Our Docent guides were extremely knowledgeable and very accommodating to our large and very interested group. We were split off into two groups for the tour to make it easier for everyone to hear and have the opportunity to view all of the wonderful items on display. After the Enduring Spirit Tour, we were given an introduction to the Kravis Discovery Center where there are drawer after drawer of Native American artifacts from stone tools to jewelry, pottery, clothing articles, and everyday textiles that were used by our Native American predecessors and ancestors. I was personally amazed by some of the ceremonial artifacts on display. Sadly, some artifacts and historical items of Native American ancestry will soon be returned to various tribal collections under the following act:

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

  • 1990, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA): This act assigns ownership and control of Native American cultural items, human remains, and associated funerary objects to Native Americans. It also establishes requirements for the treatment of Native American human remains and sacred or cultural objects found on Federal land. This act further provides for the protection, inventory, and repatriation of Native American cultural items, human remains, and associated funerary objects. Requires museums that receive public funds to consult with Native Americans. Native Americans have the power to decide what happens to museum collections of human remains, grave goods, and sacred items. When these items are inadvertently discovered, cease activity, make a reasonable effort to protect the items, and notify the appropriate Indian tribe(s) and/or Native Hawaiian organization(s). 


This particular act applies to more than 3000 artifacts in the Gilcrease collection which originated from the Spiro Mounds, and the associated mound building culture of the Caddo Indian Tribe. Hopefully, they will be subsequently displayed for the public in a tribal museum.

            Approximately twenty-five people stayed for lunch at the Osage Restaurant. The food was good and not overly pricey, although some were not impressed with portion size such as my two oversized offspring…

After lunch we concluded our day with a tour of the theme gardens around Gilcrease. Although this tour would be much enhanced during April when everything is in bloom. Most were able to stay for the garden tour, and all enjoyed the wonderful 60+ degree weather which was true to the FT leader’s request!

Thanks to all who came out to enjoy the day!  





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