Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Returns Kingfisher Fort Headdress to Native Tribe


RICHMOND, VA.- The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts returned a Kingfisher Fort Headdress (late 19th – early 20th century) to the Lúkaaxh.ádi clan of the Tlingit tribe of Alaska in March. This was the first repatriation of a Native American object by VMFA in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990. The repatriation ceremony took place at the National Museum of the American Indian’s Cultural Resource Center in Suitland, Md. During the ceremony, members of the clan shared stories about the headdress and its importance to the Tlingit tribe. “As a museum, we are merely caretakers of art,” VMFA Director Alex Nyerges said, “and now we are honored to be able to return this headdress to the Tlingit tribe.” Lee Anne Chesterfield, PhD., VMFA’s assistant curator of ancient American art, said she thought the repatriation process was a positive experienc