Home > Menominee Welcome Returned Tribal Artifacts From Ohio Museum
An eagle feather headdress believed to date back to the time of Chief Oshkosh
Menominee Welcome Returned Tribal Artifacts From Ohio Museum
By Patty Murray
Friday, December 27, 2013, 10:13am
The Menominee tribe is celebrating the return of historic artifacts that are believed to have belonged to Chief Oshkosh, back in the mid 1800s.
In June, David Grignon got a call from a museum in Athens, Ohio. Grignon is the director of the Menominee Cultural Museum in Keshena.
The voice on the other end explained they identified some artifacts as Menominee, and asked if the tribe would like them back. Grignon said, “Yes.”
“We have two eagle feather headdresses, a bandolier bag, [and] moccasins that were sold to a trading post probably in the late 1800's,” Grignon said.
The items themselves date from around 1850.
Perhaps more importantly from a cultural and historical standpoint, Grignon says there is evidence that the items belonged to Chief Oshkosh or other family members.
The bandolier bag is made of hide, calico, and covered with intricate colorful beads. Grignon says it had everyday and ceremonial uses. The headdresses were purely ceremonial. “They're eagle feather headdresses, very sacred to our people,” he said. “The headdresses themselves, we don't know what they were used for, but we do have some materials of how the Oshkoshes lived and the ceremonial life of the tribe.”
Over the years the Menominee have had other items returned, including a total of 87 sets of human remains.
“We just did a repatriation of human remains from the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum,” Grignon said. “We brought five of our ancestors back through the Repatriation Act, and we buried them last month.”
The recently returned artifacts will go on display in the cultural museum in 2014.