Monday, October 21, 2013

Is the Honduran MOU an Instrument of State Repression of Indigenous Rights?

Two comments on about the Honduran MOU stand out because they hint at national-local divide within Honduras itself as to who should control Honduran "cultural property" produced by its indigenous groups. That of "Black Man Soul" hints at the repression the Garifuna people have felt at the hands of national authorities since before there was a Honduras.  Meanwhile, Dorie Reents-Budet's statement discusses tensions between the national government and local indigenous groups concerning loans of artifacts.  

All this raises an issue that deserves serious consideration.  Should the MOU with Honduras be renewed when it recognizes the primacy of the Honduran state (which is no friend to indigenous interests) over  indigenous artifacts?  

Why shouldn't the indigenous peoples of Honduras be able to do what they want with their own artifacts—even if that means selling them or loaning them with a fee to make ends meet? 

1 comment:

Cultural Property Observer said...

Arthur Houghton asked me to post this:


They should be able to do exactly what they want with their own artifacts. In addition to what you say, it is to be noted that the Government of Honduras has asked for import restrictions on Colonial and Republican period material. Nothing in the CPIA allows that -- and one cannot imagine how CPAC even agreed to consider such a request -- but one has to wonder at the ethnological bias involved.

Warn regards,