School of Arts & Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Hallowell: Two Views of an Ojibwe Drum

Digital Repatriation and Virtual Exhibition

Digital Repatriation is a relatively new aspect of Anthropology.  Typically, artifacts are repatriated digitally by doing a detailed photographic documentation of the objects, which are then made available by an electronic source. This digital repatriation of artifacts allows Native Americans to have access to their own artifacts and cultural heritage items, that they would be previously not have access to.  These items range from anything from family photographs to sacred and religious items.  There are currently no protocols put in place on the issues surrounding digital repatriation and how religious or sacred items can be repatriated digitally without infringing on the privacy of the tribes.  Currently, anthropologists, museum workers, and different Native American tribes are trying to work together to achieve a positive resolution to these issues, while preserving both the sanctity and cultural significance of these artifacts.

On Friday March 26, 2010.  Several University of Pennsylvania students were invited to do a photographic documentation of roughly 25 objects in the “Hallowell Collection” in the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.  Several of these objects are found in this section.