'Ghost Dance Shirt' from Battle of Wounded Knee

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Posted by Kate on July 27, 1999 at 18:08:30:

Good news, everyone!!

Tomorrow sees the start of the journey back to South Dakota, of the celebrated 'Ghost Dance Shirt', which has this long time, been on exhibition in the Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow, Scotland. The 'Ghost Dance Shirt' was said to have been removed from the body of a fallen NA warrior at the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890. However, the authenticity of this shirt has been doubted by many of the authorities, which has led to their claiming the right to keep the shirt in Glasgow.

For many years now, the Lakota Sioux peoples have petitioned the Kelvingrove Museum, as well as many other Scottish Departments, to get back this very precious relic of their past and have met with a great deal of opposition. The ex-director of the museum (who now works in Copenhagen) still denies its authenticity and is claiming that as 'it plays a vital part in furthering Scottish understanding of Indian culture, returning it is not justified'.

However, as the Scots have come to examine and recognise the importance of their own heritage and artifacts which symbolise the culture of their past (ie. the return to Scotland of the 'Stone of Scone'), they have recognised that this is 'shirt' has immense importance and meaning to the rightful owners and therefore it *must* go back to where it rightfully belongs. With this in mind, they too have petitioned on behalf of the Lakota Sioux. 99% of the Glasgow public, along with new, sympathetic museum directors, have convinced the authorities that the 'Ghost Dance Shirt' must go home!! (Another instance of all peoples working together - Authoritarian 'mountains' were moved!)

I can't deny the right of the Lakota Sioux to have their precious shirt restored to them - indeed, I *wouldn't* deny that right!! But that shirt certainly affected all here, who have seen it!! I saw it - and I was very moved by it! We too, in Scotland, have felt its magic! So, while we are saddened by it's loss, we are very happy that it goes back to be looked after and revered, as it should be, on its own soil, by its own people.

And - at last!! Tomorrow sees 'The Ghost Dance Shirt' a little nearer its homeland! May all the spirits protect it on its journey!!

Best wishes,

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