Naamiwan’s Drum follows the story of a famous Ojibwe medicine man, his gifted grandson, and remarkable water drum. This drum, and forty other artefacts, were given away by a Canadian museum to an American Anishinaabe group that had no family or community connections to the collection. Many years passed before the drum was returned to the family and only about half of the artefacts were ever returned to the museum.
Maureen Matthews takes us through this astonishing set of events from multiple perspectives, exploring community and museum viewpoints, visiting the ceremonial group leader in Wisconsin, and finally looking back from the point of view of the drum. The book contains a powerful Anishinaabe interpretive perspective on repatriation and on anthropology itself. Containing fourteen beautiful colour illustrations, Naamiwan’s Drum is a compelling account of repatriation as well as a cautionary tale for museum professionals.
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