Paris Auctions Sacred Hopi Masks

Dozens of sacred American Indian tribal masks went on sale at a Paris auction house Friday, after a French court rejected appeals blocking the auction. Arizona’s Hopi Indians have insisted that they represent their deceased ancestors’ spirits—Hopis feed and look after the masks as if they are the living dead—with star support from Robert Redford and the U.S. ambassador to Paris. In its ruling, the court recognized the masks’ “sacred value,” but said that “clearly they cannot be assimilated to human bodies or elements of bodies of humans who exist or existed.”