The United States Department of Justice Department of Justice Seal The United States Department of Justice
Search The Site
Recovery of Zuni War Gods
Effigies of Elder Zuñi War-god by Edward S. Curtis, Source: Library of Congress
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Indian Resources Section worked with the Interior Department’s Solicitor’s Office to help recover many Zuni war gods, or Ahayuda, from private art dealers (including the estate of Andy Warhol) and museums for repatriation to the Zuni Tribe. The New York Times described this recovery effort as a “rare story of American Indians getting back what was taken from them.” The war gods, carved by Zuni priests and left to deteriorate in the elements at secret shrine sites across the reservation, are believed to be living deities and guardians of the Tribe.

Last Updated: September 2010