Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Pipe Taken From Burial Site Returned to Tribes
The Department of the Interior earlier this month published a notice in the Federal Register stating its intention to return a clay pipe associated with a native burial ritual to a collective representing several tribes of the Kumeyaay nation in San Diego.
The pipe was originally unearthed by archaeologist Malcolm Rogers in 1929 near the coast of present day La Jolla. According to the Register, “the pottery pipe is a bow-type with a beak shaped holder and has diamond hatching incised about the bowl. It has a charred appearance, suggesting that it was burned.”
Rogers removed the pipe from a site near cremated remains and transferred it to San Diego’s Museum of Man, where he worked at the time and whose collection it has remained a part of since.
Kumeyaay representatives confirmed that the charred nature of the pipe was consistent with practices indicating it was part of a burial offering during a time at which tribal members occupied the area.
Eleven local tribal groups have placed a claim on the pipe, others with an interest in the matter have until July 12 to contact the Museum of Man.