University returns 1,500 artifacts

The 1,520 returned items are called funerary objects because it’s reasonably believed they were placed with individual human remains either at the time of death or later.


National News

November 8, 2022 - 4:55 PM

Photo by Dick Thompson -

Colgate University is returning to the Oneida Indian Nation more than 1,500 items once buried with ancestral remains — a collection of culturally significant items that includes pendants, pots, bells and turtle shell rattles, some dating back 400 years.

The “funerary objects” were purchased in 1959 from the family of an amateur archaeologist who collected them from sites in upstate New York and have been housed at the university’s Longyear Museum of Anthropology. Their repatriation ceremony will be held Wednesday at Colgate, which is located on the Oneida’s ancestral territory.

“It’s making things right again. It’s correcting a wrong,” Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said in an interview. “The acquisition of these items, it’s quite an indefensible practice. They’ve been absent. They’re not where they should be … on the land back with our people.”

September 30, 2019
July 24, 2018
July 23, 2018
October 12, 2016