Shame On You, Dickson Mounds

Today, my family and I toured Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown, IL.

On our way out of the museum we stopped by the gift shop which resulted in me wanting to rip my skin off out of frustration.

Dickson Mounds has been a bit of a controversy. For years they displayed the skeleton remains of Native Americans and as Native Americans protested the display the museum stubbornly held their ground displaying the bodies.

Now, I had gone to Dickson Mounds as a child and every time they showed us the display of these skeleton remains I was always horrified- not so much because I was child and thought skeletons were scary but because it made me feel like the museum was marginalizing the fact that these skeleton remains were from HUMAN BEINGS.

The idea of this display left me realizing that perhaps the museum didn’t respect that fact that these remains were the bones, the ancestors of proud Native American’s today- that perhaps the museum thought they were some how an animal. After all, the only skeleton remains I have ever seen were those of dinosaurs.

Long story short, the bones have been covered and replaced with something rather, well, tactless in my opinion.

Anyway, 20 years after the museum FINALLY agreed to stop showcasing these skeletons, I discover dream catchers and bead work in their gift shop which were MADE IN CHINA.

I was already having a bad day but this made me want to rip my face off out of sheer frustration.

It made no sense to me that a NATIVE AMERICAN museum would sell MADE IN CHINA dream catchers.

We have nations upon nations of Native Americans, all of whom who have their own tribal artisans who make beautiful renditions of their tribe’s sacred object.   But Dickson Mounds decides: “Derp, hey guys, derp, lets sell “tribal looking” objects in our NATIVE AMERICAN museum and lets get them from China!”

Is this museum hell bent on being perpetually disrespectful?

I could rant more but there’s no sense in beating a dead cow…

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