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Curating Indigenous Heritage: Addressing Intellectual Property and Material Culture Concerns

Author(s): George Nicholas

Year: 2017

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Significant differences exist between Western and Indigenous societies, and their respective knowledge systems, worldviews, modes of explanation, conceptions of time, and nature of material culture. Acknowledging these is essential to making sense of contemporary claims around Indigenous cultural property, especially in museum settings. For many indigenous peoples, cultural property was and is defined and enacted in daily life (objects may be animate), with distinct expectations and responsibilities for what is considered proper care of objects and information. Importantly, the division of property into "tangible" and "intangible" forms may be unfamiliar, indeed even artificial or unnatural when applied to indigenous contexts. This presentation focuses on the benefits of, but also ethical and intellectual property concerns about the display, use, storage, replication of indigenous heritage in museums, including 3-D scanning and printing, "virtual repatriation," and other new technologies.

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Curating Indigenous Heritage: Addressing Intellectual Property and Material Culture Concerns. George Nicholas. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431453)


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min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16094

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America