Headdress returns home

Randy Baker and Southern Ute Tribal Chairman Clement J. Frost, pose for a picture with the headdress that was given back to the Tribe on Tuesday, June 8 in the Leonard C. Burch Building. The headdress was originally gifted to the Superintendent of Ignacio schools from Antonio Buck as a thank you for allowing Carl Baker, the first tribal member to enter into Ignacio public school system. Randy Baker is the son of Carl Baker.
Alden Naranjo, NAGPRA coordinator, unveils a headdress that was given back to the tribe from Ann Hoofman, on Tuesday, July 8 in the Leonard C. Burch Building. The headdress was gifted to Hoffman’s father, former superintendent of Ignacio Schools in the late 1930’s and early 40’s.
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum

A precious artifact made its way home to the Southern Ute Indian Reservation Tuesday, July 8. A headdress that was gifted to the Ignacio School Superintendent from 1937-1942 returned to the reservation Tuesday, July 8. The superintendent’s daughter, Anne Hoffman, presented the headdress to Randy Baker and members of council.

Antonio Buck had given the headdress to the superintendent as a thank you for allowing the first tribal member into the Ignacio public school system. That tribal member was Carl Baker.

Randy Baker, son of Carl Baker, was present to view the headdress for the first time.

“It makes me and my family very humble,” Baker said.

Alden Naranjo, NAGPRA coordinator, unveiled the 70-year-old headdress. The headdress was not made of eagle feathers but rather feathers of a white turkey, Naranjo said.

According to Naranjo, it being made of turkey feathers isn’t uncommon for the time it was gifted.

“In that particular time, no one was allowed to have eagle feathers, not even Native Americans.” Naranjo said.

Southern Ute Chairman Clement Frost assured everyone that it not being made of eagle feathers doesn’t take away from its significance.

“It was given as a thank you, our people would give away their favorite things to show appreciation,” Frost said.

Frost accepted the headdress from Hoffman on behalf of the Tribe.

“It’s where it belongs; it’s from here and it belongs here,” Hoffman said.

The headdress is in possession of the Tribe now and is expected to be on display in the near future.

Like it? Share it!