Geronimo Vs The Skull And Bones
Pajamafin has been telling me for years about how the Skull and Bones Society had grave-robbed and stolen the remains of Geronimo and had them in a secret room in their little hide out. (I don’t know what you call a secret society’s head quarters and I thought “clubhouse”, while appropriate, might be demeaning to the story.)
And then, last night, (so, actually, this afternoon), he sent me an email from CNN with the link to the story of how Geronimo’s descendant is sueing the Skull and Bones for the remains back. Good for him, I hope he wins.
Now I know that back when this allegidly happened (I don’t want to get sued for liable, ) people thought differently, and who cared if some super secret society of bored rich kids went out and grave robbed. It was better than vandalism right?
Except, what about the families and friends of the person whose body you’re stealing? Especially Geronimo. That would be like the False Face Society breaking in and grave robbing George Custer’s burial site (even though Custer WAS an unmitigated ass hole, and I seriously doubt that his bones would be kept by any Native American as a trophy, he is just the best known person besides Sheridan that I could come up with off the top of my head that took part in the war with the Indians, and let’s not get me started on him. There was Sherman, too, but I kind of think that that man went nuts).
Bottom line, it was an infantile, asinine thing to do, and, even if no one knew it then, EVERYONE knows it now (or SHOULD know it) and so there is no reason why, if they have those bones, they are still holding on to them other than because it makes them feel powerful, important, and in control. How pathetic.
And I know the argument that exhuming and studying the remains of Native Americans is no different than doing the same thing with ancient Egyptians, and so forth, except that NATIVE AMERICANS ARE STILL ALIVE. There are still Natives out there, and they have feelings, and they have rights, and DESPITE the fact that the Government, and others have obviously tried to wipe them out, they still survive. And so you aren’t digging up some long dead civilization, you are digging up someones mom, someones dad, someones grandparent, or cousin. Those bodies have families who want them back, and they should have them. And, honestly, if you could point me out King Tut’s great great great grandperson, I would be saying the same thing about his remains. There is a difference in studying dead societies, and pulling people out of their burial grounds when they have families that can say, “What the hell!?!”. Stop it. Good, Lord, how hard is that?
So, yeah, I hope Geronimo’s descendant wins. And I hope all the other museums and the like that have Native American bodies stored away give them back. They have families who loved them and want the remains.