Anonymous benefactor buys sacred pipe at auction for Sioux


1904 oil on canvas painting by Anton Gag (d. 1908) “Attack on New Ulm,” depicting a battle during the US-Dakota War of 1862

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (AP) – A clay pipe linked to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and considered sacred by Native Americans in Minnesota is being returned to the Sioux people after being sold at auction.

The Lower Sioux Indian Community unsuccessfully tried to stop the sale. Minnesota Public Radio reports the pipe was auctioned in Boston on Saturday for $40,000, nearly twice its estimated value.

Prairie Island Tribal Council President Shelley Buck says the buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, wanted to return the relic, and that is being arranged.

The U.S.-Dakota War lasted six weeks and left hundreds of Sioux, settlers and soldiers dead. The pipe was a peace offering for a soldier from Sioux Chief White Dog, one of 38 Sioux hanged in Mankato on Dec. 26, 1862, for alleged war crimes.


Scan of original photo in Minnesota Historical Collection depicting a monument to 38 Sioux Indians who were hanged following the US-Dakota War of 1862; Mankato, Minnesota


Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.