Geronimo's Great Grandson Asks Yale Secret Society to Return Ancestor's Skull
It's the stuff of legends: an elite secret society that includes what would become some of the most powerful men of the 20th century allegedly invading the grave of an Apache chief to steal his skull for fraternal rituals. It's also the stuff of a new lawsuit filed Tuesday by descendants of that Apache chief.
On the 100th anniversary of the death of Geronimo, 20 of his blood relatives have asked the courts to force Yale University and the school's secret organization, Skull and Bones, to release his remains for return to his native land and a proper burial.
Anthropologist Ana Mariella Bacigalupo traces her main research interest—the Mapuche shaman of southern Chile—all the way back to a childhood spent growing up in countries across South America.
An associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, Bacigalupo says her grandfather owned a farm in Argentina that was run by a foreman whose brother later became head of a Mapuche Indian community. It was this contact that led to her lifelong interest in the indigenous people of Chile.
Unlike the Mayans or the Incas, the Mapuches never inspired a Mel Gibson or Indiana Jones movie.
But this indigenous group little known outside South America boasts an amazing breadth of history and culture being explored in an exhibition at the Americas Society until April 18.
"For more than 300 years the Mapuche successfully resisted colonization," says guest curator Thomas Dillehay, referring to a period from the mid 1500s to the mid 1890s.
"That is longer than any indigenous society in American history."
Patty Webster is not a medical professional.
But one day, while working as a tour guide in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, she found herself using a traveler's sewing kit to close a wound on a boy from a local village.
Word had long since gotten around among the people in this woefully underserved area that the young American was handy with a first-aid kit and willing to help them.
Dressed in a navy suit, red tie and shined shoes, 25-year-old Jonathan Paulson looks like any other recent college graduate trying to make his way in the world.
As a commodities broker with his dad’s company, Paulson Commodities, the Lake Oswegan spends most of his work days on the Internet and calling clients on the phone. He’s tall, with straight teeth and is knowledgeable about the stock market.