A cave full of ancient Indigenous paintings sold for more than $2 million. The Osage Nation says it belongs to them

Culture September 16, 2021 Culture
A cave full of ancient Indigenous paintings sold for more than $2 million. The Osage Nation says it belongs to them

From CNN | US News by Harmeet Kaur, CNN

More than 1,000 years ago, Indigenous people journeyed into a dark cave on the land now called Missouri and painted nearly 300 detailed images on its walls.

The cave was a sacred space, where tribes performed ceremonies, made sense of the universe and buried their dead. A millennium later, the paintings contained within it continue to offer clues about how those civilizations lived and what they believed.

On Tuesday, Picture Cave -- as it's commonly known -- sold at auction for $2.2 million. And for the Osage Nation, whose ancestors created much of the artwork in the cave, the sale came as a huge blow.

Photo by Alan Cressler / Associated Press

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