Artifacts should be preserved

By BY MARK H. STOWERS COLUMNIST,

Good Mornin’! Good Mornin’!

My daddy has an old cigar box in his gun cabinet that has been there ever since I can remember.

It’s a collection of arrowheads and artifacts that he found on the farm over the past eight decades. It was always a fun treasure hunt to walk a freshly plowed field and see what got churned up.

I have no idea how old they are but obviously they date back to times when Indians roamed all over the Delta and Sunflower County.

Many folks over the years have taken time to document and investigate and collect such items to help explain our rich history. Those artifacts are in museums across the Magnolia state to preserve it all for future generations.

Recently, at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta in Greenwood - the former Cottonlandia Museum, it’s alleged that Delta historical artifacts were actually given away and thrown away.

A human bone, most likely an Indian one at that, was found outside on the ground. The executive director had been there for 10 years, and when confronted with the accusations, she resigned.

This may not bode well for her in the long run.

The situation has kicked up a ruckus across Leflore County and in the museum society world in the Delta.

There are those who are backing the director and there are those who are looking at what was found thus far and shaking their heads.

You can find the article on the Greenwood Commonwealth’s website in last weekend’s paper. It seems to me the board didn’t have enough oversight in the situation and could share some of the blame for what is at best confusion about the artifacts.

The original museum opened in 1969 and is one of the oldest in the state.

The collection of Native American artifacts by the late L.B. Jones was the main motivation to begin the museum.

It is his collection that was on loan to the museum that has been disrupted.

It seems the Commonwealth may have only scratched the surface of what’s been going on at the Leflore County museum, and there may be more articles forthcoming.

The important thing is that we need to respect and maintain our history.

We can’t change it and it has helped shape and make us who we are today - for better or worse.

We don’t need to throw it away but find a place for it that shows respect and honor.

We need to keep passing it down and passing it on to the next generation and beyond.

I’d always ‘preciate your comments here or over at Facebook, or you can tweet me @markhstowers ... See yah next week!

As a freelance writer, I’m working to grow my business and have created a GoFundMe page to help with that. Please take a look and see if you can help. I’d greatly appreciate it!

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