‘They Hold Our Prayers:’ Priceless Yurok Baskets and Ceremonial Caps Stolen


UPDATE 5/22: A reward has been offered for the return of the baskets. See new story here.


Original story: Someone broke into the Potawot Health Village in Arcata early yesterday morning and stole nine Yurok baskets and caps. “It was a major break in,” explained Sherri Provolt CEO of United Indian Services. “They are priceless to us. They hold food; they hold water; they hold our prayers.”

Besides having deep cultural significance to the Yurok people, the items are worth thousands of dollars which is why Provolt believes someone took them to sell. “We’re asking everyone to keep an eye out–eBay, Craigslist. They were stolen to be sold….We have contacted pawnshops and Native community organizations,” she said.

The items, Provolt said, were on “permanent loan to us so we can honor them and recognize their beauty…They are very, very old unique baskets.”

Provolt said that it is important to get the items returned. “We’re more motivated in getting the baskets back; we’re considering offering a reward.”

Provolt asks that everyone please share this information so that the items can be returned quickly. Call (707) 825-5000 if you can help.



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