By John Cardinale
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KOAT) – For Ashkia Trujillo, the past few days have been a journey in search of his stolen cultural treasures.
On Sunday morning, he woke up in an Albuquerque hotel to find his Native American regalia had been stolen. He is from the Pueblo Ohkay Owingeh.
Since then he has been on a quest to get the items back.
“I was on my way to Grants. Someone wanted to help and distribute my flyers there. When I turned around, it was because I got this call,” Trujillo said.
Trujillo received this call from his sister Micah. She told him the items were returned to her after one of the Black Mesa Powwow coordinators received a call from someone saying they had bought the items down the street for $400.
“The guy said he wanted to buy it because his mother collects Native American regalia and he wanted to give it to her. But when he found out it was stolen, he wanted to return it,” Trujillo said.
The insignia with deep family roots are now back in Trujillo’s living room. However, some of the items are not in their original condition.
“What really hurt me was, you know, whoever took that broke my son’s hustle. It bothers me. You know, I put a lot of time into this hustle and bustle. And this piece was created by my father years ago when I was a little kid,” Trujillo said.
Some items are still missing.
“We don’t have turquoise and silver jewelry, but I think those things can be substituted, too,” Trujillo said.
But most of the irreplaceable heirlooms have been returned.
“For me, it was something you would call a miracle,” Trujillo said.
On a journey, Trujillo said, he was filled with determination, hope and support.
“Just do what you can. So at the end of the day, the Creator can see that you are doing your best no matter what. I see a lot of our indigenous people out there fighting. It hurts me to see that. But everyone gave me prayers, sent good vibes and did a lot. That’s how it all came back. So, just know that these prayers mean a lot to me and my family,” Trujillo said.
Trujillo will work to restore the damaged items so he and his children can dance in them again.
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