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New Mexico man reunited with stolen Native American regalia

<i>KOAT</i><br/>On Sunday morning
KOAT
KOAT
On Sunday morning

By John Cardinale

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    ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) — For Ashkia Trujillo, the last few days have been a journey to find his stolen cultural treasures.

On Sunday morning, he woke up at a hotel in Albuquerque and found that his Native American regalia had been stolen. He is from the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo.

ince then, he has gone on a search to get the items back.

“I was on my way to Grants. Somebody wanted to help and pass out my fliers there. When I turned around, you know, it was because I got that phone call,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo received that call from his sister Micah. She told him the items had been returned to her after one of the coordinators for the Black Mesa Powwow got a call from someone who said they bought the items on the street for $400.

“The reason why the guy said he wanted to buy it was because his mother collects Native American regalia and he wanted to give it to her to have. But when he found out that it was stolen, that’s when he wanted to return it,” Trujillo said.

The regalia with deep family roots now sit again in Trujillo’s living room. But some of the items are not in their original condition.

“What really hurt me was, you know, whoever took this broke my son’s bustle. It bothers me. You know, I put a lot of time into making this bustle. And this piece here was created by my father years ago when I was a little kid,” Trujillo said.

Some of the items still missing.

“We don’t have the turquoise and silver jewelry, but I mean, those things can also be replaced,” Trujillo said.

But most of the irreplaceable heirlooms were returned.

“For me, it was something you would call a miracle,” Trujillo said.

On a journey Trujillo said 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 trying your best no matter what. I see a lot of our native people struggling out there. It hurts me to see that. But, everyone gave me prayers, sent good vibes and did a lot. That’s how all of this came back. So, at that, just know those prayers mean a lot to me and my family,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo is going to work on restoring the damaged items so he and his children can dance in them once again.

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