Stolen Native American dance regalia returned

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Ashika Trujillo’s sacred Native American dance regalia is now home on the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo reservation after being stolen at an Albuquerque hotel. 

KOB 4 first shared Trujillo’s story on Monday after a weekend powwow turned into a nightmare for this Native family. Now, he calls the return of the regalia a miracle. 

“You drove through my reservation you see, we don’t got much. But what we do have we value,” said Trujillo. 

Something priceless had been stolen from Ashkia Trujillo.

“I wanted to cry when all this happened, but then I was with my children, so I had to be a warrior for them,” said Trujillo. 

After a powwow last weekend, and a night at a hotel in Albuquerque, he found his truck had been broken into – and his, and his children’s native dance regalia was gone.

 “It’s heartbreaking, honestly,” Trujillo said. 

Then he got an emotional call from his sister on Tuesday.

“Being Native when you hear someone crying on the phone, immediately think, ‘oh no somebody got hurt, something really bad happened,’” Trujillo said. 

But it wasn’t something bad. 

“I spoke to the person, they did say they had the regalia they bought it from somebody off the street,” said Trujillo’s sister. 

His sister documented the whole journey. 

“They’re trying to get a hold of the family because they saw it was on the news and it was stolen,” she said. “And I pray to God that this is my brother’s regalia.”

She met the people at a gas station.

“I’m going to get down and see if this is my brother’s regalia and it looks like it is! Umm – oh my goodness. Oh! Here it is!”

“She told me, right away, I got your stuff and, I was driving on the freeway and I just remember everything in mind just stopped,” said Trujillo. 

Trujillo immediately went to his sister’s house. He sang and prayed over his sacred regalia, but he says this is not just a happy ending.

“The feather, right here, used to be attached. It was completely broken off,” Trujillo said. 

Silver and turquoise jewelry are still missing, and other pieces are damaged.

“Things like this really hurt me because – like I said, being a protector for my children you feel as if you didn’t do your job in that moment,” said Trujillo. 

His son’s bustle is destroyed.

“That’s why I also really value this one too, to see my son wearing it, something my father had made, and you know really brought me a lot of joy and happiness because he never got to meet my son,” Trujillo said. 

However, now his grandfather’s feathers and other items are home.

“One of my most prized possessions. So if you look right here, my dad redid the ink on this one. It says, ‘re-done for Ashkia Trujillo June 10, 1998,’” said Trujillo. 

Now, healing can begin.

“Everything here can relax now, everything can let out that sigh of release and be home,” Trujillo said. 

He also had his truck damaged, and the speaker he uses to perform native prayer dances were stolen. A GoFundMe page has been set up by a family friend to help Trujillo repair damages.