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A relic comes home ... and then the jokes start

It may be 227 years old, but the pipe-tomahawk that President George Washington gave to Seneca Chief Cornplanter still looks like it could chop some wood.

The New York State Museum officially turned over the tomahawk to the Seneca Nation Thursday, where it will remain in the Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center in Salamanca.

The State Museum had the artifact from 1850 until it was stolen around 1947. The tomahawk was returned to the State Museum in 2018, and the museum turned it over to the Seneca Nation Thursday.

After director of the State Museum Mark Schaming presented the tomahawk to Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong, there was applause.

And someone yelled out: "Swing it!"

Armstrong also presented Schaming with a Native beaded pillow.

"That you can keep in the collection," Armstrong said to laughs.

But perhaps the most chuckles came when someone suggested smoking the pipe.

Missing Cornplanter tomahawk from 1700s returned to Seneca Nation

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