Stephen Return Riggs was a Christian missionary and linguist who spent forty years in the Minnesota River Valley, Nebraska, and Dakota Territory. In both these roles, he aimed to “Christianize and civilize” the Dakota people he believed were caught in the “bonds of heathenism.” To further his project, he compiled the first printed dictionary of the Dakota language. Riggs’s work as a government translator and interpreter helped the United States remove the Dakota from their Minnesota homeland during the 1850s and 1860s.
Hmong religious altar made, c.2005. The altar includes Chinese money paper cut in snowflake patterns; a gong and stick; bells; a mask; incense holders; golden metal cups; a salad plate; a glass bowl; an animal horn; a turquoise cotton bag; and a black metal nonfunctional sword.