SACRAMENTO — Precious items of clothing used for prayer were stolen from a Native American family in Sacramento.
Feathered hats and elaborate jewelry serve a deeper purpose for the Mountain Maidu tribe.
“When we put it on, we were always taught that we’re joining into that spirit world, to transform us into those birds that we are,” said Vance Hedrick.
Artifacts Hedrick and his daughter, Chloe, wear to pray were passed down through generations.
“I dreamed of giving it to my future daughter one day,” Chloe Hedrick said.
Now they are gone.
“A lot of memories and a lot of power and spirit in that stuff,” Chloe told FOX40. “And it … it still doesn’t feel real.”
Someone smashed their car window Friday evening after Vance and Chloe had just finished performing at Native American Day at the State Capitol.
“Rounded the corner and I just saw the glass everywhere. You can still see it over there just all over the ground,” Chloe recalled.
Three suitcases filled with their regalia were stolen as they ate dinner at New Station Seafood on Broadway in Sacramento.
“I just broke down and started sobbing,” Chloe said.
“It’s not valuable to anybody but us. Necklaces from her great-grandma and her grandma and stuff that I had been building her since she was a little kid,” Vance said. “Honestly, I don’t think they knew what they were taking. And once they opened the suitcases, I know they didn’t know what they had.”
The father and daughter have been searching dumpsters throughout the city in hopes that the thieves ditched their belongings.
They said they are praying whoever stole the items returns them because they can’t be replaced.
“I’m hoping in the goodness of people’s hearts that it comes back. That’s all I can hope for,” Vance said.