A sacred Zuni Indian artifact has been returned to its rightful owners by a Philadelphia anthropology museum, museum officials said Wednesday.

The Zuni war god, a 2 1/2-foot-tall carved wooden image of a man's face, was hand-carried to a reservation in New Mexico by tribal officials this week, said Pam Kosty of the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.The artifact is the 41st war god to be returned to the Zunis since 1978, when the tribe began an organized effort to recover the totems from museums and collections across the country.