United States returns Maori ancestral remains

Cultural News:

An American museum is returning 107 Maori and Moriori ancestral remains to New Zealand.

The remains include 35 Toi moko (preserved Maori tattooed heads), two tattooed thigh skins and 46 Maori skeletal remains.

The physical handover of the ancestral remains will take place in New York today.

Te Papa professor Pou Temara says the decision by the American Museum of Natural History to repatriate these remains is to be applauded.

“We are very pleased to welcome the Te Papa delegation, who will return the Maori and Moriori ancestral remains to their homeland.”

The ancestral remains were collected from the early 1800s up until the 1900s when there was a strong commercial trade in indigenous peoples’ remains, particularly in Europe and North America.



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