Māori and Moriori Ancestral Remains Return Home
Hana-Maraea Solomon vowed years ago to help bring home the remains of her Moriori ancestors that were scattered in museums across Europe, Dubravka Voloder reports for ABC News.
In the 19th and 20th century, German collectors frequently took human remains from former colonies for now-condemned “race science” experiments.
Many of the remains, including those of Māori people and Moriori have been stowed away in museums and academic collections ever since.
A delegation from New Zealand arrived in Germany last month, tasked with repatriating more than 100 Māori and Moriori remains across six cities. The delegation’s first stop was Leipzig where staff at the Grassi Museum handed back 64 ancestral remains.
Te Herekiekie Herewini, who is the head of repatriation at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and is leading the delegation, said handover ceremonies were being held in each city.
“These ceremonies are part of that recognition of history and they allow for reconciliation and restitution to take place,” Herewini said.
Original article by Dubravka Voloder, ABC News, June 9, 2023.
Photo by Leif Piechowski Lichtgut.