11 Jul 2018

More ancestral remains to be returned this week

7:51 pm on 11 July 2018

The ancestral remains of 17 Māori and Moriori will be welcomed home in a pōwhiri at Te Papa this Friday.

This isn't the first time Māori ancestral remains have been returned to Te Papa

This isn't the first time Māori ancestral remains have been returned to Te Papa Photo: Supplied/ Kate Whitley

Sixteen Māori ancestors and one Moriori ancestor have been repatriated from museums throughout the United States and Germany.

The remains being returned to Rongomaraeroa Marae at Te Papa will include toi moko or preserved heads.

One toi moko being returned was from the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum of World Cultures which acquired it from an ethnography dealer in England in 1908.

Te Papa kaihautu Dr Arapata Hakiwai said he was pleased that Te Papa was continuing to bring Māori and Moriori ancestors home.

"Through this process we are building relationships with international institutions to understand the immense value of repatriation to the iwi belonging to these tūpuna and karāpuna."

After the pōwhiri, the remains will rest at Te Papa's wāhi tapu while research is carried out to find where they came from.

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