More ancestral remains being brought back

1:40 pm on 25 November 2012

More ancestral remains are being brought back to Aotearoa from North America.

Te Papa national museum has sent a team to the United States and Canada to oversee the repatriation of the remains.

A skull and cranium will be returned from Stanford University in San Francisco, which contacted Te Papa to arrange the return.

The koiwi tangata (remains) were collected by Keith Mackenzie from a limestone burial cave on his Waikato property in 1950 and given to an American anthropologist.

A cranium held in private collection in Oklahoma is being returned by the family of a professor who taught at Victoria University in Wellington in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Musee de Beaux Arts in Montreal, Canada is returning a toi moko following a formal request by Te Papa in 2008. The repatration request was made after an image was seen on a Canadian museums website seven years earlier.

Two of the remains will be directly repatriated to Waipapa marae in Kawhia in Waikato and the other two will be welcomed with a powhiri at Te Papa next week.

Museum Kaihautu (Maori leader) Michelle Hippolite is applauding the institutions and private collectors for returning the tupuna (ancestors).