January 10, 2006

Hawaiian artifact dispute

Hawaiian groups entangled in a dispute over native artifacts obtained from a museum and then buried have agreed to try to settle the case outside of court, one of the groups said Monday.

The director of a group dedicated to the proper treatment of ancestral remains has been in jail since Dec. 27 for refusing to tell a federal judge the exact location of the 83 artifacts from the Bishop Museum. . .

According to court documents, the Bishop Museum lent the items - including a human-hair wig, human teeth and carved wooden statuettes of family gods - to the group in 2000.

The group said it has restored the items, which it considers funerary, to their rightful place in the Kawaihae Cave complex. But 13 other groups also claim ownership of the objects.

From AP, via the Guardian and Washington Post. More here and broader discussion here.

Posted by David on January 10, 2006 9:05 AM

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