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Volume 2

Museums and Collections


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The Long Way Home

The Meaning and Values of Repatriation

Edited by Paul Turnbull and Michael Pickering

224 pages, 2 ills, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-958-1 $29.95/£21.00 Pb Published (November 2010)

eISBN 978-1-84545-959-8 eBook


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All of the chapters are highly informative and well written, with balanced perspectives and a genuine intention to educate and inform without assigning undue blame.”  ·  Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Indigenous peoples have long sought the return of ancestral human remains and associated artifacts from western museums and scientific institutions. Since the late 1970s their efforts have led museum curators and researchers to re-evaluate their practices and policies in respect to the scientific uses of human remains. New partnerships have been established between cultural and scientific institutions and indigenous communities. Human remains and culturally significant objects have been returned to the care of indigenous communities, although the fate of bones and burial artifacts in numerous collections remains unresolved and, in some instances, the subject of controversy. In this book, leading researchers from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences reflect critically on the historical, cultural, ethical and scientific dimensions of repatriation. Through various case studies they consider the impact of repatriation: what have been the benefits, and in what ways has repatriation given rise to new problems for indigenous people, scientists and museum personnel. It features chapters by indigenous knowledge custodians, who reflect upon recent debates and interaction between indigenous people and researchers in disciplines with direct interests in the continued scientific preservation of human remains.

In this book, leading researchers from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences reflect critically on the historical, cultural, ethical and scientific dimensions of repatriation. Through various case studies they consider the impact of repatriation: what have been the benefits, and in what ways has repatriation given rise to new problems for indigenous people, scientists and museum personnel. It features chapters by indigenous knowledge custodians, who reflect upon recent debates and interaction between indigenous people and researchers in disciplines with direct interests in the continued scientific preservation of human remains.

Paul Turnbull is a Professor of history in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at the University of Queensland. He has written extensively on nineteenth-century racial thought, and the theft and repatriation of Indigenous bodily remains. His recent publications include (with Cressida Fforde and Jane Hubert) the co-edited volume The Dead and their Possessions (Routledge).

Michael Pickering is the Head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program at the National Museum of Australia and has directed the Museum’s repatriation program for the past nine years. His research interests and publications include studies on material culture, cannibalism, hunter-gatherer archaeology and anthropology, heritage management, and repatriation.

Subject: Museum Studies General Anthropology
Area:

LC: CC79.5.H85 L66 2010

BL: YC.2011.a.3521

BISAC: ART059000 ART/Museum Studies; SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural; SOC000000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/General

BIC: GM Museology & heritage studies; JHM Anthropology




Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction
Paul Turnbull

PART I: ANCESTORS, NOT SPECIMENS

Chapter 1. The Meanings and Values of Repatriation
Henry Atkinson

Chapter 2. Repatriating Our Ancestors: Who Will Speak for the Dead?
Franchesca Cubillo

PART II: REPATRIATION IN LAW AND POLICY

Chapter 3. Museums, Ethics and Human Remains in England: Recent Developments and Implications for the Future
Liz Bell

Chapter 4. Legal Impediments to the Repatriation of Cultural Objects to Indigenous Peoples
Kathryn Whitby-Last

Chapter 5. Parks Canada’s Policies that Guide the Repatriation of Human Remains and Objects
Virginia Myles

PART III: THE ETHICS AND CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS OF REPATRIATION

Chapter 6. What Might an Anthropology of Cultural Property Look Like?
Martin Skrydstrup

Chapter 7. Repatriation and the Concept of Inalienable Possession
Elizabeth Burns Coleman

Chapter 8. Consigned to Oblivion: People and Things Forgotten in the Creation of Australia
John Morton

PART IV: REPATRIATION AND THE HISTORY OF SCIENTIFIC COLLECTING OF INDIGENOUS REMAINS

Chapter 9. The Vermillion Accord and the Significance of the History of the Scientific Procurement and Use of Indigenous Australian Bodily Remains
Paul Turnbull

Chapter 10. Eric Mjöberg and the Rhetorics of Human Remains
Claes Hallgren

PART V: MUSEUMS, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND REPATRIATION

Chapter 11. Scientific Knowledge and Rights in Skeletal Remains - Dilemmas in the Curation of ‘Other’ People’s Bones
Howard Morphy

Chapter 12. Despatches From The Front Line? Museum Experiences in Applied Repatriation
Michael Pickering

Chapter 13. ‘You Keep It - We are Christians Here’: Repatriation of the Secret Sacred Where Indigenous World-views Have Changed
Kim Akerman

Chapter 14. The First ‘Stolen Generations’: Repatriation and Reburial in Ngarrindjeri Ruwe (country)
Steve Hemming and Chris Wilson

Notes on Contributors
References
Index

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