From the 1700s to late 1800s, explorers went all around the world collecting human remains to send back to the UK, where individuals and museums were keen to add to their collections. In time, these were often donated to medical schools. At Birmingham, we have a collection of skulls from around the world, which we are keen to repatriate.
In October 2013, the University hosted a delegation of Maori elders and held a formal handover ceremony to return Maori skulls to New Zealand. Dr. June Jones, Head of Repatriation, will discuss the issues raised by repatriation, using the Maori repatriation as a case study. The handover ceremony was filmed, so the presentation will include excerpts from the film, demonstrating the spiritual importance of the ceremony to all in attendance. June continues her collaboration with the Maori repatriation centre in New Zealand, and will discuss the lasting impact of respecting differing cultural perspectives about the treatment of the dead.
Presented by School of Health and Population Sciences