October 04, 2012
Maori and Moriori koiwi returning home
Maori and Moriori koiwi held by two Australian museums are on their way home.
Ancestral remains of six Maori and 14 Moriori from the University of Western Sydney’s JL Shellshear Museum, and two koiwi tangata Maori from the Western Australian Museum in Perth will be welcomed back to Te Papa in Wellington on Monday.
Te Papa’s Kaihautu, Michelle Hippolite, says they will remain at the national museum until their origins can be traced and they can be returned to iwi.
The remains were taken from New Zealand by collectors in the 19th century.
It is estimated there are still about 500 sets of remains, including 100 Toi moko or preserved heads, awaiting repatriation from overseas.