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Ed Sheeran

More repatriations at Te Papa

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The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa this morning welcomed back the remains of 16 tūpuna Māori and one Moriori ancestor.

The toi moko and koiwi tangata come from the De Young Museum in San Francisco, Yale Peabody Museum in Connecticut, and the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum of World Cultures in Cologne, Germany.

Repatriation head Te Herekiekie Herewini says after the pōwhiri the tūpuna will be placed in Te Papa’s wāhi tapu until their original place of origin is revealed by additional research.

They can then be returned to their uri.

Mr Herewini says the toi moko from Cologne was bought in 1908 from an English dealer who acquired it from dealer and collector William Ockleford Oldman.

Oldman’s collection of Māori and South Pacific artefacts was bought by the New Zealand Government in 1948 and distributed among the country’s museums, including a puoko or ancestral head from Rapa Nui-Easter Island, which ended up in Canterbury Museum.

In January that ancestor was returned to Rapa Nui as part of a programme to return international ancestors to their homelands.


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