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I never went to the Bishop Museum while in the islands, but I have read some things about this. Didn't the objects include coffins & remains? I remember reading something about coffins made of fiber & feathers. Unfortunately I think I read about it in the Kinky Freidman mystery "Stepping on a Rainbow" & not somewhere scholarly...

I agree that objects like this should be returned to the ancestors; If someone desecrated my ancestors graves there'd be hell to pay, & I'd like that same courtesy should be paid these grave objects.

On the other hand: You cannot study & learn the lessons of these ancestors without these objects. Pictures cannot capture fine enough details for study, and copies're copies & not the originals.

Is there some middle ground? Have the best copies they can get made for display to teach Hawaiians about their heritage, and sanctify a space where scientists, artists, sociologists & ethnographers can study and learn from these objects? Does that make sense? Making a holy space to go to learn the lessons these ancestors might still be able to teach?

To quote Indiana Jones: "It belongs in a museum!"

E

Where I come from and where I currently live (Alberta and British Columbia) these issues have been around for a long time and are never going to go away. There was even one famous incident where a medicine chief walked into a museum (one I've been to many times) having made an appointment to view a medicine bundle of his people, smiled nicely at the curator attending him, and walked out with it. It has never been seen since by ethnographers of any sort. I think it's rightfully a major issue for aboriginal peoples everywhere. Reading some of the history of Franz Boas' expeditions in my area is enlightening.

To look at it another way, does the Dresden Museum, and the Leningrad Museum, etc. need to have Northwest Coast or Polynesian artefacts? Personally I don't think so, that's why we have books and CD-Roms and the Web etc. And let's not forget there are already native Hawai'ian ethnographers and curators with the training to deal with these artefacts in properly accepted Western fashion, should it be decided that's what must happen. Hey folks, native Hawai'ians are like the First Nations people in my country, an underemployed underclass of people who've pretty much been left out of the Big Plans that have been made for their native land.

So, having opened every can of worms I could think of, here's what one band in British Columbia did: they opened their own museum, on their own land, and petitioned the government to return the shitloads of their property that had been lifted from their villages (as recently as the 1920s, after the potlatch ceremony was outlawed). It is a gradual process, but it is happening.

It wil be interesting to see how the Hawai'ians and the Museum resolve this. It could be a landmark opportunity for everyone; the idea of making exact copies is also an excellent one Herr Professor Doktor Freelance...

aloha,
em.

Emspace,
Good points except that the Bishop museum is a Hawaiian museum.

E

Well, I know that. What'd I say?

?:)
em

E

Surely you don't mean the Bishop is owned and run by native Hawai'ians? Is it?

puzzled,
em.

Bishop museum was set up and is run -- as far as I can recall -- by the Bishop Trust established by Eunice Bishop who was descended from Hawaiian royalty. The Bishop Trust oversees the Bishop estates that are leased in support of the Kamehameha School and other projects to support the native people of Hawaii. There have been some scandals concerning the trustees to the estate, but I believe it is still run in essence for the benefit of the Hawaiian people. Maybe someone closer to it can elaborate, but that's what I remember learning in school.

S

Since the posts about religion and such get such a warm welcome this issue can be a bit tricky. Everyone's got their own and everyone thinks theirs is right, but at some point it's all mythology and should be recognized as such.

Indy's right. the stuff belongs in a museum. With conservators attending to it day & night so it can be preserved for generations.

Many cultures represented in museums are no longer with us, but in the case of the ones that are there should be more than a tip of the political hat to the Indigenous peoples from whence the goodies came. (cuz they're still around thinkin' theirs is right.)

[ Edited by: spy-tiki on 2003-09-26 20:43 ]

On 2003-09-26 20:17, Kailuageoff wrote:
Bishop museum was set up and is run -- as far as I can recall -- by the Bishop Trust established by Eunice Bishop who was descended from Hawaiian royalty. The Bishop Trust oversees the Bishop estates that are leased in support of the Kamehameha School and other projects to support the native people of Hawaii. There have been some scandals concerning the trustees to the estate, but I believe it is still run in essence for the benefit of the Hawaiian people.

[ Edited by: filslash 2008-09-05 13:24 ]

On 2003-09-26 10:26, tikibars wrote:
To quote Indiana Jones: "It belongs in a museum!"

By the way, the character of Indiana Jones from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was NOT an archeologist.

HE WAS A GRAVE ROBBER!

S

Keep it in the museum. I have pieces in my own home that the natives would not think of as art or to be studied. that does not mean my Kororgo Village Orator Table should be thrown back the ditch it was drawn from. The cultures do not always realize the value of their works at the time.

A good example. The Mai Kai. They have almost nothing of the things we collect. Postcards? they got rid of them as fast as possible and made new ones. Now we buy them at high prices. And they wish they had them.

Just because a culture does not want their objects held up as museum pieces does not mean they should not be. The Cathedrals of the Roman Catholic Church are the same.

We must preserve them regardless of the the natives cries. IN 100 years, they will be thankfull.

Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family.
The Museum was established to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of the Princess, and has expanded to include millions of artifacts, documents and photographs about Hawai‘i and other Pacific island cultures.

Thanks for getting us the straight story. I think I got a 'C' in Hawaiian history. Anyway, the point is that the museum was established in a manner that is very linked to, and respectful of Hawaiian culture, so I don't see why this particular institution should be faulted.

here's npr's bit on the controversy (make sure to listen to the audio):

http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1839007

Cool topic.

I vote that at some point, these places change froma grave to an archeological find.

Examples: Egyptian Pyramids and the Valley of Kings are not really sacred any more. They have passed some invisible line into modern national possessions.

Same with Mayan Pyramids, Cro Magnon caves, Neanderthal graves, ancient Chinese Burial Mounds, etc.

When a culture no longer maintains a grave site and it falls into obscurity or disuse, then I feel it's fair game to check it out and display what cultural findings or remains are of modern interest.

In 1,000 years, if they find some unmarked and forsaken white man graveyard near LA, if I were around then, I'd say, "Fine, let's check it out." Would you expect the "Fraternal Order of White Culture" to demand that a public-good entity like a museum not display these finds?

So, in this case, I'm siding with the Museum in Hawaii. It's not like the natives were tending to the burial sites and had their artifacts stolen at gun point.

There is much to be learned and appreciated in these findings and it seems a little hypocritical for people who couldn't be bothered to maintain the cultural continuity with a site to get hot and bothered about it. They could learn from this site as well as anyone about how their ancestors did live and think.


Sorry, went long, so.....some invisible line between grave and archaeological site. Public interest, public display, public appreciation...learning.

No personal offense intended to anyone.

[ Edited by: Geeky Tiki on 2004-04-15 17:36 ]

I thought that tiki referenced on the NPR cite (thanks Tikichris) was sold at auction for tall coin, depriving both museum goers and the indegineous Hawaiians alike.

I would certainly give the bones back for proper burial, although I personally would be flattered to have mine in a museum and might even give up my thoughts of selling mine to the UCLA medical center for a hefty advance.

While the Bishop Museum does not seem predatory like the British Museum, I do not think that a cultural institution can launder the ownership of culural artifacts merely by claiming "we stole (or discovered) it fair and square."

The Bishop Museum has millions of artifacts, it won't miss the 83 in question.

However, before the museum returns the items, I hope they are placed on display, so I can see them myself.

This debate over reburying grave artifacts reminds me of when the Taliban bombed those ancient stone Buddhas at Bamiyan a few years ago.

I think that important historical artifacts belong to the greater community, not just the descendents of their creators.

And while I think it's quite horrible that the important collections of ancient artifacts tend to be museums in major Western cities, and not in their countries of origin, for example the Egyptian collection of the British Museum, one thing must be taken into account.

The richer the institution, the greater the chance that the artifacts will be well-preserved and taken care of, and available for study and appreciation. The sacking of the Iraqi national museum in Baghdad is a perfect example of this. So it's not all bad that there are Polynesian artifacts in German museums, since a lot more people can go to Berlin than the Solomon Islands.

But burying wooden carvings so no one can see them ever again? That's just lunacy. If my ancestors' graves have historical significance that people can learn from (and possibly improve the world as a result) I'll sign that desecration waiver in a heartbeat.

On 2004-04-15 21:20, CowboyMike wrote:

I think that important historical artifacts belong to the greater community, not just the descendents of their creators.

Well put - I think you may have changed my mind, that and the issue that the Bishop Museum is closer than the Soloman Islands.

On 2003-09-26 20:17, Kailuageoff wrote:
Bishop museum was set up and is run -- as far as I can recall -- by the Bishop Trust established by Eunice Bishop who was descended from Hawaiian royalty. . . . . I believe it is still run in essence for the benefit of the Hawaiian people.

The Bishop Estate would have a fiduciary duty for the benefit of creators of the trust - the Hawiian people -- even at the expense of everyone else. Consequently, the museum, by virtue of the governing principles of its own trust, would have to relinquish the antiquities, bones, tikis, etc.

Ironically, the Bishop Estate, trustees of the Kamahameha Schools, is subject to litigation by a plaintiff claiming that the schools' admission policies are biased in favor of native Hawaiians and, therefore, are discriminatory, violate Title VII, etc.

One one hand the Bishop Museum is placing the overall community's interests over the native Hawaiians'. On the other hand, the Kamahameha Schools are placing the interests of native Hawiians first.

In another scenario, the Bishop Estate has emphasized its fiduciary duty to the estate over the interests of landowners by their business decisions to maximize the profit by the sale of the land. The estate has been criticized for selling its leasehold estates, basically the land upon which it had rented condos, to the condo owners at a fixed, take-it-or-leave it price which is often far higher (and some would say exorbitant) price than the owners could afford.

Interesting, complex issue(s).

Quote:

"The Bishop Estate would have a fiduciary duty for the benefit of creators of the trust - the Hawiian people -- even at the expense of everyone else. Consequently, the museum, by virtue of the governing principles of its own trust, would have to relinquish the antiquities, bones, tikis, etc."


Wouldn't a fiduciary responsibility argue for displaying the artifacts and adding value to the trust rather than shoving them back into some cave?

Fiduciarialy speaking, the descendants of the natives would stand to gain from exploitation rather than reverence. No?

[i]On 2004-04-17 16:03, Geeky Tiki wrote:
Wouldn't a fiduciary responsibility argue for displaying the artifacts and adding value to the trust rather than shoving them back into some cave?

Regarding the bones, the fiduciary interest, in my opinion, would favor relinquishing them to be buried because of the high value the Hawaiian culture places on bones - the emphasis placed on the return of Fr. Damien's bones (or atleast those of his hand) for example.

As for the remaining portion, I think that as the Bishop Museum has a collection which exceeds one million, the collection is sufficiently diverse that any decrease in value would be minimized.

The trust's holdings are further diversified by its sizeable land ownership - it remains the states largest private landowner. However, I do not know the value of the remaining 83 pieces if they were to be sold to an instituiton like the British Museum or the Getty, although that does raise another interesting issue and if the $462,500 Sotherby's auction is any indication, the value could be substantial.

There has also been dissnet by those the trust is to serve as to decisions by the trustees. In 1997, there was a rally of approx 300 Kamehameha School alumni and supporters challenging the trust's role in oversight of the schools and requesting the school's first president of Hawaiian ancestry to be restored.

We probably should also consider the applicable law. The 1990 federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act provides a process for museums and Federal agencies to return certain Native American cultural items -- human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony - to lineal descendants, culturally affiliated Native Hawaiian organizations. Consequently, the trust potentially could be legally obligated to return the items eventually, although Hui Malama appears to have failed to disclose their intent to return and rebury the pieces to the Big Island cave when they checked them out.

Maybe the Bishop Trust should broker an agreement to reobtain a portion of the 83 artifacts and allow the rest to remained buried (with high ceremony) in return for public praise - a good PR move.

[ Edited by: christiki295 on 2004-04-17 18:29 ]

I found this opinion which links the preservation of burial sites as necessary to maintain the mana for the preservation of the o'hana and states that Hawaiians must maintain the integrity of the burial sites, instead of the Bishop Museum:

Ola na iwi (The bones live).

Native Hawaiians believe that na iwi, the bones, are considered sacred after death because within them lies the mana, the spiritual essence of the person. The uhane, or spirit, of the person is believed to hover near na iwi and thus, supreme care is taken to guard them. The burial of the deceased is considered a planting or cultivation that is followed by physical and spiritual growth; Hawaiians believe that they were nourished from foods fertilised by the bones of their ancestors. The na iwi are seen to release the mana of the deceased into the land, invigorating the land with the spiritual energy required to sustain it and those that rely upon it for survival.

It is the responsibility of the living to protect the family burial sites and to pass on the responsibility to the generations following in order to maintain family integrity. Central to the physical and spiritual well-being of Native Hawaiians is the inheritance of mana from their ancestral past. In turn, the ancestors care for and protect the living, affirming the interdependent relationship between them and their living descendents, whereby each cares for and protects the other.

The arrival of the colonists to Hawaii in 1779 led to significant social, economic and political changes. The population of Native Hawaiians dropped from 800 000 to 130 000. They were displaced from their traditional homelands and thus were unable to protect their ancestral burial sites. As assimilation efforts intensified, traditional practices and cultural values were gradually forgotten by most. Over the next century, looting, archaeological collection, erosion and construction resulted in the desecration and removal of thousands of ancestral Native Hawaiians. Many of the remains were taken to the United States and Europe to be studied and displayed in museums.

Native Hawaiians believe that the consequences of the separation of mana from the land are the economic, social, health, housing and political conditions they are currently dealing with. A fundamental means by which to heal both the living and those ancestral Hawaiians who await reunification with their homelands is to bring them together, to bury the na iwi and thus restore precious mana to the land and the families.

In 1988, an ancestral burial site in Maui called Honokahua was excavated to allow for the construction of a Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Native Hawaiians rallied together and protested until the excavation was halted, the hotel was relocated, and legislation was passed to protect the burial site in perpetuity. This was the first victory of Native Hawaiians in the repatriation of their culture and it gave rise to a Native Hawaiian organisation called Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai’i Nei, whose main goal is to protect burial sites and relearn the cultural protocols relating to the care of ancestral remains.

Numerous victories have since followed, including the enactment in the United States of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act in 1990. Federally recognised tribes are authorised to exercise their responsibility to their ancestors, their belongings, sacred objects, and cultural patrimony by repatriating them to the possession and control of the culture’s living descendents. These accomplishments stand as a testimonial to the revitalization of traditional cultural values, traditions and practices.

Ayau, Edward Halealoha. Indigenous Voices - Native Burials: Human Rights and Sacred Bones. Cultural Survival, Indigenous Voices. 2000.
http://www.wusc.ca/campuses/lc/deved/2002/Culture.htm

L

On 2004-04-15 21:40, christiki295 wrote:

On 2004-04-15 21:20, CowboyMike wrote:

I think that important historical artifacts belong to the greater community, not just the descendents of their creators.

Well put - I think you may have changed my mind, that and the issue that the Bishop Museum is closer than the Soloman Islands.

reminds me of how the state works nowadays:
it condemn land and thru eminent domain, turns private property , ranchland, beachfront, lonhgheld private land owned by kama''aina for decades, and turns it into a public park. For the 'greater community"
They pave it over, paint parking spot lines, erect ugly blue signs written by accountants and liars I mean lawyers; "the following is prohibited"
and set up permanent light fixtures which shine glaring lite all thru the night in a north shore area which was beautiful as it was. and is now ruined. mainlanders may diagree, being accustomed to this. The state of hawaii creates much blight and ruins Hawaii. It is the enemy of native Hawaiians to a large degree.

T

[ Edited by: TNTiki on 2004-11-06 18:21 ]

L

On 2004-04-15 17:34, Geeky Tiki wrote:

When a culture no longer maintains a grave site and it falls into obscurity or disuse, then I feel it's fair game to check it out and display what cultural findings or remains are of modern interest.

So, in this case, I'm siding with the Museum in Hawaii. It's not like the natives were tending to the burial sites and had their artifacts stolen at gun point.

There is much to be learned and appreciated in these findings and it seems a little hypocritical for people who couldn't be bothered to maintain the cultural continuity with a site to get hot and bothered about it. They could learn from this site as well as anyone about how their ancestors did live and think.

there is much in ancient Hawaiian culture that is sacred and many Hawaiians prefer that it remain sacred and secret. burial sites not being maintained is not the point. Burial sites are not publicised and are remote and hidden. They are not to be entered, tampered with or "grave robbed".

It never was and never will be considered "fair game" to disrupt a burial site.
And the stance; "They could learn how their ancestors did live and think". can not condone or justify it. It is up to those that own the culture to decide what aspects of ancient Hawaii will be offered to the profane. And that which they want to maintain as sacred.

It is not a respectful frame of mind to believe one may remove objects from a burial site by and means short of: "artifacts stolen at gun point".

Why do we not see people digging up grave sites that dot honolulu?! Many of these may be considered "an ill maintained bruial site" and according to the logic, is fair game. These date back more than one hundred years and who knows what may be contained within the coffers!?
You respect the dead. You respect the culture. No different if the burial site is 200 or 300 years old, hidden, or in public view.

When and if one stumbles upon iwi kupuna, (the bones of ancestors) one should respect the cultural practice (ancient and modern) and the wishes of the ancestors; leave it alone. there is much abuse in this area in contemporary Hawaii and corporations coming to Hawaii and pushing their weight around doesn't help much in the persuasive abilities of haoles telling kanaka maoli what to do with sacred artifacts.

The Walmart debacle comes to mind; The state sold the last large parcel in the heart of our city to walmart and they are erecting a large monolithic "mausoleum" of a structure, an unfortunate but appropriate ironic simile, as iwi kupuna has been found on the site a couple months ago and have been treated very disrespectfully since.

Iwi na kupuna are continually being desecrated and have been since the introduction of foreigners to Hawaii.
If artifacts found in a cave are to be disinterred, relocated, disturbed or directed toward some public viewing, it should be at the behest of the owners of; the site, the land and the bones and artifacts; the ancestors and kanaka maoli. This duty should be in the hands of native Hawaiian cultural organizations created for the care & protection of iwi na kupuna.
Not by some museum run by the state. Even tho that museum does a fabulous job of respecting thus far, the tradition of the akua ki'i and their exhibits. Many very capable staff members on board are to be commended for their efforts along these lines and I am proud and humbled to know them and to have been a small part of one such ceremony related to the Lono Makahiki.

L

On 2004-05-31 16:02, TNTiki wrote:
lanikai:

I am going to Kauai next fall (2005). Any suggestions?

a good start;
http://www.travelguides.com/destinations/kauai/

a must see; cocoplams resort where Elvis filmed much of Blue Hawaii. take da tour. I believe it still runs.

T

[ Edited by: TNTiki on 2004-11-06 18:21 ]

On 2004-05-31 16:34, lanikai wrote:

The Walmart debacle comes to mind; The state sold the last large parcel in the heart of our city to walmart and they are erecting a large monolithic "mausoleum" of a structure, an unfortunate but appropriate ironic simile, as iwi kupuna has been found on the site a couple months ago and have been treated very disrespectfully since.

I thought that the state and the developers learned this lesson over the dispute regarding the location of the Ritz-Carlton. Unfortunately, not.

The so-ca1led Battle of the Bones erupted in the mid-1980s when a Ritz-Carlton hotel was proposed at Honokahua on a burial ground. Protests were so strong that in 1989 the planned hotel was moved back to preserve the sanctity of the site, and new laws were passed to prevent buildings from desecrating ancient Hawaiian sites.

[ Edited by: christiki295 on 2004-05-31 23:28 ]

L

On 2004-05-31 23:07, christiki295 wrote:

On 2004-05-31 16:34, lanikai wrote:

The Walmart debacle comes to mind; The state sold the last large parcel in the heart of our city to walmart and they are erecting a large monolithic "mausoleum" of a structure, an unfortunate but appropriate ironic simile, as iwi kupuna has been found on the site a couple months ago and have been treated very disrespectfully since.

I thought that the state and the developers learned this lesson over the dispute regarding the location of the Ritz-Carlton. Unfortunately, not.

as long as there is money to be made, as long as we have polititians, developers and lawyers proliferating the landscape, this situation will repeat itself ad infinitum. Those with something to gain always hope the proletariat and those with something to lose have a short attention span and an even shorter memory.

L

I thought that the state and the developers learned this lesson .....

The problem of burial site treatment, and iwi na kupuna has been a contentious subject for quite some time in the local press. Many years in fact.
And it will continue to be, as undoubtedly, more artifacts and bones will be unearthed through accidental discovery by hikers and such, as well as thru the urban sprawl on Oahu and the outer islands.

A few years ago, in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, a letter to editor stated: "we make too much out of a bunch of old bones and rock, after all that's exactly what it is." That may be the case, to that letter writer and is sadly, pathetically typical ethnocentric myopia.

So; Let's back up a bit and look at the facts:

White man came to Hawaii, stole the land and destroyed the monarchy, took it over, called it their own, imposed their own form of government and laws on these people. (Some may counter; "everyone's better off now," but the Hawaiian people did not ask for nor did they want this.) This is what white man has been doing for many years; Ask any "American" Indian or "African American."

There will always be your typical "Rice and Conklins and other rebel rousers and kooks" attempting to destroy the last vestiges of dignity and ownership of Hawaiians by whining that the white man's law shouldn't and don't provide for the caretaking and reparations to any degree of the people of the host culture. And they justify their argument with the wholesale, blanket excuse; it's "racist." They justify their rants by quoting various examples of their laws they and their people forcibly imposed on Kanaka Maoli.

"The American constitution says this'n'that and justifies our destructive pernicious ways. The government we force upon you to live by will also prevent you from living the life you want."

"We will also bring over haole politicians and enact our foreign ways to cover your beautiful land with an overabundance of street/highway signage, buildings, freeways, and slowly but surely make this land another El Lay. We will ban your language and force hula and your various cultural practices underground. We will allow tourists to pursue litigious American ways and everytime someone enters the "wilderness," which is what most of Hawaii is, we will allow them to sue, at any provocation. We've got 70 yellow pages of lawyers in the Oahu phone book, and dadgummit, we're gonna use 'em!"

It may not be right but it sure is legal and that's one of the most evil things about this scenario. As far as the treatment of bones is concerned; The apathy foreigners have toward their ancestors is not universal. Heiau are sacred to Hawaiians, as are kupuna iwi; bones of ancestors, as are the lessons, memory and ways of those that have gone before.

The destruction of the religious ways of the indigenous culture is one of the most evil things perpetrated by America. The destruction of this land, just because it is happening slowly and is almost unnoticeable, doesn't mean it should be accepted.

This scenario is doubly poisonous: We now take your land and destroy your culture, then we impose our laws, which guarantee we will always dominate you and your land.

On 2004-04-15 21:06, christiki295 wrote:
While the Bishop Museum does not seem predatory like the British Museum

???
I'd hardly call the British Museum predatory, though you're you're entitled to your opinion.

Just read a book about Pacific Art and it'll be liberally illustrated with photographs from the British Museum's collection. They go far beyond just putting artifacts on show - they make them accessible to scholars, writers, Tikiphiles and the usual tourists. The work they do is stunning and of incalculable benefit to mankind and our appreciation of other cultures.

Just because it's collection beggars belief doesn't make it predatory.

Trader Woody

TraderWoody, I do not disagree with you that the British Museum is a wonderful institution with numerous artifacts. Also, I personally loved my visit there and, yes, such strong rhetoric is unnecessary (particularly on a board like this where its all about tiki).

Nevertheless, the first page of a google search provided the following:

http://www.chn.ir/english/eshownews.asp?no=1195

The British Museum’s general claim is that it “has the resources to preserve them better than the country from which they were taken.”

It has regularly rejected demands for the return of the 51 Parthenon sculptures, made by the Greek government, now supported by a group of athletes under the banner of British Committee for the Restitution of the Marbles.

The Chinese, too, want back 23,000 of their national relics in the British Museum.Understandably, they were annoyed last July when Tony Blair shrugged off their request. “Sorry about that,” he quipped during a visit to Beijing. “It’s something that happened in history.”

A
aquarj posted on Tue, Jun 1, 2004 7:10 PM

So; Let's back up a bit and look at the facts:

White man came to Hawaii, stole the land and destroyed the monarchy, took it over, called it their own, imposed their own form of government and laws on these people. (Some may counter; "everyone's better off now," but the Hawaiian people did not ask for nor did they want this.) This is what white man has been doing for many years; Ask any "American" Indian or "African American."

The discussion so far on this topic has been interesting, but if it will continue I hope we can avoid degenerating into more of this flavor of racial rhetoric. It is irrational and patently NON-factual to suggest that brutality toward other cultures is a characteristic unique to the "white man". The fact that historical examples of brutality within and between cultures can be cited for any particular race (as is the case for ALL races mentioned above, including "native" Hawaiians) does NOT make a case for any one race being uniquely culpable in the history books. Specific individuals or groups in specific events yes, races in general no. And even if someone does have an axe to grind about a specific race, I suggest that TC is not the place for it.

Still, the original topic is interesting, and I think there are still many difficult dilemmas it raises. For example, in questions of rights and ownership what qualifies as a native Hawaiian, and are their subgroups? Before the islands were "unified" under Kamehameha, there were distinct groups on the different islands. So, if an artifact is associated with one of these distinct groups, should the right of ownership go only to native Hawaiians with lineage that traces to that group, or should it go to the broader melting pot of native Hawaiians that resulted from Kamehameha's unification, whether descended from the conquerors or the conquered? Wouldn't the latter be unfair if the artifact dates from a time before Kamehameha?

-Randy

L

racial rhetoric: "the art of speaking or writing effectively upon the subject of race":

ok you want to avoid this.

dunno why.
It is fact.
The sugar barons overthrew the monarchy.
they were white men.

its not "degenerating" into racial rhetoric. it is elucidation into fact.

"... in questions of rights and ownership what qualifies as a native Hawaiian, and are their subgroups? Before the islands were "unified" under Kamehameha, there were distinct groups on the different islands. So, if an artifact is associated with one of these distinct groups, should the right of ownership go only to native Hawaiians with lineage that traces to that group, or should it go to the broader melting pot of native Hawaiians that resulted from Kamehameha's unification, whether descended from the conquerors or the conquered? Wouldn't the latter be unfair if the artifact dates from a time before Kamehameha? -Randy"

this is the the characteristic split hair "rhetoric" used by the anti Hawaiian-sovereignty people that they use to try to divide and conquer.

On 2004-06-01 20:54, lanikai wrote:

"... Before the islands were "unified" under Kamehameha, there were distinct groups on the different islands. So, if an artifact is associated with one of these distinct groups, should the right of ownership go only to native Hawaiians with lineage that traces to that group, or should it go to the broader melting pot of native Hawaiians that resulted from Kamehameha's unification-Randy"

Implicit in this statement is that the artifacts/bones should be returned from the Bishop Museum.

*On 2004-06-01 18:37, christiki295 wrote:*http://www.chn.ir/english/eshownews.asp?no=1195

The British Museum’s general claim is that it “has the resources to preserve them better than the country from which they were taken.”

It has regularly rejected demands for the return of the 51 Parthenon sculptures, made by the Greek government, now supported by a group of athletes under the banner of British Committee for the Restitution of the Marbles.

The Chinese, too, want back 23,000 of their national relics in the British Museum.Understandably, they were annoyed last July when Tony Blair shrugged off their request. “Sorry about that,” he quipped during a visit to Beijing. “It’s something that happened in history.”

There are disagreements regarding many items in the British Museum, which is certainly understandable - you could argue that the entire contents be returned to their country of origin. This doesn't make the British Museum predatory. The article you quote mentions 'predatory museums', but these are usually privately funded institutions, building up their own collections. The British Museum has little need to do this.

The British Museum has issues that go to the very heart of this thread - should artifacts be returned to their place of origin? My opinion is that they shouldn't as the world would be a poorer place, but I've yet to read 'The Elgin Marbles' by Christopher Hitchens and make up my mind completely.

Once again, I would state that The British Museum should not be described as 'predatory'.

Trader Woody

L

The British Museum’s general claim is that it “has the resources to preserve them better than the country from which they were taken.”

...argue that the entire contents be returned to their country of origin.

...artifacts be returned to their place of origin

well, I for one would love to see the major Hawaiian ki'i of antiquity housed currently in disparate locales around the globe, be all together at the Bishop Museum...

I assume all those in favour of returning such artifacts to their countries of origin will practice what they preach by returning their old Tiki mugs (almost inevitably stolen at some point in the distant past) to their restaurant of origin!

Trader Woody

T
TNTiki posted on Wed, Jun 2, 2004 1:03 PM

[ Edited by: TNTiki on 2004-11-06 18:22 ]

T

And while you're at it, as one of Native American descent, get your asses off our land!

(of course that would mean that I'd have to genetically split off part of my self. Oh, never mind)

L

On 2004-06-02 10:31, Trader Woody wrote:
I assume all those in favour of returning such artifacts to their countries of origin....

Trader Woody

haaa, Woody yer such a kidder.
but seriously I am in favor of the idea but not the actual implimentation, as this has been attempted before. The other museums which house major Hawaiian and Polynesian artifacts tenaciously hold onto their "posessions" and rebuff negotiations or any attempt to initiate any kind of '"trade".

T

One could assume that since all tikis were ordered distroyed after Christianity took hold, that if it wasn't for the British taking artifacts back to England a century or 2 ago we would have none today!

So maybe taking items away from their originators isn't a bad thing in certain circumstances.

It's kind of nice that we're able to see artifacts from other countries...
there are many people that can't travel further than their own museum...they'd stay un-edumacated for the rest of their lives if they couldn't see other culture's artwork etc.

L

On 2004-06-02 13:36, Tiki_Bong wrote: since all tikis were ordered distroyed after Christianity took hold...

actually it was the breaking of the kapu sytem about two years before the arrival of the first missionaries when most heiau and attendant tiki carvings were destroyed. After the intoduction of christianity, there were not many tikis in evidence on the islands.

T

On 2004-06-02 13:43, lanikai wrote:

On 2004-06-02 13:36, Tiki_Bong wrote: since all tikis were ordered distroyed after Christianity took hold...

actually it was the breaking of the kapu sytem about two years before the arrival of the first missionaries when most heiau and attendant tiki carvings were destroyed. After the intoduction of christianity, there were not many tikis in evidence on the islands.

Oh yeah, I forgot to say I have a margin of error of 2 years + or -

On 2004-06-02 00:09, Trader Woody wrote: . . .The article you quote mentions 'predatory museums', but these are usually privately funded institutions, building up their own collections. The British Museum has little need to do this. . . .Once again, I would state that The British Museum should not be described as 'predatory'.

Trader Woody

Characterizing the argument "We stole it fair and square" as just history, as your fine prime minsiter did, I think, is a bit too euphemistic.

After all (as far as I known) it is not like the British Museum asked for permission or actually purchased the artifacts.

*On 2004-06-02 15:17, christiki295 wrote:*Characterizing the argument "We stole it fair and square" as just history, as your fine prime minsiter did, I think, is a bit too euphemistic.

After all (as far as I known) it is not like the British Museum asked for permission or actually purchased the artifacts.

Are you really saying that the British Museum went around the world stealing artifacts???

Dig a little deeper and you'll find that what it's gained over the years is above board and very well documented.

Hey, as an example, a great many manuscripts from Chaucer, Shakespeare etc. etc. that are extraordinarily important to British history are now in American hands, bought fair and squre. No doubt in a hundred years time, these too will be seen as having been sold at a pittance. Our loss.

The anger that those who value their own culture feel when it gets sold overseas should be directed at the people who sold it so readily. Not those who saw the true value of that culture and embraced it, and made it available to the rest of the world.

Trader Woody

T

Hey! Here's my big chance to take the high road for once!

Alright, now let's not have any more of this argumentive discussion. Let's all get back to whatever it was we were doing.

Agreed? agreed!

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