Tehran Times
June 22, 2002

US Smithsonian Museum Returns Native Bones to Cuba

                                            HAVANA - The Smithsonian Institution in Washington returned
                                            fragments of bones of seven Taino natives to Cuba for burial by
                                            descendants of the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Caribbean
                                            Island, Reuters reported.

                                            The initiative was part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of
                                            the American Indian program to return human remains and
                                            ceremonial objects to native communities throughout the
                                            Americas, its Director Rick West said.

                                            The museum, which is building its new premises on the national
                                            mall in Washington, has returned some of its collection of
                                            800,000 objects to native communities in the United States,
                                            Canada and Latin America, including several mummies sent
                                            back to Peru and a dozen shrunken heads to Ecuador.

                                            "Our goal is to return all the human remains in the museum to the
                                            contemporary descendants of indigenous communities," West

                                            The box of bone fragments was handed to members of a native
                                            community from Baracoa, in Eastern Cuba, where they will be
                                            buried in January according to traditional Taino ritual.