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.