Remains at UH-Hilo
to be reinterred
in late January

HILO » Three incomplete sets of native Hawaiian remains found in boxes at the University of Hawaii at Hilo will not be reinterred until late January, according to a member of a group involved in the repatriation.

The three sets of remains will be reinterred in Kau after the end of Makahiki, the Hawaiian season of sports and festivals, said Keolalani Hanoa, a member of the Punaluu Preservation Association.

The remains, which include bones of a child discovered in a Kau cave in 1954, were discovered during a recent inventory and were left behind by archaeologist Bill Bonk, said Peter Mills, head of UH-Hilo's anthropology department. The age of the bones is unknown.

The inventory was prompted by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which requires federal agencies and museums to identify native American remains and funerary objects and to consult with lineal descendants and appropriate organizations on their repatriation.

The remains will be reburied as near as possible to where they were found, Hanoa said. The repatriation will be done by native Hawaiian cultural practitioners using traditional ceremonies, she said.

An effort is under way to identify possible descendants of those whose remains were found during archaeological studies by UH-Hilo and Bishop Museum in the 1950s and 1970s, according to Kai Markell, an Office of Hawaiian Affairs advocate for native rights and culture.

About 100 sets of remains found at a sand dune near South Point were repatriated by Bishop Museum and reinterred in the dune in the early 1990s.

University of Hawaii at Hilo

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