In 1994 the Hood Museum of Art began consultations with Native Hawaiian organizations as part of the process of preparing inventories of human remains for the 1995 NAGPRA deadline. In December 1994, Hui Malama I Na Kupuna ’O Hawai’i Nei (Hui Malama) submitted a formal request for the repatriation of three partial sets of ancestral human remains identified as being Native Hawaiian in origin.
On June 26, 1995, three members of Hui Malama came to the museum and were provided with a private space in which they could ceremonially prepare the remains for their return to Hawaii. The delegation expressed their gratitude for the concern expressed for their cultural ways in a thank-you letter: “Hui Malama I Na Kupuna ’O Hawai’i Nei believes that in restoring that which belongs to Hawai’i, we restore the mana [energy] of this very special place. It is the strengthening of mana that helps restore life to Hawai’i and its native people, and enhances our view towards the future.”
All of the Hawaiian remains were collected by Frederick Chaffee around the turn of the century, possibly at Kaena Point, on the island of Oahu. In 1939, Chaffee’s son Robert, professor of biology and curator of the Dartmouth College Museum, gave the remains to the museum.
Last Updated: 8/16/11