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Aboriginals receive ancestors' remains from Sweden in formal ceremony

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posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 04:21 AM
STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Sweden returned to Aboriginal elders the remains of 15 of their ancestors taken from Australia for scientific research a century ago.

"There is much relief with regard to the whole repatriation process, but there'll be more to come on Australia's shores," a spokesperson for the Aboriginal delegates, Joey Chatfield, told AFP after a special ceremony at the Swedish Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm.

"There'll be stronger emotions in Australia. There'll be tears in our eyes there. We're still a long way from home here," he said.

The 13 skulls and skeletal remains of two other Aborigines will be put on a flight to Canberra on Friday.

Sweden is the first continental European nation to return Aboriginal remains, which explorers and scientists stole by the hundreds in the 19th and early 20th centuries for supposed studies into racial evolution.

The 15 remains in Sweden, taken primarily from the Kimberly region of Western Australia, were handed back to an 11-member Aboriginal delegation.


The 15 remains were taken from their graves, against the will of their families, and brought to Sweden by scientists Yngve Laurell and Eric Mjoeberg, who conducted expeditions between 1910 and 1913.

They wanted to study the remains due to their belief that Aboriginals were living examples of stone age men, according to Swedish anthropologist Claes Hellgren. A book he published a year ago about the expeditions started the ball rolling for the repatriations.

Lotta Mjoeberg, a relative of Eric Mjoeberg who attended Thursday's ceremony, told AFP that she grew up with a feeling that she could help right the wrongs that were done long before she was born.

"I have met many of these Aboriginals in their homes, and I have apologized for what was done," she said.

"It is fantastic that I could make a small contribution, offer a kind of healing. I think many people are now going to find peace in their graves," she said. "Perhaps even Eric."

Australian officials hailed Sweden's cooperation in returning the remains.

"There has been excellent cooperation between all the parties involved in the repatriation, from the governments, museums and communities," said Australia's ambassador to Stockholm Richard Rowe.

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posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 07:21 AM
After publishing Darwin’s Origin of Species and Descent of Man, a big campaign was initiated to find out the fossils that would possibly be displayed as an evidence for the theory. Archaeologists started looking for the fossils of imaginary creatures called transitional forms. For decades, they digged different parts of the earth to prove their point with no success. Their disappointment eventually led them to the forgery of Piltdown man. In 1912, the English biologist Charles Darwin fitted an orangutan jaw to a human skull and exhibited it as a transitional form between human and ape. It became evident only after 37 years that the Piltdown man which was exhibited in British Museum as the biggest evidence for evolution, was solely a forgery. Yet, more sophisticated forgery methods were being developed by evolutionists.
In the meantime, some evolutionists held strongly the idea that there existed some “living fossils”. According to the belief, if mankind had ape-like ancestors, there should still, in some part of the world, be some semi-human beings who still have not completed the evolution process. Towards the end of the 1800s, the victims were found. The native inhabitants of Tasmania, called Aborigines were designated as “living evidences of evolution”.

The different orbit structure and the relatively heavy lower jaw of Aborigines were the main reasons of why these human beings were defined as transitional forms. Evolutionist archaeologists and many “fossil-hunters” who joined them, set out to dig the graves of Aborigines and take the skulls to western evolutionist museums. Soon, the skulls were distributed to each one of the institutions, schools in the West as the confirmation of evolution.

The fossil-hunters did not hesitate to become “skull-hunters” when the number of graves were not enough to meet their needs. Since Aborigines served as transitional forms, they had to be regarded as animals rather than human beings. For the sake of the development of science, the lives of Aborigines could be sacrificed just as guinea pigs!

“Skull-hunters” killed Aborigines and legitimised this act asserting that they were doing it for science. The skulls of the hunted natives were sold to museums after some chemical reactions that would make them look old. The skulls with bullet holes were filled in with utmost attention. According to Creation Magazine published in Australia, a group of observers that came in from South Galler were shocked when they saw that dozens of women, children and men were killed by evolutionists. Forty five skulls were chosen among the killed Aborigines, the flesh of them were set aside and boiled. The best ten were packaged to be sent to England.

Today, thousands of skulls of Aborigines are still in the warehouse of Smithsonian Institution. Some of these skulls belong to the corpses digged from the graves whereelse some others are the skulls of innocent people killed to prove evolution.

[edit on 3-10-2004 by MattMarriott]

posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 12:07 AM
I really appreciate the spirit of this Lotta: she has devoted a portion of her life energies to learning of our past mistakes and trying to steer towards a future that learns FROM them, while healing the wounds of yesterday.

Such a spirit is lacking in so many descendants of people who helped commit genocide in the last couple of centuries. Most people today would not lift a finger if it is to help fix something they were not directly responsible for.

Lotta seems to know innately that we have all inherited this earth, and the sum-total of past human errors, and we ALL have a responsibility to leave it better off than the way we found it. She is why I found this article inspiring enough to post.


posted on Oct, 5 2004 @ 05:50 PM

posted on Oct, 5 2004 @ 05:58 PM

Originally posted by Iridium

I am curious as to what makes you feel so sick...
Is it the idea that you might be responsible for more than your own a.s.s?


[edit on 5-10-2004 by upuaut]

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