The grim history of New Zealand’s stolen Maori heads


France’s handover of 16 mummified Maori heads marks the culmination of years of patient campaigning by tribal elders and New Zealand authorities. The first such head recorded as being acquired by a European was taken in 1770 by a member of an expedition led by Captain James Cook. via

Note, the image above, courtesy of AP, is computer-generated. Photographing the dead was frowned upon in Maori culture, as pointed out in this article, which also says that Joseph Banks traded an old pair of white linen drawers for the one mentioned above, which belonged to a teenage boy.

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