Posted: May 22nd, 2023

The repatriation of human remains in Arnhem Land region h

Apart from identifying the appropriate site to bury the repatriated human remains, the aboriginals are faced with the challenge of determining the appropriate ceremony to hold in honor of the deceased. The indigenous societies do not have ceremonies for reburial (Smith 412). In some instances, they are compelled to come up with rituals that are new. The repatriation of human remains has resulted in worrying prospect for many aboriginals. They are unable to tell if the deceased had gone through certain rituals. Moreover, the aboriginals cannot predict the consequences of administering certain rituals on the dead.

The repatriation of human remains in Arnhem Land region has resulted in the “challenges in maintaining the integrity of the aboriginal domain, including the material culture of sacred sites and rock art and health of the environment” (Sullivan, Kelly and Gordon 213). According to aboriginals, the removal of the human remains from their native land annihilates the entire significant link that the deceased had with the community. The reintroduction of the human remains in a “different spatial and temporal context can, therefore, create a measure of uncertainty” (Sullivan, Kelly and Gordon 219). Repatriation of human remains and material culture to Australia brought about uncertainty amid the indigenous communities. The aboriginals encounter challenges in the attempt to place the material culture or human remains in the right social framework of the community. Besides, they are unable to determine how to handle the deceased. The repatriated human remains lack not only the provenance information but also ‘skin name’ that facilitates their repatriation. Therefore, it becomes difficult for the aboriginals to identify their ancestral human remains.

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