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Profile: Smithsonian Repatriation in Shishmaref and St. Lawrence Island

The Smithsonian is returning human remains to Shishmaref that were excavated over 80 years ago.

The remains of an estimated 48 people will come back this summer, along with 6 funerary objects associated with burials. An additional 72 objects will go to St. Lawrence Island.

The Shishmaref items and bodies came to the Smithsonian through a fur trader who dug up burial mounds. St. Lawrence island’s burial objects date to the great famine of 1878-1880.

Profile: Repatriation