Samoan Government begins process for return of Samoan human remains from US

The Samoan government has cautiously started a process for the return of Samoan human remains in storage at a United States museum.

It is believed the human remains came from an archaeological dig that was conducted between 1957 to 1967 from the Faleasi'u area.

The Samoa Observer reported last April the Natural History Museum of Utah wrote to the government in August 2018, to request that Samoan human remains from an archaeological excavation in the 1960s be repatriated back to Samoa.

National University of Samoa's Centre for Samoan Studies director Ta'iao Dr. Matiu Matavai Tautunu said they are mindful of the cultural contextual issues that could arise.

Emphasising that he cannot give more detailed information - due to the sensitivity of the issue - Ta'iao said it is his hope the government will "handle the process with care", as the repatriation of future items of archaeological significance would depend on it.