Hopi Tribe’ ancestral remains return home to Mesa Verde National Park from Finland

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Tribal leaders have reburied the remains of their ancestors that were taken more than a century ago from what’s now a national park in Colorado.

A Swedish researcher unearthed the remains of about 20 people and more than two dozen funerary objects from southwestern Colorado in 1891. They eventually became part of a larger collection at the National Museum of Finland.

The remains and items were returned to the U.S. over the weekend and reburied within Mesa Verde National Park. The tribes made the announcement Sept. 17 to respect a traditional four-day grieving period.

“Because of my past military experience, we have that motto that we never leave anyone behind,” said Hopi Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva. “In this case, they’ve been gone for over 100 years and we finally brought them home.”

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