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Identity in Applied Repatriation Research and Practice


Fforde, C and McKeown, CT and Keeler, H and Ormond-Parker, L and Tapsell, P and Turnbull, P and Hemming, S and Rigney, D and Pickering, M and Aranui, A and Morris, W and Knapman, G, Identity in Applied Repatriation Research and Practice, Working with and for Ancestors, Taylor & Francis, CH Meloche, L Spake and KL Nichols (ed), UK, pp. 255-267. ISBN 9780367809317 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]

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DOI: doi:10.4324/9780367809317


Establishing the identity of the deceased is a crucial component of repatriation practice. However, it is a term of myriad meanings which can encompass, for example, individual identity, social "group" identity (community, tribe, nation, etc.), geographical place or region or country, or their "racial" or "ethnic" identity. This chapter explores how concepts of identity are intertwined within repatriation practice. In its examination of social and biological identity, it considers in particular the way in which historical techniques and scientific methods are often at odds in repatriation practice.

This chapter explores how concepts of identity are intertwined in repatriation and the complexities that this may produce in repatriation claims and return processes. It considers the repatriation challenges presented by different levels of provenance information, with particular focus on Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the United States. The chapter also explores how notions of identity may impact on how institutions consider repatriation claims. It also raises the issue of biological and social identity that are presented by the deployment of scientific techniques in repatriation practice. Ancestral Remains of Indigenous peoples were taken from a wide range of areas where the deceased can be found: for example, places of internment, hospital and prison morgues, battlefields, and massacre sites. Ancestral Remains are particularly vulnerable to separation from their archive biographies at times of movement or transfer.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:indigenous ancestral human remains, repatriation
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture
Objective Division:Indigenous
Objective Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture
Objective Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customary practices
UTAS Author:Turnbull, P (Professor Paul Turnbull)
ID Code:142169
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP130100131)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2020-12-17
Last Modified:2021-05-12

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