The Repatriation of Indigenous Remains and Cultural Objects: Lessons from the 2017 Mayuan Case in Taiwan

Around the world, the repatriation of indigenous remains has long been a contentious issue. Taiwan is no exception. This article examines the Mayuan repatriation case through an institutional lens. It argues that the so-called “repatriation” is much more complex than the physical return of human remains and cultural objects. The process of repatriation is in fact a redefinition of ownership/rights toward the remains/objects, and a reconstruction of relationships between universities, research groups, and more importantly indigenous peoples.

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