Photo: V. Belov/Shutterstock

Sweden To Return the Skulls of 25 Sami People To Their Proper Resting Place

Museums News Sweden
Photo: V. Belov/Shutterstock
Eben Diskin
Aug 8, 2019

On August 9, the Swedish History Museum will return the remains of indigenous Sami people to their burial ground in Lycksele, from where they were taken in the 1950s.

The 25 skulls were exhumed from their burial place over 50 years ago, ending up at the museum to be examined and test racial theories. The repatriation ceremony will coincide with Sweden’s Indigenous People’s Day and acknowledge the terrible treatment of the Sami people over the years, including forced religious conversion and segregation.

There are up to 100,000 semi-nomadic Sami people, mostly in northern Scandinavia and about 2,000 in Russia.

According to The Local, remains of the Sami people were routinely collected in Sweden during the 19th and 20th centuries through excavations, grave robberies, and trade.

The return of the skeletal remains is meant to right a wrong and mend the ties between the Swedish government and the Sami people.

Eleven Swedish museums, universities, and institutes are still known to possess Sami bones and skulls.

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