MAORIS STEP UP CAMPAIGN FOR RETURN OF HEADS

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (June 23, 1998 - Radio Australia)---New Zealand's indigenous Maori people are stepping up a campaign to have the heads of their ancestors returned from various locations around the world.

New Zealand's Maori Affairs Minister, Tau Henare, who is on an official visit to Britain, is hoping to recover hundreds of 19th century Maori tattooed heads.

Some museums still display the heads, which were sold when a lucrative trade developed in them during the last century.

The Minister highlighted the once booming trade in the heads, during a presentation of a small replica war canoe to the Mayor of Middlesbrough for the Captain James Cook Birthplace Museum.

He said even to this day there are people who can't sleep thinking about their ancestors and that one day they might return home.

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