Emotional homecoming

PROUDLY bearing the remains of three Tasmanian Aborigines dating back to the 1830s, three weary travellers returned to Launceston yesterday afternoon from Chicago.

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre president Dave Warrener, Aboriginal activist Annette Peardon and Aboriginal community member Sara Maynard were welcomed home by a crowd to celebrate the long-awaited return of the ancestral remains.

Ms Peardon was too exhausted to speak at length after 24 hours in transit, saying only it was a privilege to have returned the remains from the Chicago Field Museum, where they had been housed since 1958.

Mr Warrener said the trip had been ``amazing''.

``To be representing our Palawa community today, I feel very, very honoured, and very, very proud,'' he said.

``The trip was a great opportunity not only to bring our old people back, but to begin negotiating for other artefacts.

``(The Chicago Field Museum) was very receptive and I'm confident with some more negotiation we'll be able to bring them back.''

Miss Maynard said yesterday's return of the remains only made the community more determined to bring home more cultural objects the US museum holds.

Miss Maynard said a viewing of the ancestral remains - three skulls - would be held for the Aboriginal community, before any collective decisions were made about where and how they would be ceremonially buried.

``(The trip) was very emotional, but also very exciting at the same time,'' she said, fighting back tears.

Aboriginal activist Annette Peardon, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre president Dave Warrener and Aboriginal community member Sara Maynard with the remains of three Aborigines retrieved from the Chicago Field Museum. Picture: MARK JESSER

Aboriginal activist Annette Peardon, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre president Dave Warrener and Aboriginal community member Sara Maynard with the remains of three Aborigines retrieved from the Chicago Field Museum. Picture: MARK JESSER

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