The millennia old Kennewick man will be laid to rest in accordance with American Indian traditions.
Kennewick Man was a curiosity that was first found in the mid 90s. The venue where its remains were dug up was the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington.
The US Army was responsible for disposing of the bones since the remains were found on federal land. While the scientific community wanted to observe and analyze the bones, the Native Americans were in favor of a burial in accordance with their traditional rites.
Years of litigation took place and in 2004, the science community got its wish and won the case. They proceeded with their rigorous methods of analysis.
Recent information suggests that Kennewick Man was definitely Native American. The 9000 year old skeleton was the oldest and most intact of samples in all of North America.
However, now the eon-long battle between the scientists, who only recognized symbols, and the Native Americans has ended. Kennewick Man will be given a traditional burial in accordance with the funeral rites practiced by the Native Americans.
According to Smithsonianmag, the chairman of the Yakama Nation spoke of how this was the right thing to do and finally justice had been done after the age-old battle between the secular forces and those who believed in unseen things.
Over five Native American tribes claim ancestry that links up with Kennewick Man. These include the Yakama, Wanapum, Umatilla, Colville and Nez Perce tribes.
After the work of the scientists has been finally accomplished, the Native American tribes will get to collectively bury their distant ancestor. In many societies, archaeological sites are said to be cases of grave robbing. The practice despite its scientific underpinnings is frowned upon.
The true believers tend to think that unearthing corpses or skeletons and then brazenly studying them is against the spirit of honoring the dead. It violates the privacy of their religion and goes against all norms of decency.
By putting skeletons on display in museums these scientists are undoing all the care and love that went into burying the individual. Tradition is a source of sanity and acts as a support system for tribal societies.
Such indecency as poking skeletons and analyzing them with scientific instruments verges on the irreligious. It was plain sacrilege in the eyes of the Native Americans.
However, the scientific community has shown more prudence this time around. It has seen the point of view of others and for this it is to be lauded.
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The study got published in the journal Nature.