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Hawaiian artifacts spark jail threat


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HONOLULU, Dec 21, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A federal judge ordered a Hawaiian group to disclose the exact location of 83 artifacts or face jail, reports said.

The Tuesday ruling by Judge David Ezra was the latest round in a legal battle over the artifacts loaned by the Bishop Museum in 2000 to Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai'i Nei, which means "group caring for the ancestors of Hawaii."

Hui Malama Executive Director Edward Halealoha Ayau said the group has no intention of providing locations of the artifacts, which he said were buried in Big Island caves, the Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported.

The judge warned Ayau that he faced a contempt citation and jail time if Hui Malama failed to comply with his order.

La'akea Suganuma and Na Lei Alii Kawananakoa sued in August to win return of the objects claimed by 14 organizations.

Hui Malama claims that Western archaeologists stole the funerary artifacts in 1905.

URL: www.upi.com 

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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