Mummy Dummy 6: Museums
There are definitely still some mummy dummies around who contribute to the disrespectful exhibition of human remains. Here is my list of mummies that should be buried or returned as soon as possible:
1. The Lemon Grove Mummies at the Museum of Man (San Diego, CA). Stolen from Mexico, these native American mummies have been displayed for all to see. The Mummy Dummies don't understand that it is unjustifiable to display native American remains.
2. The "Mummies of the Insane" at the Barbour County Historical Museum (Philippi, WV). At last report, the Barbour County Historical Museum displays two mummies made in the 1880s by a farmer named Graham Hamrick. Hamrick decided that he could make human mummies as well as the Egyptians had [after all, he told people that he had read up on mummification techniques in the Bible and had even practiced on dead animals], so he asked officials at the county insane asylum for a body or two. They complied with his request and provided at least two bodies. Hamrick mummified them and took them to the Smithsonian Institution where, according to one source, the bodies would not be accepted unless he told his mummification secrets. Needless to say, Hamrick told nothing and brought the mummies home. After his death, they toured with a European circus. Eventually, they were kept in storage in Philippi, until they were rescued from a flooded house in 1985 and put on display in the Barbour County Museum. Mummy Dummies don't understand why the display of these bodies is wrong.
3. The Guanajuato Mummies at the Museum de las momias (Guanajuato, Mexico). Removed from their graves for failing to pay a grave tax, these bodies were found to be naturally mummified; then the Mummy Dummies took over.
4. The Toi Moko Maori heads from New Zealand at the American Museum of Natural History (New York City). Sacred to the Maori, the largest collection of these tattooed heads is at this museum in its ethnological specimens. Many museums around the world are slowly returning the heads to authorities in New Zealand. Why can't the AMNH do the same?