Quakers are separating themselves from their ‘colonial legacies’ by ‘docolonising.’
The church is drawing attention to work by an Oxford museum and a Naga research team aiming to return human remains to the mountainous border area between Myanmar and India, from which they were taken.
The Pitt Rivers Museum is attempting to decolonise by returning the bones; the collection contains 200 items of Naga ancestral remains, including human skills and bones.
During the 2022 annual Quaker meeting, the organisation will be considering their history, including their involvement in the slave trade.
From there, they will discuss how to make ‘meaningful reparations’ for their part in colonisation.
Two Naga anthropologists, Dr. Arkotong Longkumer of the University of Edinburgh and Dr. Dolly Kikon of the University of Melbourne, have worked with Naga civil society, elders, researchers, church leaders and the Pitts River Museum in an exploratory dialogue.
The Quakers aren’t the first group to reflect on their painful history. Various denominations across Christianity have attempted to make amends for their involvement in the slave trade.
Last month, the Archbishop of Canterbury said he was “deeply sorry for the links with transatlantic chattel slavery” in the Church of England.