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Ancestral remains to be reburied at Hopwood

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THE CNMI Historic Preservation Office will hold the reinterment of 16 ancestral remains in the ancient Chamorro village of Araiao, Saipan located on the grounds of Hopwood Middle School today, Friday.

A formal departure of the remains will commence at the CNMI State Historic Preservation Office at 8:30 a.m.

The remains will be respectfully laid to rest on the grounds of Hopwood.

HPO Director Rita Chong on Thursday said these remains were from the E-Rate project for the Public School System that took place in the early 2000s.

She said the burial is part of the HPO goal to reinter all ancestral remains that are in its repository.

In August, over 700 ancestral remains were laid to rest in a four-pocket grave following a traditional reburial ceremony.

HPO receives and prepares remains for burial by cleaning and placing them in cloth bags and into woven baskets.

Over 150 people were directly involved in the procession and ceremony, with approximately 40 groups carrying about six to eight baskets of remains each.

Traditional chants and the blowing of the kulu or conch shell, were part of the ceremony.

HPO is tasked with three main goals: documenting historic and archaeological sites in the CNMI; regulating development to protect sites that may be damaged through construction; and educating the public about the history and culture of the Commonwealth.

The general public is welcome to attend the reinterment ceremony at Hopwood this morning.

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