Hawaiian Skull Taken Off eBay, Returned to Islands

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A 200-year-old Hawaiian skull found on Maui decades ago and later advertised on eBay was returned to the islands this week.

The skull of a Native Hawaiian warrior was taken from a construction site on Kaanapali (search) in 1969 by a California teenager, who then tried to sell it on the Internet.

Jerry Hasson of Huntington Beach, now in his 50s, said he had sneaked onto the beach with friends and found an entire skeleton — but took only the skull.

An undercover agent with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (search) contacted Hasson and bought the skull for $2,500.

Hasson pleaded guilty in May to a federal charge of interstate commerce with illegally unearthed archaeological items.

Edward Halealoha Ayau of the group Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei (search), along with Melanie Chinen, administrator for the state Historic Preservation Division, brought the skull back from New Mexico on Tuesday.

Uilani Pauole, attorney with the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (search), said she couldn't say whether the skull was well preserved because she had not yet seen it.

She said Hui Malama, which repatriates Hawaiian artifacts and human remains, would work with the state to rebury the skull in its original place.