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Germany returns Namibian skulls used in race experiments

John Macdougall / AFP - Getty Images

One of 20 skulls being handed over to a strong Namibian delegation is on display at the Charite University Hospital in Berlin on Sept. 30.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

A delegation member from Namibia points at two of 20 skulls to be repatriated to Namibia during a handover ceremony at Charite University hospital on Sept. 30 in Berlin, Germany.

AP Reports:

 Namibian tribal leaders took possession Friday of the skulls of 20 of their countrymen, taken by German colonial forces more than a century ago for racial experiments.

The handing over of the skulls was a rare reminder of Germany's short-lived past as a colonial power in Africa, which included the bloody suppression of a Herero and Nama uprising between 1904 and 1908 that left tens of thousands dead.

The heads of four females and 16 males, including a young boy of about three, were removed from their bodies and preserved in formaldehyde intact with faces, skin and hair.

Full story: German museum returning Namibian skulls

Tobias Schwarz / Reuters

A member of a Namibian delegation photographs a human skull from the Herero and ethnic Nama people. The skull is one of 20 being returned to Namibia by Berlin's Charite University hospital on Sept. 30.

John Macdougall / AFP - Getty Images

Members of a Namibian delegation perform a Herero ritual in front of the Charite University Hospital in Berlin on Sept. 30.