Former state archeologist Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni will share two moving stories of repatriation that form the
basis of his new book "The Long Journey Home: The Repatriations of Henry 'Opukaha'ia and Albert Afraid of Hawk."
'Opukaha'ia (c. 1792-1818), a Native Hawaiian, was orphaned during the tumultuous Kamehameha's
wars, and made his way to New Haven, where he converted to Christianity and was
instructed by Yale President Timothy Dwight IV. 'Opukaha'ia was instrumental in the founding of the
Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, but before he could return to Hawaii, he contracted
typhus and died. Reportedly, his last words were "How I want to see Hawaii."
Itankusun Wambli, or Albert Afraid of Hawk (ca. 1879-1900) joined Buffalo Bill Cody's "Wild West Show",
a way for young Lakota men whose traditional livelihoods has been disrupted to make a living. The show
arrived in Connecticut in late June of 1900. At that point, nearly 50 members of the show were ill after
eating canned corn and contracting botulism. Alfred Afraid of Hawk would die of food poisoning in
Danbury far from his home.
The Connecticut State Archeologist's responsibilities include oversight of excavations and dis-interments.
Bellantoni was contacted by descendants of both young men who wished to bring them home. Bellantoni
will share moving stories of repatriating the remains of these two young men. The book will be available at the program for $28.95, and Dr. Bellantoni will be happy to autograph copies.