Gunnar Nergaard and the Mummies of Chui-Chui

Knut Djupedal, Director of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, Ottestad, NO

The study of emigration has infinite possibilities, not the least of which is how past events can lead to surprising results in the present. My presentation will tell the story of a modern hunt for four ancient mummies from the Atacama desert in Chile. It began with a Norwegian who immigrated to Chile in 1920, a donation that he made to a Norwegian museum in Oslo in 1930, the fate of the mummies during the next eighty years, and how the mummies were identified in 2014. Included in the presentation will be an exploration of some aspects of the relationship between an emigrant and his or her country of origin, as well as their relationship to and respect for the history and culture of their country of choice.