In the late 1960’s, American researchers traded pots and machetes to Yanomami tribes in exchange for samples of their blood with a promise that the samples would be used to find cures to the diseases ravaging the Yanomami. This promise has never been kept, but the blood has. The Yanomami believe that their dead cannot peacefully retire to the afterlife if their bodies remain. Typically, they burn the bodies of their dead. However, since institutions such as Pennsylvania State University have stored the blood given to them over 4 generations ago, the Yanomami believe that the dead who donated this blood have not moved on. In fact, these spirits may become dangerous to the living if they continue to be tied to this world. Though the Yanomami were repeatedly ignored in their written requests by their government to Pennsylvania State University, the students were not. Pennsylvania State University students wrote to their president (now Graham Spanier) resulting in a written agreement by the University to return the blood. Pennsylvania State
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