[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 63 (Monday, April 2, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19691-19694]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office 
[www.gpo.gov ]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7864]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[2253-665]


Notice of Inventory Completion: Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 
Norman, OK

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History has completed an 
inventory of human remains and associated funerary objects, in consultation 
with the appropriate Indian tribes, and has determined that there is a 
cultural affiliation between the human remains and associated funerary 
objects and present-day Indian tribes. Representatives of any Indian tribe 
that believes itself to be culturally affiliated with the human remains and 
associated funerary objects may contact the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of 
Natural History. Repatriation of the human remains and associated funerary 
objects

[[Page 19692]]

to the Indian tribes stated below may occur if no additional claimants come 
forward.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes it has a cultural 
affiliation with the human remains and associated funerary objects should 
contact the museum at the address below by May 2, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Dr. Michael Mares, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 
2401 Chautauqua, Norman, OK 73072, telephone (405) 325-8978.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is here given in accordance with the Native 
American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of 
the completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary 
objects in the possession of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural 
History, Norman, OK. The human remains and associated 
funerary objects were removed from Le Flore County, OK.
    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's 
administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3). The 
determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, 
institution or Federal agency that has control of the Native American human 
remains and associated funerary objects. The National Park Service is not 
responsible for the determinations in this notice.

Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the Sam Noble 
Oklahoma Museum of Natural History professional staff in consultation with 
the Oklahoma State Archeologist and representatives of the Caddo Nation of 
Oklahoma and the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco & 
Tawakonie), Oklahoma. Representatives of the Osage Nation, Oklahoma, 
(formerly the Osage Tribe) and the Tunica-
Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana were also contacted, but did not express an 
interest in being a part of the NAGPRA consultation.

History and Description of the Remains

    From 1936 to 1937, human remains representing, at minimum, 544 
individuals were removed from the Craig Mound, in Le Flore County, OK. The 
mound site was excavated by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), under 
the direction of the University of Oklahoma. Excavated items were brought to 
the University of Oklahoma laboratory for processing and cataloging. The 
human remains were deposited at the University of Oklahoma, whose collections 
were subsequently controlled and maintained by the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum 
of Natural History. No known individuals were identified.
    Many of the associated funerary objects were divided between the WPA 
project's funding institutions. The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural 
History has 78,485 associated funerary objects, comprised of: 963 points, 92 
knives/knife fragments, 16 drills/perforator fragments, 4 flake tools, 9 
flakes, 3 hammerstones, 2 manos/fragments, 36 blade fragments, 16 celt 
fragments, 5 mace fragments, 7 spud fragments, 1 monolithic ax handle, 1 
boatstone, 4 groundstone fragments, 168 earspools/fragments, 14 ear discs, 8 
rings for earspools/ear discs, 1 iron pyrite mass (ear plug?), 64 
pendants/fragments, 21 pipes/
fragments, 58 pottery vessels, 6,018 pottery sherds, 1 unidentified ceramic 
object, 43 baked clay/daub, 3,806 shell fragments (56 worked), 692 shells 
(engraved, including gorget and cup fragments), 1 spoon, 1 shell figurine, 
63,892 beads, 17 bone awls, 1 bone digging stick fragment, 1 bird effigy 
(bone), 479 animal bone fragments (16 polished/
worked), 290 copper fragments/samples, 1 copper maskette, 6 copper 
pins/fragments, 2 copper plates, 4 copper discs, 206 pigment samples, 31 clay 
samples, 3 ash samples, 1 seed, 6 soil samples, 1 litter post impression 
(soil matrix), 131 material samples (textile/organic/
matting/basketry/cordage), 1 fused mass of cremation and green froth, 2 froth 
fragments, 9 clinkers/slag, 3 matting impressions, 8 human hair samples, 10 
leather/hide samples, 35 charcoal samples, 65 wood samples, 5 cedar poles, 2 
wood effigy head/faces, 1 wood mask, 1 wood stick with red pigment, 1 
hematite discoid, 1 polishing stone, 55 galena, 3 hematite, 1 limestone, 1 
mastodon tooth fragment, 1 fossil, 20 mica, 7 quartz, and 1,126 non-cultural 
rocks.
    The burial lots from Craig Mound (site 34Lf40) contain sizeable 
quantities of funerary offerings and relics associated with religious 
practices of the Spiro phase (A.D. 1350-1450) people. These items are clearly 
of prehistoric manufacture and point to the preponderance of burials at Craig 
Mound being of prehistoric Native American origin. Cultural affiliation and 
designated tribal consultations have been derived through the archeological 
record, ethnohistoric and ethnographic data on Native American territories 
and homelands as documented by Europeans at the time of initial contact, and 
through tribal oral histories.
    There are no lineal descendants for the prehistoric inhabitants of Craig 
Mound. Ceremonial use of the site was abandoned by circa A.D. 1450. The area 
surrounding this site continued to be occupied by Spiro descendents and, 
intermittently, by other native immigrants into the seventeenth century. By 
the time of European exploration in this area (the eighteenth century), there 
were no residents at the Craig Mound site, although various groups (e.g., 
Caddo, Osage and Wichita) were living nearby. Thus, establishing the cultural 
affiliation for the residents of Craig Mound must be derived from the 
archeological record, tribal oral histories and logical inference.
    Since the 1950s, the term ``Caddoan'' has been used by archeologists to 
refer to the cultural tradition associated with the Spiro phase people and 
mound building groups in eastern Oklahoma. In other words, this term refers 
to a distinct set of material culture attributes, rather than the Caddoan 
language family. South of the Ouachita Mountains in Oklahoma, the term 
``Caddo'' is more widely embraced due to historic continuity and direct 
lineal relationship between the archeological record and historic European 
encounters with the Caddo. North of the Ouachita Mountains, especially in the 
Arkansas River Basin, no such continuity exists, and the term ``Caddoan'' 
remains more applicable.
    The origins of the Spiro culture are linked archeologically to the 
preceding inhabitants of the area (Fourche Maline), based on material culture 
and Coles Creek ceramics from the lower Arkansas River valley in early grave 
lots at the Craig Mound site. Exotic goods and relics were transported to the 
site throughout the ceremonial center's period of use (circa A.D. 850-1450). 
While their presence reflects interaction between the inhabitants of Craig 
Mound and groups from other regions, they do not prove a direct cultural 
affiliation of any of these groups with these sites. Thus, the Spiro or other 
Arkansas River Basin individuals buried at Craig Mound are considered local, 
and are not culturally affiliated with more distant groups.
    Similarities exist in the ceremonial practices of groups occupying the 
Arkansas River and Red River drainages. However, there are also significant 
distinctions as well. Arkansas River drainage ceremonial sites, including 
Craig Mound, tend to have more formalized layouts around a distinct plaza 
area, which is absent for Caddo sites south of the Ouachita Mountains in 
Oklahoma. Although the Caddo did practice mound-building, the practice of 
accretional interment of deceased individuals on common floors in

[[Page 19693]]

multiple-lobed burial mounds in the Arkansas River drainage system (like at 
Craig Mound) is absent in the Red River drainage. In the Red River drainage 
(occupied by Caddo people), burials in mounds were commonly in shaft tombs 
dug into these mounds. Other cultural practices present in the Arkansas River 
drainage are also absent in the temporally subsequent Red River sites (such 
as a unique form of fronto-
occipital cranial deformation, and the use of T-shaped platform pipes). These 
distinctions have resulted in archeologists acknowledging that the Arkansas 
and Red River groups may share material expressions of a common 
political/religious practice, but that they cannot be seen as necessarily 
representing groups that are directly related to one another.
    Historically identified tribes that have been archeologically documented 
as present prior to and at historic contact (or somewhat later) in eastern 
Oklahoma include the Caddo and the Wichita. Mound building groups of the 
prehistoric and historic Caddo occupied southwest Arkansas, northeast and 
east Texas, northwest Louisiana and southeast Oklahoma. Villages thought to 
be part of the Kadohadacho confederacy were encountered by Hernando de Soto 
in the vicinity of Hot Springs in 1541. There are also numerous encounters by 
the French and Spanish with various groups of the Kadohadacho, Natchitoches, 
and Hasinai confederacies from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries in 
the region. While there appears to be a direct link between the late 
prehistoric village and mound sites south of the Ouachita Mountains in 
southeast Oklahoma and the Caddo, there are no early historically documented 
Caddo villages in southeast Oklahoma. Despite the presence of ceramics from 
the Red River interred with burials at Craig Mound, there is no historical 
evidence to support the presence of the Caddo north of the Ouachita Mountains 
in eastern Oklahoma.
    Oral histories of the Caddo and Wichita contain numerous myths and 
legends with symbolic referents that also are found in the iconographic 
imagery at the Craig Mound site. However, this imagery is expansive 
throughout many late prehistoric eastern U.S. cultures and, thus, cannot be 
exclusively tied to the Craig Mound site. There are also no specific legends 
or myths from either tribe that can be directly related to the sites in the 
Arkansas River valley.
    The Wichita is a general term used to refer to a number of societies 
encountered by the Spanish and, later, the French in Kansas and Oklahoma. By 
historic times, the Wichita were semi-nomadic bison hunters/farmers who did 
not practice mound building. Various groups of the Wichita met with the 
Frenchman, Bernard de La Harpe, in 1719, somewhere north of the Arkansas 
River. The 1937 Indian and Pioneer history map drafted by Tom Meagher depicts 
a number of historic Tawakonie villages in the Three Forks area near 
Muskogee, Oklahoma (some 55 miles west of the Craig Mound site). The 
Tawakonie represent one of the Wichita subgroups, thus giving some credence 
to the historic presence of the Wichita in the eastern Arkansas River basin. 
It has been proposed that the Fort Coffee phase (circa A. D. 1450-1660) 
represents the presence of the Kichai in eastern Oklahoma in the sixteenth- 
seventeenth centuries. They may represent a Plains Village society that moved 
east to escape prolonged droughts in south-central Oklahoma. From the 
archeological data, it appears that the Kichai became integrated with Spiro 
phase people. However, the Kichai moved from the area and by the eighteenth 
century were found on the Red River, upstream from known Caddo settlements. 
The Kichai were socially tied to the Wichita tribe during historic times, and 
were formally included with the Wichita through a treaty agreement with the 
U.S. Government in 1835.
    Arkansas researchers suggest that the ``Tula'' encountered by Hernando de 
Soto in 1541, somewhere between Ozark and Fort Smith in the Arkansas River 
Valley, were remnants of the Fort Coffee phase. One problem with this model 
is that the Tula encountered by DeSoto practiced an extreme form of cranial 
modification similar to that noted on some Spiro individuals. By contrast, to 
date, no Fort Coffee phase remains have been found that exhibit this 
modification. As the ties between the historically identified Kichai of 
northeast Texas and the Fort Coffee phase are material culture-based, there 
is not a direct cultural affiliation that can be further qualified by 
historic documentation or tribal histories. However, it is clear that a 
Wichita and Kichai presence in eastern Oklahoma may extend back into 
prehistoric time.
    DNA and craniometrical data have been used to derive some degree of 
biological relationship between prehistoric populations and known historic 
tribes. Regrettably, no such data exists for Craig Mound. There is a general 
acknowledgement that there is some commonality among late prehistoric Caddoan 
and Plains Village populations on the Southern Great Plains and that these 
may relate to known groups such as the Caddo and Wichita. Further refinement 
to establish a biological relationship between the Craig Mound and 
historically identified tribes would require extensive sampling and 
measurement of the Spiro phase skeletal population, as well as comparative 
data for other prehistoric and historic populations.
    Archeologically, the material culture and practice of the Craig Mound 
residents resembles some of those of the Caddo, but there are also distinct 
differences. Historically, the Wichita/Kichai appear to have resided in the 
Arkansas River valley in the area of Craig Mound at the time of internment, 
although there is no direct evidence to support this (archeologically or 
historically). This evidence, when paired with the extensive literature 
referring to these residents as Caddoan, has led the Sam Noble Oklahoma 
Museum of Natural History to determine the cultural affiliation of these 
human remains and associated funerary objects to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma 
and the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco & Tawakonie), 
Oklahoma.

Determinations Made by the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

    Officials of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History have 
determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this 
notice represent the physical remains of 544 individuals of Native American 
ancestry.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(A), the 78,485 objects described above are 
reasonably believed to have been placed with or near individual human remains 
at the time of death or later as part of the death rite or ceremony.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of shared group 
identity that can be reasonably traced between the Native American human 
remains and associated funerary objects is to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma 
and the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco & Tawakonie), 
Oklahoma.

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes itself to be culturally 
affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary objects should 
contact Dr. Michael Mares, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 
Chautauqua Ave, Norman, Oklahoma, 73072, telephone (405) 325-8978, before May 
2, 2012. Repatriation of the human remains and associated funerary objects to 
the Caddo Nation of

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Oklahoma and the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco & 
Tawakonie) may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come 
forward.
    The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is responsible for 
notifying the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes 
(Wichita, Keechi, Waco & Tawakonie), Oklahoma that this notice has been 
published.

    Dated: March 28, 2012.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2012-7864 Filed 3-30-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4320-50-P



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