[Federal Register: April 26, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 82)]
[Notices]
[Page 18623]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items in the Possession
of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, University of
Connecticut, Storrs, CT

AGENCY: National Park Service

ACTION: Notice

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    Notice is hereby given under the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act, 25 U.S.C. 3005 (a)(2), of the intent to
repatriate cultural items from the Norris L. Bull Collection,
Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, University of Connecticut,
Storrs, CT which meet the definition of ``unassociated funerary
objects'' and ``sacred object'' as defined in section 2 of the Act.
    In 1961, the nineteen cultural items were donated by the family of
Norris L. Bull to the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History.
These nineteen cultural items include: one charm stone, one petroglyph,
one faceted glass orange bead, one trade axe, one metal pestle, one
trade snuff box, one copper kettle, one pewter medallion, one brass
apostle trade spoon, one pewter trade pipe, one metal spike, one metal
trade pipe, one pewter baluster, one stone pestle, one bellamine jug,
one bone spearpoint, one black angular stone pipe, one paint pot with
red stain, and one 2-faced effigy soapstone pipe.
    Eighteen cultural items were found with human remains in
seventeenth century Mohegan cemeteries, including Smith Farm, Elizabeth
Street, Van Tassel Site, Yantic, and Yantic & Quinebaug. These sites
are all known Mohegan cemeteries which have been disturbed through
development and looting within the last 200 years. These unassociated
funerary objects are consistent with grave goods of seventeenth-century
Mohegan burials.
    One item, the two-faced effigy soapstone pipe was found in the
cellar of the Uncas Cabin. This site was the known residence of Uncas,
a seventeenth-century Mohegan sachem still considered by the Mohegan as
the single greatest culture hero in the post-contact period. Mohegan
oral tradition indicates pipes of this form have been used long before
the contact period, and are still in use within the Mohegan community.
Mohegan traditional religious leaders have indicated that this pipe is
needed for the practice of traditional Mohegan religion by present-day
adherents.
    Based on the above-mentioned information, officials of the
Connecticut State Museum of Natural History have determined that,
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(C), the 2-faced effigy soapstone pipe is
a specific ceremonial object needed by traditional Native American
religious leaders for the practice of traditional Native American
religions by their present-day adherents. Official of the Connecticut
State Museum of Natural History have also determined that, pursuant to
25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), these nineteen cultural items 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 and
are believed, by a preponderance of the evidence, to have been removed
from a specific burial site of an Native American individual. Lastly,
officials of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History have
determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship
of shared group identity which can be reasonably traced between these
items and the Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Mohegan Indian Tribe
of Connecticut. Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes
itself to be culturally affiliation with these cultural items should
contact Connecticut State Archaeologist Nicholas F. Bellantoni, Office
of State Archaeology, U-23, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
06269, telephone (860) 486-5248 before May 28, 1996. Repatriation of
these cultural items may begin after that date if no additional
claimants come forward.
Dated: April 22, 1996
Francis P. McManamon
Departmental Consulting Archeologist
Chief, Archeology and Ethnography Program
[FR Doc. 96-10345 Filed 4-25-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-F

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