FR Doc 05-10817
[Federal Register: June 1, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 104)]
[Notices]               
[Page 31531]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr01jn05-135]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: University of 
Alaska Museum of the North, Fairbanks, AK

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves 
Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3005, of the intent 
to repatriate cultural items in the possession of the University of 
Alaska Museum of the North, Fairbanks, AK, that meet the definitions of 
"sacred objects" and "cultural patrimony" under 25 U.S.C. 3001.
    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 cultural 
items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the 
determinations in this notice.
    The four cultural items are three ceremonial dance headdresses made 
from wood and organic paint and one beaded ceremonial tunic. One 
headdress measures 26.7 x 21.6 cm, is made of wood, canvas, and metal, 
and depicts in formline design a crest animal painted red and black. 
The second headdress is also made of wood and measures 29 cm tall; the 
base measures 22.8 x 24 cm. It depicts a frog crest in formline design 
and is decorated with abalone. The third headdress is a frontlet 
depicting Hawk and Sockeye. It is decorated with abalone shell, ermine 
or rabbit skins, and sea lion whiskers. The ceremonial tunic is made 
from red wool, has a Shark crest design on the front in beadwork and 
applied textile, and measures 102.5 x 159 cm.
    Two of the three headdresses were obtained by the museum in 1976 as 
a donation from Harold McCracken. Their original acquisition was 
described in a publication by Mr. McCracken (Roughnecks and Gentlemen, 
1968), who states that he purchased ``wooden dance helmets'' in 1916 
(p. 84). Mr. McCracken also notes in the museum's original accession 
file that the two headdresses were acquired at Hoonah Village. The 
third headdress was purchased by the University of Alaska Museum 
director with museum funds from Maxine Silcot in 1985. There is no 
record of this transaction other than a notation with the purchase 
amount on the catalog card.
    The ceremonial tunic was donated to the museum in 1957 by Pearl 
Miller Stuart, as part of a larger collection of undocumented Tlingit 
material. Ms. Stuart purchased the tunic in Ketchikan in 1956, along 
with a number of other garments that had no associated provenance.
    The University of Alaska Museum of the North professional staff 
weighed evidence provided by the Hoonah Indian Association against 
anthropological and historic evidence in the University of Alaska 
Museum accession records and catalogs. The Hoonah Indian Association 
satisfactorily demonstrated a relationship of shared group identity, 
which can be traced historically and prehistorically by members of the 
present-day Indian tribe and an identifiable earlier group. The 
University of Alaska Museum of the North professional staff also 
consulted with representatives of the Central Council of the Tlingit & 
Haida Indian Tribes.
    According to Tlingit tradition, ceremonial objects are required for 
use in potlatches and as part of the cycle of memorial rights. The 
Tlingit people are required to treat these objects and the spirits they 
embody according to established protocols to ensure the spiritual 
balance and well-being of the group. Such objects are inseparable from 
the ceremonies for which they are intended, and the Tlingit are 
compelled to host and participate in these ceremonies for their 
families, past, present, and future. The members of the Hoonah Indian 
Association (acting under Tlingit traditional law) consider that 
ownership of property resides with the group rather than any specific 
individual. Property cannot be transferred, conveyed, or alienated 
unless all members of the clan agree. Furthermore, the Tlingit assert 
an ownership-interest in the crest and spirit designs depicted on the 
objects subject to this claim.
    Officials of the University of Alaska Museum of the North have 
determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(C), the cultural items 
described above are specific ceremonial objects needed by traditional 
Native American religious leaders for the practice of traditional 
Native American religions by their present-day adherents. Officials of 
the University of Alaska Museum of the North also have determined that, 
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), the cultural items described above 
have ongoing historical, traditional, and cultural importance central 
to the culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual. 
Lastly, officials of the University of Alaska Museum of the North have 
determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (2), there is a 
relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably traced 
between the three headdresses and ceremonial tunic and the Hoonah 
Indian Association.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the sacred objects and cultural patrimony 
should contact Dr. Molly Lee, Curator of Ethnology, University of 
Alaska Museum of the North, 907 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6960, 
(907) 474-7828 before July 1, 2005. Repatriation of the sacred objects 
and cultural patrimony to the Hoonah Indian Association may proceed 
after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The University of Alaska Museum of the North is responsible for 
notifying the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes, 
Hoonah Indian Association, Huna Totem Corporation, and Sealaska 
Corporation that this notice has been published.

    Dated: May 20, 2005
Paul Hoffman,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 05-10817 Filed 5-31-05; 8:45 am]

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