FR Doc E7-21366
[Federal Register: October 31, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 210)]
[Notices]               
[Page 61669]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr31oc07-100]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Intent to Repatriate a Cultural Item: Denver Museum of 
Nature & Science, Denver, CO

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 a cultural item in the possession of the Denver Museum of 
Nature & Science, Denver, CO, which meets the definitions of "sacred 
object" and "object of 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 cultural item is a button blanket which is also called a robe, 
as the terms are used interchangeably to describe the item, and is 
named Lee shakee daax'i x'oow or the Blanket Above All Others (A.C. 
11428). The robe is made of wool, dyed royal blue and crimson, and 
patterned in the distinctive "All Tribes" or "Tahltan" style in 
which the top-third of the blanket consists of three boxes and parallel 
stripes that run vertically down each side. Each section is bordered 
with neat rows of white pearl buttons. The robe is 132.5 cm in height 
and 170.5 cm in width.
    In 1973, Laura Hotch, a Chilkat Tlingit from Klukwan, AK, sold the 
robe to Michael R. Johnson of Seattle, WA, a collector and dealer, who 
recorded it as being made between A.D. 1890-1900. In 1974, the robe was 
purchased from Mr. Johnson by Mary W.A. Crane and donated to the Denver 
Museum of Nature & Science. For a time, the robe was placed in the 
Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Northwest Coast Ceremonial Season 
Exhibit, noted in the label text under "Religious Ceremonies."
    During consultation, representatives of the Central Council of the 
Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes recounted the traditional history of the 
robe and its place in clan belief and ceremonial practice. The robe is 
traced back three generations to Anna Klaney, the youngest daughter of 
Xootk' and Sitka Jack. She was the youngest of 13 sisters, each with a 
robe of the same design. The fate of the other 12 robes is unknown. 
This robe was given the name Lee shakee daax'i x'oow (Blanket Above All 
Others), and was passed from mother to daughter in the Eagle Nest 
House. Robes that have been given names such as this one have special 
importance among the Tlingit and the object is imbued with certain 
value that a single individual cannot alienate. The robe eventually 
came to reside with Laura Hotch, who sold the blanket without the 
consent of the family or clan. Museum records corroborate Tlingit 
accounts of the robe's sale by Laura Hotch.
    The Eagle Nest House has a right to this particular robe. Tlingit 
of the Eagle Nest House of the Kaagwaantaan Clan of Sitka, AK, are 
members of the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes.
    Officials of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science have determined 
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(C), the one cultural item 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. Officials of the Denver 
Museum of Nature & Science have also determined that, pursuant to 25 
U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), the one cultural item has ongoing historical, 
traditional, or cultural importance central to the Native American 
group or culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual. 
Lastly, officials of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science 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 the sacred object/object of cultural patrimony and the Central 
Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the sacred object/object of cultural 
patrimony should contact Dr. Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Curator of 
Anthropology, NAGPRA Officer, Department of Anthropology, Denver Museum 
of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, 
telephone (303) 370-6378, before November 30, 2007. Repatriation of the 
sacred object/object of cultural patrimony to the Central Council of 
the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes on behalf of the Eagle Nest House of 
the Kaagwaantaan Clan of Sitka, AK, may proceed after that date if no 
additional claimants come forward.
    The Denver Museum of Nature &Science is responsible for notifying 
the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes that this 
notice has been published.

    Dated: October 1, 2007.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E7-21366 Filed 10-30-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4312-50-S


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