[Federal Register: August 25, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 163)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
National Park Service
Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Milwaukee Public
Museum, Milwaukee, WI
AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.
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 Milwaukee Public
Museum, Milwaukee, WI, that meet the definition of ``objects 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 four cultural items are one bird amulet (MPM T415), one pouch
(MPM E59237/20077), one woven mat (MPM E30899/7431), and one wool bag
In 1987, the bird amulet was found during an inventory. At the
time, it lacked a catalog number. Based on similar items documented in
museum collections, it is most likely part of a medicine, war or other
ceremonial bundle, and was most likely separated from its bundle over
In 1966, the pouch was found in storage. At the time, it lacked a
catalog number. Based on similar items documented in museum
collections, it is most likely part of a war bundle, and was most
likely separated from its bundle over time.
In 1922, the mat was given to the Milwaukee Public Museum in an
exchange with the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL
(original Field Museum number is 59088). It was collected in Oklahoma
by anthropologist George A. Dorsey. Dr. Dorsey categorized this
cultural item as a ``feast mat''. There is no additional information
about the cultural item in the Field Museum records. The size and
design of the mat indicates that it is for ritual or ceremonial use.
In 1922, the bag was given to the Milwaukee Public Museum in an
exchange with the Field Museum (original Field Museum number is 59233).
It was collected in Oklahoma by Dr. Dorsey. There is no additional
information about the cultural item in the Field Museum records.
According to leading Osage expert John Nunley in his book, Art of the
Osage, ``Only women who had been initiated into the clan priesthood
wove these kinds of bags. The bags were intended to be vessels
containing the ritual fees paid by initiates seeking advancement in the
A determination of Osage tribal affiliation with the bird amulet
and pouch can be made, based on geographic affiliation, type of
material and museum documentation. A determination of Osage tribal
affiliation with the mat and bag can also be made as the Field Museum
records identify these types of items as Osage, and the cultural items
in question were obtained directly from Dr. Dorsey, who collected the
items directly from the tribe. Furthermore, based on consultation with
tribal representatives, all the cultural items described above were and
are of cultural importance to the Osage Nation, and could not have been
alienated by any single individual. Based on museum records, similarity
to other objects, and consultation evidence, the four cultural items
are reasonably believed to be objects of cultural patrimony.
Officials of the Milwaukee Public Museum have determined that,
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), the four cultural items described
above have ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural importance
central to the Native American group or culture itself, rather than
property owned by an individual. Officials of the Milwaukee Public
Museum also 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 objects of cultural patrimony and the Osage Nation,
Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to
be culturally affiliated with the objects of cultural patrimony should
contact Dawn Scher Thomae, Milwaukee Public Museum, 800 W. Wells St.,
Milwaukee, WI 53233, telephone (414) 278-6157, before September 24,
2009. Repatriation of the objects of cultural patrimony to the Osage
Nation, Oklahoma may proceed after that date if no additional claimants
The Milwaukee Public Museum is responsible for notifying the Osage
Nation, Oklahoma that this notice has been published.
Dated: August 12, 2009
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-20482 Filed 8-24-09; 8:45 am]
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