[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 61 (Monday, March 31, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18062-18063]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07137]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-15213; PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000]


Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: U.S. Department of 
Defense, Department of the Navy, Washington, DC

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Navy (DoN), 
in consultation with the Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional 
Government, has determined that the cultural items listed in this 
notice meet the definition of unassociated funerary objects and objects 
of cultural patrimony. Representatives of any Indian tribe not 
identified in this notice that wish to claim these cultural items 
should submit a written request to the DoN. If no additional claimants 
come forward, transfer of control of the cultural items to the Indian 
tribe stated in this notice may proceed.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe not identified in this 
notice that wish to claim these cultural items should submit a written 
request with information in support of the claim to the DoN at the 
address in this notice by April 30, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Dave M. Grant, Department of the Navy, NAVFAC NW., 1101 
Tautog Circle, Suite 102, Silverdale, WA 98315-1101, telephone (360) 
396-0919, email dave.m.grant@navy.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 under the 
control of the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, 
Washington, DC, that meet the definition of unassociated funerary 
objects or 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

[[Page 18063]]

agency that has control of the Native American cultural items. The 
National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this 
notice.

History and Description of the Cultural Item(s)

    In 1951 to 1953, unassociated funerary objects and objects of 
cultural patrimony were removed from the sites of Birnirk, Nuvuk, and 
the Brower Grave site near Point Barrow in North Slope Borough, AK. The 
objects were recovered during archeological excavations authorized 
under an Antiquities Act permit and directed by Wilbert Carter of the 
Peabody Museum, Harvard University. The collections were returned to 
the Peabody Museum, were transferred for a time to Tufts University, 
and were returned to the Peabody Museum by Mr. Carter in 1984. The 
archeological collections were transferred to a Department of the Navy 
contract facility in Conshohocken, PA in 2006, and in 2011, the objects 
were transferred to the Museum of the North, University of Alaska at 
Fairbanks.
    The four unassociated funerary objects were retrieved from the 
``Brower Grave Site, Barrow,'' and include three pottery sherds and one 
antler arrow point. The four objects from the Brower Grave Site were 
evidently recovered from the surface, as there is no indication that 
the grave was excavated.
    Two objects of cultural patrimony (a wooden mask from Mound 5 and 
an ivory drum handle with an effigy end from Midden H) were removed in 
July 1952 from the Nuvuk site on Point Barrow. One object of cultural 
patrimony (a small wooden mask from Mound Q) was removed in 1951 at the 
Birnirk site near Point Barrow. All three objects were evaluated during 
the NAGPRA consultation process and determined to be objects of 
cultural patrimony.
    The wooden mask from Nuvuk Mound 5 was considered during the 
consultation to have reflected dance ceremonies probably within a 
karigi, a nexus of whale hunting activity and broader social 
interaction. Robert Spencer (The North Alaskan Eskimo, Bureau of 
American Ethnology Bulletin 171 (1959), pages 293-294) discussed masks 
as follows: ``These were never too important in the North Alaskan 
Eskimo areas . . . . The masks which were used were principally dance 
masks. There may have been a concept of supernatural impersonation but 
certainly, it is not well developed. A suggestion of this appears in 
the dances associated with the whaling feasts . . . . The mask was a 
simple wooden face mask with slits for eyes and mouth. . . .'' The mask 
from Nuvuk Mound 5 conforms very closely to this description. Spencer 
noted that John Murdoch (Ethnological Results of the Point Barrow 
Expedition, Ninth Annual Report of the Bureau for Ethnology (1892), 
pages 366-369) had observed and illustrated such masks in use in the 
Point Barrow area.
    The ivory drum handle with an effigy end from Nuvuk Midden H was 
considered to be associated with dance celebrations that continue to be 
practiced on various occasions by modern inhabitants of the region. 
This continuity was emphasized by Wilbert Carter (Masterpieces of the 
Peabody Museum (1978), page 19): ``Eskimos were also known to carve a 
lifelike human face on one end of a drum handle, the end obscured from 
view under the tambourine-type drumhead. Even modern Eskimos 
immediately interpret this and see no contradiction in the amount of 
artistic effort exerted to produce a visage that is hidden from view. 
The hidden head is the ``voice'' of the drum!''
    The small wooden mask from Birnirk Mound Q was recovered from an 
archeological context that suggested association with the early Birnirk 
period, dating to between A.D. 500 and 700. Such small masks may have 
served in shamanistic practices or amulet uses; they may also have been 
masks of ``little people.''

Determinations Made by the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of 
Navy

    Officials of the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Navy 
have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), the four objects from 
the Brower Grave Site 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 a 
Native American individual.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(D), the three objects 
discussed above that were excavated from the Birnirk and Nuvuk sites 
have ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural importance central to 
the Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of 
shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between the 
unassociated funerary objects and objects of cultural patrimony and 
Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government.

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any Indian tribe not identified in this notice 
that wish to claim these cultural items should submit a written request 
with information in support of the claim to Dave M. Grant, Department 
of the Navy, NAVFAC NW., 1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 102, Silverdale, WA 
98315-1101, telephone (360) 396-0919, email dave.m.grant@navy.mil, by 
April 30, 2014. After that date, if no additional claimants have come 
forward, transfer of control of the unassociated funerary objects and 
objects of cultural patrimony to the Native Village of Barrow Inupiat 
Traditional Government may proceed.
    The U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Navy is 
responsible for notifying the Native Village of Barrow Inupiat 
Traditional Government that this notice has been published.

    Dated: March 10, 2014.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2014-07137 Filed 3-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P

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