FR Doc E9-10544[Federal Register: May 7, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 87)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
National Park Service
Notice of Inventory Completion: Department of the Interior,
Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC and New York University
College of Dentistry, New York, NY
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. 3003, of the
completion of an inventory of human remains in the control of the
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC,
and in the physical custody of the New York University College of
Dentistry, New York, NY. The human remains were removed from Pima
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 Native
American human remains. The National Park Service is not responsible
for the determinations in this notice.
A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the Bureau
of Indian Affairs and New York University College of Dentistry
professional staff in consultation with representatives of the Tohono
O'odham Nation of Arizona.
In February 1919, human remains representing a minimum of one
individual were removed from a burial area in Sells, which is within
the Tohono O'odham Reservation, Pima County, AZ, by E.H. Davis. That
same year, Davis donated the human remains to the Museum of the
American Indian, Heye Foundation. In 1956, the Museum of the American
Indian transferred the human remains to Dr. Theodore Kazamiroff, New
York University College of Dentistry. No known individual was
identified. No associated funerary objects are present.
Records identify the human remains as an "Old Papago skeleton
exhumed from burial place" at "Indian Oasis, Arizona." The Papago
are also known by the name Tohono O'odham. Indian Oasis is today known
as Sells, AZ. The Tohono O'odham consider Sells to be part of their
ancestral homelands. The O'odham people are identified in 16th century
Spanish documents as living in present-day northern Mexico and southern
Arizona. Several documents record Tohono O'odham communities in the
region in the late 17th century. The Tohono O'odham remained in
southern Arizona, even during the Apache raids of the 19th century, and
several winter or "well villages" were located in the Sells district.
Tohono O'odham residents of Kui Tatk and Tecolote, two defensive
villages at the time of the Gadsden Purchase in 1853, resettled into
the village of Artesa, which later became part of Sells. In the early
20th century, Sells was identified as Komoktetuvavosit, a well village.
In 1916, the Tohono O'odham Reservation was established by Executive
Order. In 1937, the Tohono O'odham Nation was recognized under the
Indian Reorganization Act.
The assignment of a tribal affiliation of "Papago" for the human
remains suggests that they date to the late 17th to mid-20th centuries,
the time period for which variants of the word "Papago" were in use.
The cranial morphology of the human remains is consistent with
biometric data from early 20th century Tohono O'odham communities. The
description of the human remains as an "old" skeleton implies that
the burial predated the more recent cemetery burials around Sells.
Prior to the adoption of cemeteries as burial areas, individuals were
placed in protected locations such as cairns. The condition and the
weathering pattern of the human remains are consistent with a cairn or
other protected burial area.
Officials of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and New York University
College of Dentistry have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001
(9-10), the human remains described above represent the physical
remains of one individual of Native American ancestry. Officials of the
Bureau of Indian Affairs and New York University College of Dentistry
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 Native American human remains and the Tohono O'odham Nation
Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to
be culturally affiliated with the human remains should contact Dr.
Louis Terracio, New York University College of Dentistry, 345 East 24th
St, New York, NY 10010, telephone (212) 998-9917, before June 8, 2009.
Repatriation of the human remains to the Tohono O'odham Nation of
Arizona may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come
The New York University College of Dentistry and Bureau of Indian
Affairs are responsible for notifying the Tohono O'odham Nation of
Arizona that this notice has been published.
Dated: April 14, 2009.
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-10544 Filed 5-6-09; 8:45 am]
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