[Federal Register: March 15, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 50)]
[Notices]               
[Page 14068-14069]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15mr11-127]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[2253-665]

 
Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Forest Service, Sequoia National Forest, Porterville, CA

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. 3003, of the 
completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary 
objects in the possession and control of the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Forest Service, Sequoia National Forest, Porterville, CA. 
The human remains and associated funerary objects were removed from 
Kern County, CA.
    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 and associated funerary objects. The National 
Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by Sequoia 
National Forest professional staff in consultation with representatives 
of the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, 
California (Tachi Yokut Tribe), and the Tule River Indian Tribe of the 
Tule River Reservation, California.
    In 1948, human remains representing a minimum of three individuals 
were removed from CA-KER-14, in Kern County, CA, by two archeologists 
conducting river basin surveys for the Smithsonian Institute. The two 
sets of human remains and a single tooth from a third individual and 
their associated artifacts were transferred to the Phoebe Hearst Museum 
of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 
for research and storage. While conducting NAGPRA inventories for the 
Sequoia National Forest, it was discovered that the CA-KER-14 
collection was still in storage at the Phoebe Hearst Museum and it was 
subsequently transferred to the Sequoia National Forest. Examination of 
the remains by Phoebe Hearst Museum staff indicated that one set of 
human remains was from an adult male between 35 and 50 years of age. 
The second set of human remains was from a female between 21 and 25 
years of age. The single tooth from a third individual was of 
indeterminate age and sex. No known individuals were identified. The 23 
associated funerary objects are 4 obsidian points, 1 olivella shell 
bead, 1 lot of abalone shell fragments, 1 scraper manufactured from a 
historic brown glass whiskey bottle, 1 bone sewing awl (non-human 
bone), 1 scapula bone tool scraper (non-human bone), 4 obsidian 
scrapers, 1 quartzite scraper, 1 green chert point, 2 pottery sherds, 1 
steatite bead, 1 chopper, 1 thin chalcedony knife base with hafting 
adhesive attached, 1 large obsidian bifacial knife, 1 steatite bowl 
fragment, and 1 large grinding metate.
    The presence of a flaked scraper made from a historic brown whiskey 
bottle would suggest a proto-historic or historic age for the remains. 
Tubatulabal occupation for this time frame in the vicinity of CA-KER-14 
is well documented through tribal oral tradition and formal 
ethnographic study.
    Ethnographic data places the CA-KER-14 site close to the village 
hamlets of the Tubatulabal (Voegelin 1938). The habitation sites of the 
Tubatulabal once spanned the drainage area of the Kern and South Fork 
Kern rivers from near Mount Whitney to just below the junction of the 
two rivers in Kern County, CA. Three discrete bands, the Pahkanapil 
(living along the South Fork Kern riverbanks), the Palagewan (situated 
in the Kern River valley) and the Bankalachi (living a few miles west 
of the Palagewan in Yokut territory) compose the Tubatulabal (Smith 
1978). Burial customs based on ethnographic data illustrated that the 
dead were buried in shallow graves approximately \1/8\ mile from the 
living quarters on rocky hillsides under shelving rocks (Voegelin 
1938). Geographic proximity of CA-KER-14 to the various village hamlets 
noted in Voegelin's work, and the archeological evidence that this 
burial site was located in a rock shelter and close to another 
extensively used site, indicates the strong possibility of a settlement 
correlation.
    Historical documentation, based on early European travel accounts, 
tell of contact between the Tubatulabal and Francisco Garces when 
Garces journeyed to the lower reaches of the Kern Valley in 1776 (Smith 
1978). Contacts with the Euro-Americans expanded in the form of trading 
trips when the native people would travel to the coast to trade with 
the coastal tribes and came into contact with the Spaniards at the 
missions. Between 1850 and 1858, white settlers moved into the Kern 
Valley to seek gold and established mining camps and towns, and when 
the gold rush ended, ranching became the next wave of economic 
development. With the intrusion into the Tubatulabal territory by white 
settlers, some of the Pahkanapil moved from the Hot Springs Valley to 
the eastern end of the South Fork Kern Valley (Smith 1978). In 1863, a 
group of about 40 Tubatulabal men were massacred by American soldiers 
following white ranchers' complaints that their cows were being stolen 
by the local tribe (Smith 1978). By 1875, most of the Tubatulabal men 
worked for white ranchers, and by 1893, the surviving Palagewan and 
Pahkanapil bands were allotted land in the Kern and South Fork Kern 
Valleys (Theodoratus 2009). From 1900 to 1972, many Tubatulabal moved 
to adjacent tribes. Adjacent tribes with cultural affiliation to these 
remains include the Tule River Indian Reservation (established in 
1873), north of the Kern Valley region; the Paiute-Shoshone Indians of 
the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony (Bishop Tribe), east of the 
Kern Valley Region; and the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa 
Rosa Rancheria, California (Tachi Yokut Tribe), west of the Kern Valley 
(Smith 1978).

[[Page 14069]]

    Ethnohistorical and official documents link the inhabitants of the 
Kern and South Fork Kern river drainages to the Tule River Indian 
Reservation; Tachi Yokut Tribe and the Bishop Tribe. Based on the 
intrusion of white settlers in the valley of the Kern River, which 
brought diseases and loss of native cultures, many Tubatulabal left 
their land and sought refuge with the other native groups, such as the 
Yokuts at the Tule River Indian Reservation and Tachi Tribe, as well as 
the Paiute of the Bishop Tribe. It can be reasonably concluded that the 
Tubatulabal intermarried with the Yokut and Paiute in the Kern County 
region. Descendants of these Yokuts and Paiutes are members of the 
Federally-recognized Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Indian 
Reservation, California; Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop 
Community of the Bishop Colony, California; and Santa Rosa Indian 
Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, California (Tachi Yokut Tribe). 
Finally, representatives of all three tribes provided documentation 
including oral tradition that supported cultural affiliation.
    Officials of the Sequoia National Forest have determined, pursuant 
to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), that the human remains described above represent 
the physical remains of three individuals of Native American ancestry. 
Officials of the Sequoia National Forest also have determined, pursuant 
to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(A), that the 23 objects described above 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. Lastly, officials of the Sequoia National Forest also have 
determined, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), that there is a relationship 
of shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between the 
Native American human remains and associated funerary objects and the 
Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation, California; 
Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony, 
California; and the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa 
Rancheria, California (Tachi Yokut Tribe).
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact Karen Miller, Forest Archeologist, Sequoia 
National Forest, 1839 South Newcomb St., Porterville, CA 93257, 
telephone (559) 784-1500, before April 14, 2011. Repatriation of the 
human remains and associated funerary objects to the Tule River Indian 
Tribe of the Tule River Reservation, California; Paiute-Shoshone 
Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony, California; and 
the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, California 
(Tachi Yokut Tribe), may proceed after that date if no additional 
claimants come forward.
    The Sequoia National Forest is responsible for notifying the 
Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony, 
California; Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, 
California (Tachi Yokut Tribe); and the Tule River Indian Tribe of the 
Tule River Reservation, California, that this notice has been 
published.

    Dated: March 9, 2011.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2011-5878 Filed 3-14-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P



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