[Federal Register: September 3, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 170)]
[Notices]
[Page 46511]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03se97-99]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items from New York in
the Possession of the Springfield Science Museum, Springfield, MA

AGENCY: National Park Service

ACTION: Notice

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Notice is hereby given under the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act, 43 CFR 10.10 (a)(3), of the intent to repatriate
cultural items from New York in the possession of the Springfield
Science Museum which meet the definition of ``cultural patrimony''
under Section 2 of the Act.
    The cultural items are a Seneca false face mask and a Seneca corn
husk mask. The false face mask is black wood with brown horsehair and
tin eyeplates with a split leather harness to secure the mask at the
back. The corn husk mask has white cotton shoelace attachment cords.
    Before 1975, these masks were given to Mr. John Hesen of
Longmeadow, MA by the maker, Mr. Francis Kettle of the Cattaraugus
Indian Reservation, NY. In 1983, Mrs. Betty S. Hesen donated these
masks to the Springfield Science Museum.
    Consultation evidence indicates one item is a medicine or false
face mask. Such masks represent the power of particular medicine
beings. The other mask, known as a Husk Face, or Bushy Head, is also
used in ceremonies. Representatives of the Haudenosaunee Standing
Committee on Burial Rules and Regulations affirm that these masks are
needed by the traditional religious leaders of the Seneca Nation of
Indians and the Tonawanda Band of Seneca for the practice of
traditional ceremonies by present-day adherents. Representatives of the
Haudenosaunee Standing Committee on Burial Rules and Regulations have
also stated that false face masks are owned collectively by the members
of the False Face Society and that corn husk masks are owned by the
Husk Face Society; and therefore, no individual had the right to sell
or otherwise alienate the masks.
    Officials of the Springfield Science Museum have determined that,
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), these two cultural items have
ongoing historical, traditional, and cultural importance central to the
culture itself, and could not have been alienated, appropriated, or
conveyed by any individual. Officials of the Springfield Science Museum
have also determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a
relationship of shared group identity which can be reasonably traced
between these items and the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Tonawanda
Band of Seneca.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Haudenosaunee
Standing Committee on Burial Rules and Regulations, the Seneca Nation
of Indians, the Tonawanda Band of Seneca, and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe
of Oklahoma. Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes
itself to be culturally affiliated with these objects should contact
John Pretola, Curator of Anthropology, Springfield Science Museums, 236
State Street, Springfield, MA 01103; before [thirty days following
publication in the Federal Register]. Repatriation of these objects to
the Haudenosaunee Standing Committee on Burial Rules and Regulations on
behalf of the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Tonawanda Band of Seneca
may begin after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
Dated: August 28, 1997.
Francis P. McManamon,
Departmental Consulting Archeologist,
Manager, Archeology and Ethnography Program.
[FR Doc. 97-23366 Filed 9-2-97 ; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-F

Back to the top

Back to National-NAGPRA