[Federal Register: March 9, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 45)]
[Notices]
[Page 11452]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr09mr98-93]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items in the Possession
of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, RI

AGENCY: National Park Service.

ACTION: Notice.

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    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 in the possession of the Rhode Island Historical Society
which meet the definition of ``unassociated funerary objects'' under
Section 2 of the Act.
    The four objects are a soapstone bowl, two soapstone bowl
fragments, and a string of whelk shell beads. The accession information
regarding these objects has been lost since the date of acquisition.
    Consultation evidence provided by representatives of the
Narragansett Indian Tribe indicates the soapstone bowl is used for the
Ceremony of the Green Corn, and would also be used in baptismal
ceremonies. Consultation evidence provided by representatives of the
Narragansett Indian Tribe also indicates that the inclusion of
soapstone bowls, soapstone bowl fragments and whelk shell beads is
consistent with traditional Narragansett burial practice.
    The three objects from Westerly, RI are glass bottles, beads, and a
wampum bracelet. Museum documentation indicates they were recovered in
1835 from burials at the railhead site in Westerly, RI; and were
purchased by the Rhode Island Historical Society from Mr. Chesebrough
that same year.
    Based on funerary objects, this railhead site has been determined
to be a Narragansett burial site during the historic period
(approximately 16th century until the late 1600s). Historical documents
and archeological evidence indicates this area was occupied by the
Narragansett Indian Tribe during this period.
    The 19 objects from Charlestown, RI are pewter latten spoons, glass
rum bottles, a sword handle, copper pots, glass vials, a flute, gold
effigy comb, man's gold ring, a disk, a stove ornament and hanging
chain, two silver thimbles, a copper snuff box, a copper spoon, strings
of glass beads, and loose glass beads. Museum documentation indicates
these objects were excavated from the burial site in 1859; and were
given to the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1877 by C.W. Parsons
and Charles Cross, as well as other members of the Society.
    The site from which these objects were taken is a historically
documented Narragansett burial site stated to be the grave of Princess
Weunquesh, a daughter of Ninigret who died about 1660. The type and
style of these objects date from that era. No human remains from this
grave are in the possession of the Rhode Island Historical Society.
    The 14 objects from Charlestown, RI are pewter latten spoons.
Museum documentation regarding the accession of these objects by the
Rhode Island Historical Society has been lost.
    The site from which these objects were taken is a historically
documented Narragansett burial site stated to be the grave of the
second (unmarried) daughter of Ninigret who died in 1660. The type and
style of these objects date from that era. No human remains from this
grave are in the possession of the Rhode Island Historical Society.
    The 24 objects from the Arnolda site in Charlestown, RI are a 16th
century Portuguese cannon, four blocks of ochre, 12 pipes and pipe
fragments, a sword fragment, a buckshot mold, two glass rods, glass
beads, and three ceramic sherds. Museum documentation indicates these
objects were excavated in 1921 and 1925 from burials from the Arnolda
site on the property of J. Arnold and were donated to the Rhode Island
Historical Society about 1925.
    The Arnolda site is a historically documented Narragansett burial
site used during the historic era, based on manner of interment and the
types of funerary objects present.
    Based on the above-mentioned information, officials of the Rhode
Island Historical Society have determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2
(d)(2)(ii), these 64 cultural items 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 an Native American individual. Officials of the Rhode
Island Historical Society have also determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR
10.2 (e), there is a relationship of shared group identity which can be
reasonably traced between these 64 items and the Narragansett Indian
Tribe.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Narragansett Indian
Tribe. Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself
to be culturally affiliated with these objects should contact Linda
Eppich, Curator, or Albert T. Klyberg, Director, Rhode Island
Historical Society, 110 Benevolent St., Providence, RI 02906,
telephone: (401) 331-8575 before April 8, 1998. Repatriation of these
objects to the Narragansett Indian Tribe may begin after that date if
no additional claimants come forward.
    The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations
within this notice.
Dated: March 3, 1998.
Francis P. McManamon,
Departmental Consulting Archeologist,
Manager, Archeology and Ethnography Program.
[FR Doc. 98-5917 Filed 3-6-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-F

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