FR Doc E7-21365
[Federal Register: October 31, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 210)]
[Notices]               
[Page 61668-61669]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr31oc07-99]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Denver Museum of 
Nature & Science, Denver, CO

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. 3005, of the intent 
to repatriate cultural items in the possession of the Denver Museum of 
Nature & Science, Denver, CO, which meet the definitions of "sacred 
object" and "object 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 agency that has control of the cultural 
items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the 
determinations in this notice.
    The first cultural item is a Beaver song leader's staff called 
S'igeidi Shis'aati Woodzakaa (A.C. 497). Such staffs are also generally 
known as Keet Gooshi (Killer Whale Fin) because of their unique shape, 
which mimics a fin. The staff is made of carved wood; painted in 
stylized blocks of red, blue, and black; and decorated with 12 tassels 
of human hair. The staff features a single figure (a beaver) with a 
tall head crest. The beaver sits on its haunches with the tail brought 
through its legs and is turned up in front. The beaver holds an object 
in its hands, part of which, along with the left arm, has been missing 
since 1977 according to museum records. The staff is approximately 87 
cm in height, 15 cm in width, and 20 cm in length. Representatives of 
the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes provided 
consultation information that the tassels of human hair that decorate 
the Beaver song leader's staff are reasonably believed to have been 
freely given and are not human remains as defined in 43 C.F.R. 10.2 
(d)(1).
    In 1954, the staff was purchased from the Fred Harvey Company by 
Francis V. Crane and Mary W. A. Crane. The Cranes then donated the 
cultural item to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science along with the 
larger Crane Collection in 1968. It was exhibited in the Denver Museum 
of Nature & Science's Northwest Coast House until 2002.
    The second cultural item is a Beaver headdress called S'igeidi 
Shakee.at (A. C. 11345). Listed in museum purchase records as being 
from circa 1890, this headdress consists of a carved wooden frontlet 
with a beaver and is painted red and green with insets of abalone 
shell. A panel is attached to a red cloth and the red cloth is 
decorated with flicker feathers and ermine skins. A strip of white down 
feathers travels across the back of the headdress. The headdress is 
approximately 19 cm in length, 14 cm in width, and 6 cm in depth.
    In 1973, Mary W. A. Crane purchased the headdress from Douglas C. 
Ewing of New York, a dealer and collector. In 1976, Mrs. Crane donated 
the headdress to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, as part of the 
larger Crane collection. For a time, the headdress was placed in the 
Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Northwest Coast Ceremonial Season 
Exhibit.
    During consultation, representatives of the Central Council of the 
Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes recounted the social and spiritual 
importance of both cultural items and the rules of Tlingit cultural 
property law. Also explained were the ritual uses of the objects and 
the history of the beaver forming the landscape feature of Basket Bay 
was recounted. A genealogy was also given demonstrating continuous 
ownership of the crest from the founding of Angoon up to the present, 
and that the Deisheetaan Clan has a right to the Beaver crest. One of 
the caretaker's brothers, Kaakwajee, of Angoon, was photographed 
holding the staff in 1904. Tlingit tribal members identified Kaakwajee 
and noted that he belonged to the Deisheetaan Clan, Basket Bay Arch 
House. It is not known how the staff left the clan's possession.
    Museum records document the history of the cultural items from the 
time they were sold by the dealers to the Cranes. Tlingit of the Basket 
Bay Arch House of the Deisheetaan Clan of Angoon, AK, are members of 
the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes.
    Officials of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science have determined 
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(C), the two cultural items are 
specific ceremonial objects needed by traditional Native American 
religious leaders for the practice of traditional Native American 
religions by their present-day adherents. Officials of the Denver

[[Page 61669]]

Museum of Nature & Science have also determined that, pursuant to 25 
U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), the two cultural items have ongoing historical, 
traditional, or cultural importance central to the Native American 
group or culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual. 
Lastly, officials of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science have 
determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (2), there is a 
relationship of shared group identity which can be reasonably traced 
between the sacred objects/objects of cultural patrimony and the 
Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the sacred objects/objects of cultural 
patrimony should contact Dr. Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Curator of 
Anthropology, NAGPRA Officer, Department of Anthropology, Denver Museum 
of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, 
telephone (303) 370-6378, before November 30, 2007. Repatriation of the 
sacred objects/objects of cultural patrimony to the Central Council of 
the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes on behalf of the Basket Bay Arch 
House of the Deisheetaan Clan of Angoon, AK, may proceed after that 
date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is responsible for notifying 
the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes that this 
notice has been published.

    Dated: October 3, 2007.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E7-21365 Filed 10-30-07; 8:45 am]

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