[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 38 (Monday, February 27, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 11567-11568]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office 
[www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-4523]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[2253-665]


Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: American Museum of Natural 
History, New York, NY

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The American Museum of Natural History, in consultation with the 
appropriate Indian tribes, has determined that cultural items meet the 
definition of unassociated funerary objects and that repatriation to the 
Indian tribe stated below may occur if no additional claimants come forward. 
Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes itself to be culturally 
affiliated with the cultural items may contact the American Museum of Natural 
History.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes it has a cultural 
affiliation with the cultural items should contact the American Museum of 
Natural History at the address below by March 28, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Nell Murphy, Director of Cultural Resources, American Museum of 
Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, 
telephone (212) 769-5837.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 American 
Museum of Natural History that meet the definition of unassociated funerary 
objects 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 Native American 
cultural items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the 
determinations in this notice.

History and Description of the Cultural Items

    The 34 cultural items include: a headdress on a spruce frame decorated 
with swan down, white eagle tail feathers, and a plume of red-fox tail, that 
is attached to a wooden mask painted black and green, representing a Tlingit 
spirit; a headdress on a spruce frame, covered with swan down, white eagle 
tail feathers, and a plume of brown bear fur, that is attached to a wooden 
mask painted black and green, representing the spirit of a dead Tlingit; a 
headdress on a spruce frame covered with swan down, white eagle tail 
feathers, and plaits of human hair, that is attached to a wooden mask 
representing a dying man; a headdress on a spruce frame, covered with swan 
down, white eagle tail feathers, red fox fur, and plaits of human hair, that 
is attached to a wooden mask representing the spirit of a dead Tlingit; a 
headdress made of hawk skin and attached to a wooden mask carved to represent 
a mosquito; a headdress made of deer skin, ptarmigan skin, and ornamented in 
porcupine quill work and mountain goat horns; a hat made of skin with a bark 
cover and a carved raven's head; a headdress of deer skin ornamented with 
eagle tails and sea lion whiskers; a skin drum framed in wood and metal; a 
crown composed of mountain goat horns and ermine skins, that is inlaid with 
haliotis shell; a wooden rattle carved in bird and land otter designs and 
painted green, red, and black; two wooden rattles ornamented with bird beaks 
and decorated with eagle down; a wooden dance ornament carved to represent a 
cockle shell; two bundles of sticks, bone spikes and feathers wrapped around 
an animal tongue; a bone bracelet ornamented in cuts and lines with a plant 
fiber fastener; a neck ornament composed of hide and two walrus ivory rings; 
four ivory charms carved to represent land otters; an ivory charm carved to 
represent a whale; an ivory charm carved to represent a black fish; an ivory 
charm carved to represent a halibut; a wooden stick carved to represent a 
wolf and a bear; a skin waist robe decorated with ivory, bone, deer hooves 
and brass ornaments; a skin shoulder robe decorated with walrus ivory rings 
and painted to represent spirits and a dog fish; two string necklaces 
decorated with bone and ivory pendants; a hair ornament of ivory and bone 
beads; a stick decorated with deer dew hooves; a headdress consisting of a 
skin band decorated with swan skin, the neck feathers of a mallard drake, and 
white eagle tail feathers, attached to carved wooden masks representing the 
shaman's spirits or guards; and a wooden box decorated with carvings of a 
bear and a raven.
    Museum records and consultation information provided by Kootznoowoo, 
Incorporated (an Alaska Native

[[Page 11568]]

Corporation), and the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of 
Alaska support the conclusion that these cultural items comprise the shaman's 
kit of Nolk, a Hutsnuwu Tlingit of the Dakl'aweidi clan, and that they were 
placed within Nolk's grave house near Chaik Bay at or after the time of his 
death around 1865. The kit was removed from the grave house by a nephew of 
Nolk at an unknown date and subsequently acquired by Lieutenant George 
Thornton Emmons. The Museum purchased these items from Emmons and accessioned 
them in 1894.
    The determination that these items are ``unassociated funerary objects'' 
is based on Emmons' catalog entry, consultation information provided by 
Kootznoowoo, Incorporated, and the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian 
Tribes of Alaska, and other expert opinion, all of which support the 
conclusion that the items were associated with Nolk's grave house, and were 
placed with Nolk's remains either at the time of his death or later.
    The cultural affiliation of the 34 cultural items is Hutsnuwu Tlingit, as 
indicated through museum records and consultation with representatives of 
Kootznoowoo Incorporated, and the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian 
Tribes of Alaska. Chaik Bay lies within the traditional territory of the 
Hutsnuwu Tlingit. These cultural items were claimed on behalf of the Da--
l'aweidi clan.

Determinations Made by the American Museum of Natural History

    Officials of the American Museum of Natural History have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), the 34 cultural items 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 
and are believed, by a preponderance of the evidence, to have been removed 
from a specific burial site of a Native American individual.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of shared group 
identity that can be reasonably traced between the unassociated funerary 
objects and the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to be 
culturally affiliated with the unassociated funerary objects should contact 
Nell Murphy, Director of Cultural Resources, American Museum of Natural 
History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, telephone 
(212) 769-5837, before March 28, 2012. Repatriation of the unassociated 
funerary objects to the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of 
Alaska may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come forward.

    Dated: February 22, 2012.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2012-4523 Filed 2-24-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P






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