[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 63 (Monday, April 2, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19697-19698]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office 
[www.gpo.gov ]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7884]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[2253-665]


Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Maxwell Museum of 
Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, in consultation with the 
appropriate Indian tribes, has determined that a collection of cultural items 
meet the definition of sacred objects and repatriation to the Indian tribes 
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 Maxwell Museum of 
Anthropology.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes it has a cultural 
affiliation with the cultural items should contact the Maxwell Museum of 
Anthropology at the address below by May 2, 2012.

ADDRESSES: David Phillips, Curator of Archaeology, Maxwell Museum of 
Anthropology, MSC01 1050, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, 
telephone (505) 277-9229.

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 under the control of the Maxwell 
Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, that meet 
the definition of sacred 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

    In 1949, the University of New Mexico (UNM) conducted an archeological 
field school at site LA 46316 (Wahaniak Shukuk Shtuitauwa/Correo Snake Pit) 
in Valencia County, NM. UNM students collected cultural objects from the 
site, many made of perishable materials. Limited additional collecting at the 
site by UNM probably

[[Page 19698]]

took place in the year or years immediately following the field school. The 
items removed from site LA 46316 include 90 sacred objects commonly called 
prayer sticks, materials for making prayer sticks, decomposed prayer sticks, 
and six lots of loose feathers, at least some of which were a part of prayer 
sticks.
    The collection was transferred to the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. Due 
to poor documentation and analysis, the full extent and nature of the 
collection emerged only recently, as analysts began detailed studies of the 
cultural objects. To date, the UMN collection from site LA 46316 includes the 
sacred objects detailed above as well as other cultural items and two partial 
sets of human remains, which require additional consultation and analysis 
before determinations can be made.
    Based on radiocarbon dating, site LA 46316 was first used around B.C. 
1400, and remained in use for centuries. The site is an ecumenical shrine, 
containing a travertine dome with dry deposits. The first documented 
excavation of the site occurred in 1917 by Elsie Clews Parsons, who reported 
even earlier activities on the site by ``treasure seekers.'' Parsons 
described the shrine as a Laguna shrine, but stated that the site was used by 
visitors from ``Acoma, Zuni, and other towns.'' At the time of the UNM field 
school in 1949, the site was on privately owned land, but more recently, the 
land area was purchased by the Pueblo of Laguna. Today, the Pueblo of Laguna 
continues to use the site and considers itself the custodian of the shrine. 
During a 2011 inspection of the sacred objects, delegates from the Pueblo of 
Laguna confirmed the presence of Laguna and Acoma sacred objects in the 
collection and indicated that other sacred objects may be related to the Zuni 
and Hopi tribes. The sacred objects in this notice are reasonably believed to 
be affiliated with the Pueblo of Laguna as well 
as other Pueblo Indians (including, but not limited to, the Hopi Tribe of 
Arizona; Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico; and the Zuni Tribe of the Zuni 
Reservation, New Mexico).
    In response to consultations with Indian tribes (including in a letter 
from the Governor of the Pueblo of Laguna, representing the Pueblo in its 
role as land owner and custodian of the shrine), the staff of the Maxwell 
Museum will rebury the ``prayer sticks,'' ``prayer stick materials,'' and 
loose feathers from site LA 46316. The Pueblo of Laguna has agreed to provide 
access to the shrine and to supervise the return of the sacred objects.

Determinations Made by the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology

    Officials of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(C), the 96 cultural items described above 
are specific ceremonial objects needed by traditional Native American 
religious leaders for the practice of traditional Native American religions 
by their present-day adherents.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of shared group 
identity that can be reasonably traced between the sacred objects and the 
Hopi Tribe of Arizona; Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico; Pueblo of Laguna, New 
Mexico; and the Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico.

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to be 
culturally affiliated with the sacred objects should contact David Phillips, 
Curator of Archaeology, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, MSC01 1050, 
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, telephone (505) 277-9229, 
before May 2, 2012. Repatriation of the sacred objects to the Pueblo of 
Laguna, New Mexico, may proceed after that date if no additional claimants 
come forward.
    The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology is responsible for notifying the Hopi 
Tribe of Arizona; Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico; Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico; 
and the Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico that this notice has 
been published.

    Dated: March 28, 2012
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2012-7884 Filed 3-30-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P





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