[Federal Register, Volume 78, Number 232 (Tuesday, December 3, 2013)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28918]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
National Park Service
Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: U.S. Department of
the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office,
AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.
SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
(BLM), Alaska State Office, in consultation with the appropriate Indian
tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, has determined that the items
listed in this notice meet the definition of unassociated funerary
objects. Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or
Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to
claim these items should submit a written request to the BLM Alaska
Office. If no additional claimants come forward, transfer of control of
the items to the lineal descendants, Indian tribes, or Native Hawaiian
organizations stated in this notice may proceed.
DATES: Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or
Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to
claim these items should submit a written request with information in
support of the claim to the BLM Alaska State Office at the address in
this notice by January 2, 2014.
ADDRESSES: Robert E. King, Alaska State NAGPRA Coordinator, Bureau of
Land Management, 222 W. 7th Avenue, Box 13, Anchorage, AK 99513-7599,
telephone (907) 271-5510.
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 items under the control of the
BLM Alaska State Office and in the physical custody of the American
Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, 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 items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the
determinations in this notice.
History and Description of the Items
On an unknown date in 1947 or prior to 1947, 89 polar bear skulls
were collected by, or under the authority of, Dr. Otto Geist, whose
affiliation was then reported as the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
These items were accessioned by the American Museum of Natural History,
New York, NY (AMNH), in 1947. AMNH catalog records indicate that these
remains were collected from ``Cape Chibulak.'' An examination of
records at the AMNH in 2011 led officials there to conclude that
``most, if not all of the remains from Cape Chibulak came from the
grave of Kowarin.'' Additional records at the AMNH indicate that these
remains were removed from the surface of the grave of ``a hunter,
Kowarin,'' which Geist reports was located ``on the sandspit just above
the rim of the freshwater lake at Cape Chibulak,'' near the village of
Gambell on St. Lawrence Island, AK. Dr. Geist also reported in his
records that he collected ``polar bear, reindeer and dog skulls'' from
this burial location. The AMNH does not have any of the reindeer
remains. Geist's surviving correspondence at the AMNH reports that
Kowarin was a ``Siberian Yuit, whose sons Booshy, Otiyohok, Koonuka and
Okinilloo are quite old but still living [in 1947].'' Dr. Geist also
reported that the grave of Kowarin had been ``ransacked'' for
``souvenirs'' and that his remains had been removed. Dr. Geist recorded
that ``after considerable consultation I was permitted to remove all of
the specimens'' with the son Otiyohok helping him remove ``all of the
skulls.'' Records at the AMNH indicate that at least one box of polar
bear remains that were removed from this gravesite were received by the
AMNH. Further, one polar bear skull has the name ``Kowarin'' written on
Genealogical, historical, and oral history research conducted
during 2011-2013 by the BLM, including with tribal members and lineal
descendants of Quwaaren living on St. Lawrence Island, resulted in
additional information on ``Kowarin'' and his family. Today, the
recognized Siberian Yupik spelling of ``Kowarin'' is Quwaaren. A
respected hunter and whaler, Quwaaren was born about 1844, probably in
Siberia. By the second half of the 19th century, he was living on St.
Lawrence Island, where his children were born. Both Quwaaren and his
wife Avaltuk, whom he married about 1870, died on St. Lawrence Island
in the 1910s and were buried there. They had a total of nine children
of whom four appear to have died as children or young adults and
without descendants. The five surviving children of Quwaaren and
Avaltuk were five sons: Pusaa (also known as Bushu and Booshu) (1875-
1957); Ataayaghhaq (also known as Attiahok and Jimmy/Jimmie Otiyohok)
(1877-1965); Kanuka (also known as Tommy Koonooka) (1879-1970); Aghnilu
(also known as Peter Okinello) (1881-1971); and Tatuwi (also known as
Morris Tatoowi) (1891-after 1940). In addition, Elders of St. Lawrence
Island identified Qisgena (older spelling Kashunga and Qesgenga) (1862-
after 1930), the wife of Suluk (1860-ca. 1930), as a sister to
Quwaaren's sons. Thus, Qisgena likely was the natural or adopted
daughter of Quwaaren. Research by BLM has established that at least
five of these six children of Quwaaren have living descendants on St.
Lawrence Island and elsewhere today.
Determinations Made by the BLM Alaska State Office
Officials of the BLM Alaska State Office have determined that:
Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), the 89 items described
above are reasonably believed to have been placed with or near the
individual human remains of ``Kowarin'' (Quwaaren) at the time of his
death in the 1910s or later as part of the death rite or ceremony; the
remains of Quwaaren are not in the possession or control of the BLM
Alaska State Office; and the items can be identified, by a
preponderance of the evidence, as related to the human remains of
Quwaaren, a Native American Individual.
Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3005(a)(5)(A), known living
descendants of Quwaaren on St. Lawrence Island and elsewhere are the
direct lineal descendant of the individual who was buried with these
Additional Requestors and Disposition
Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native
Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to claim
these items should submit a written request with information in support
of the claim to Robert E. King, Alaska State NAGPRA Coordinator, Bureau
of Land Management, 222 W. 7th Avenue, Box 13, Anchorage, AK 99513-
7599, telephone (907) 271-5510, by January 2, 2014. After that date, if
no additional claimants have come forward, transfer of control of the
unassociated funerary objects to the known lineal descendants of
Quwaaren may proceed.
The BLM Alaska State Office is responsible for notifying the known
descendants of Quwaaren, the Native Village of Gambell, and the Native
Village of Savoonga that this notice has been published.
Dated: September 26, 2013.
Acting Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2013-28918 Filed 12-2-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P
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