[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 24 (Wednesday, February 5, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6920-6921]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov ]
[FR Doc No: 2014-02318]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-14820; PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000]


Notice of Intent To Repatriate a Cultural Item: Virginia Museum 
of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in consultation with the 
appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, has 
determined that the cultural item listed in this notice meets the 
definition of a sacred object and an object of cultural patrimony. 
Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native 
Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to claim 
this cultural item should submit a written request to the Virginia 
Museum of Fine Arts. If no additional claimants come forward, transfer 
of control of the cultural item 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 this cultural item should submit a written request with 
information in support of the claim to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 
at the address in this notice by March 7, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Kelly Burrow, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. 
Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220, telephone (804) 204-2669, email 
kelly.burrow@vmfa.museum .

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 a cultural item under the 
control of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, that meets 
the definition of an object of cultural patrimony and a sacred object 
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 Item

    The K[eacute]et Gooshi (Killerwhale Dorsel Fin) also called the 
``Bear Song Leader's Staff'' is an object composed of a long handle and 
a carved and painted pierced blade, which according to Teikweidi Clan 
of Angoon, is a representation of the Brown Bear crest, embodying the 
Xoots (Bear). The blade is ornamented with eight tufts of cow's tail 
and is connected to the handle with cotton cord covered with swan's 
down and feathers.
    The Bear Song Leader's Staff was originally in the collection of 
Axel Rasmussen, a superintendent of schools in Skagway, AK. In 1948, 
the Portland Art Museum purchased his collection. Records from the 
Portland Art Museum read as follows: ``Purchase, Indian Collection 
Subscription Fund. To be known as the Axel Rasmussen Collection. 
Vendor, Earl Stendahl.'' In 1955, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 
purchased part of the Rasmussen Collection from the Portland Art 
Museum, which included this Bear Song Leader's Staff (PAM accession 
 48.3.460; VMFA accession  55.31.1).
    Representatives of the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida 
Indian Tribes, specifically the Teikweidi clan, have identified that 
this staff depicts a representation of the Xoots crest and is owned by 
the Teikweidi clan. This crest is an object of cultural patrimony, as 
it is communally owned, and has ongoing historical, traditional, and 
cultural importance central to the Tlingit society and culture. This 
object is also a sacred object as it is vital to the ongoing cultural 
and religious practices that are unique to the Tlingit. Based on this 
information and consultation with the Central Council of the Tlingit & 
Haida Indian Tribes, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts reasonably 
believes the Bear Song Leader's Staff is culturally affiliated with the 
Tlingit.

[[Page 6921]]

Determinations Made by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

    Officials of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(C), the one cultural item 
described above is a specific ceremonial object 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(3)(D), the one cultural item 
described above has ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural 
importance central to the Native American group or culture itself, 
rather than property owned by an individual.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of 
shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between the Bear 
Song Leader's Staff and the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian 
Tribes.

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 
this cultural item should submit a written request with information in 
support of the claim to Kelly Burrow, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 
N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220 telephone (804) 204-2669, email 
kelly.burrow@vmfa.museum  by March 7, 2014. After that date, if no 
additional claimants have come forward, transfer of control of the Bear 
Song Leader's Staff to the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian 
Tribes may proceed.
    The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is responsible for notifying the 
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes that this notice has been 
published.

    Dated: January 13, 2014.
Melanie O'Brien,
Acting Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2014-02318 Filed 2-4-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P

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