[Federal Register: November 14, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 221)]
[Notices]
[Page 58422]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Notice of Intent to Repatriate a Cultural Item in the Possession
of the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA

AGENCY: National Park Service

ACTION: Notice

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    Notice is hereby given under the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act, 25 U.S.C. 3005 (a)(2), of the intent to
repatriate a cultural item in the possession of the Seattle Art Museum
which meets the definition of ``cultural patrimony'' under Section 2 of
the Act.
    The object is a Tlingit steel dagger, known as Keet Gwalaa. The
dagger is 26 3/8'' long and 4 3/4'' wide, with copper overlay and
leather wrapping about the grip area. The blade is a long, tapered
triangular form with three prominent flutes down the center of its
length. The integral steel pommel is relief-formed into the image of
two orca whale heads looking outward with a single dorsal fin extending
upward from the whale heads. A single cut hole pierces the dorsal fin.
The pommel is flat on the reverse side.
    In 1974, Mrs. Annie Jacobs of Sitka, AK, sold the dagger to Mr.
Michael Johnson, an art dealer of Seattle, WA. In 1975, Mr. Johnson
sold the dagger to Mr. John Hauberg of Seattle, WA, who donated it to
the Seattle Art Museum in 1983.
    The claim establishing the cultural patrimony of the dagger was
filed by the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of
Alaska on behalf of the Dakl'aweidi Clan of Angoon, Alaska, for whom
the orca or killer whale is said to be a long-established crest with
ongoing cultural, historical, and spiritual importance. The dagger had
been entrusted to a long line of clan caretakers, each of whom was
holding the dagger on behalf of the entire clan. Affidavits submitted
with the claim confirm that the final caretaker did not have the
required unanimous consent of the members of the Dakl'aweidi Clan to
sell the dagger, and lacked the authority to alienate it.
    Officials of the Seattle Art Museum have determined that, pursuant
to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), this cultural item has ongoing historical,
traditional, and cultural importance central to the culture itself, and
could not have been alienated, appropriated, or conveyed by any
individual. Officials of the Seattle Art Museum have also determined
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (2), there is a relationship of shared
group identity which can be reasonably traced between this item and the
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska acting on
behalf of the Dakl'aweidi Clan of Angoon, Alaska.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Central Council of
Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska on behalf of the Dakl'aweidi
Clan of Angoon, Alaska. Representatives of any other Indian tribe that
believes itself to be culturally affiliated with this object should
contact Steven C. Brown, Associate Curator of Native American Art,
Seattle Art Museum, P.O. Box 22000, Seattle, WA 98122099700; telephone
(206) 654093171 before December 16, 1996. Repatriation of this object
to the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska on
behalf the Dakl'aweidi Clan of Angoon, Alaska may begin after that date
if no additional claimants come forward.

    Dated: November 8, 1996.
Veletta Canouts,
Acting Departmental Consulting Archeologist,
Deputy Manager, Archeology and Ethnography Program.
[FR Doc. 96-29154 Filed 11-13-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-F

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