[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 243 (Tuesday, December 18, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 74866-74867]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov ]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30455]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-11793; 2200-1100-665]


Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: New York State 
Museum, Albany, NY

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The New York State Museum, in consultation with the 
appropriate Indian tribe, has determined that the cultural items meet 
the definition of sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony and 
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 New York State Museum.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes it has a 
cultural affiliation with the cultural items should contact the New 
York State Museum at the address below by January 17, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Lisa Anderson, NAGPRA Coordinator, New York State Museum, 
3122 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230, telephone (518) 486-
2020.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby 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 New York State Museum that meet the definition of 
sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony 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 cultural items are eight wampum belts. Seven of the wampum 
belts are on loan to the Seneca National Museum in Salamanca, NY, and 
one wampum belt is housed at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY.
    The Five Nations Alliance Belt, also known as the Mary Jamison 
Belt, is composed of seven rows of dark purple beads with three open 
white diamonds. The belt measures 16\1/4\ inches long and two inches 
wide. It is a portion of an original belt that measured two feet long 
and contained five diamonds representing the Five Iroquois Nations. The 
New York State Museum acquired the wampum belt in 1899 from Harriet 
Maxwell Converse (E-37424). Museum records indicate that Mrs. Converse 
purchased the Five Nations Alliance Belt from descendants of Mary 
Jemison on the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York. Mary Jemison was 
adopted by the Seneca as a child and chose to live her life as a 
Seneca. At the time of collection, the Five Nations Alliance Belt was 
described as a ransom belt but Mrs. Converse later reported it as a 
council belt. Consultation with the Tonawanda Band of Seneca identifies 
the Five Nations Alliance Belt as both a sacred object and an object of 
cultural patrimony as it relates to the civil functions of a Council.
    The Cornplanter Condolence Belt, also known as the Red Jacket Belt, 
is composed of seven rows of purple beads with five areas of loss that 
originally may have contained white beads. It measures 35\1/2\ inches 
long and 1\3/4\ inches wide. The New York State Museum acquired the 
wampum belt in 1899 from Harriet Maxwell Converse (E-37426). In 
correspondence from the Cornplanter Reservation in Pennsylvania, dated 
June 26, 1899, Mrs. Converse listed the Cornplanter Condolence Belt 
with three other belts that she had recently purchased. At the time of 

collection, Mrs. Converse reported that the wampum belt was associated 
with the Seneca chief, Red Jacket, but later reported it as condolence 
wampum that had belonged to the Seneca chief Cornplanter. Consultation 
with the Tonawanda Band of Seneca identifies the Cornplanter Condolence 
Belt as both a sacred object and an object of cultural patrimony as it 
relates to the condolence of a leader and installation of a successor.
    The Nomination Belt is composed of nine rows of white beads with 
six purple figures joined by extended arms and a purple square that may 
represent a council fire between the two central

[[Page 74867]]

figures. It measures 24 inches long and three inches wide. The New York 
State Museum acquired the wampum belt in the late nineteenth century 
from Harriet Maxwell Converse (E-37427). Museum records indicate that 
Mrs. Converse obtained the belt in either 1882 or 1885 from Martha 
Hemlock, a Seneca elder on the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York. At 
the time of collection, the wampum belt was recorded as a women's 
nominating belt used to announce the naming of a new chief. 
Consultation with the Tonawanda Band of Seneca identifies the belt as 
both a sacred object and an object of cultural patrimony as it relates 
to the civil functions of a Council.
    The Huron Alliance Belt is composed of ten rows of white beads with 
three diagonal rows of three open purple squares. It measures 31\1/2\ 
inches long and 3\1/2\ inches wide. The New York State Museum acquired 
the wampum belt in the late nineteenth century from Harriet Maxwell 
Converse (E-37430). Museum records indicate that Mrs. Converse 
purchased the wampum belt in 1885 from Chief John Buck on the Grand 
River Reservation in Ontario, Canada. At the time of collection, Mrs. 
Converse reported the belt was exchanged during the wars between the 
Huron and Seneca Nations. According to Chief Buck it originally 
belonged to the Seneca people of New York prior to the American 
Revolution. Rev. William M. Beauchamp questioned the reported age and 
attribution of the belt writing, ``The belt, if Huron, may be assigned 
to their later days.'' Consultation with the Tonawanda Band of Seneca 
identifies the Huron Alliance Belt as both a sacred object and an 
object of cultural patrimony as it relates to the civil functions of a 
Council.
    The Seneca Condolence Belt is composed of seven rows of purple 
beads with two white diamonds and a horizontal v-shape near one end. It 
measures 40 inches long and 2\1/8\ inches wide. The New York State 
Museum acquired the wampum belt in 1897 from Harriet Maxwell Converse 
(E-37431). Museum records indicate that Mrs. Converse obtained the 
Seneca Condolence Belt through ``Salamanca Seneca Indians'' in New 
York. At the time of collection, Mrs. Converse reported that the belt 
was a condolence belt interpreted to her ``by the late Dan'l Two-Guns, 
an aged Seneca who had memorized it during his childhood.'' The wampum 
belt was reportedly last owned by the Seneca chief Governor Blacksnake 
of the Allegany Reservation in New York. Consultation with the 
Tonawanda Band of Seneca identifies the Seneca Condolence Belt as both 
a sacred object and an object of cultural patrimony as it relates to 
the condolence of a leader and installation of a successor.
    The Gyantwaka Treaty Belt is a fragment of a belt composed of ten 
rows of purple beads and measures 7\1/4\ inches long and 2\3/4\ inches 
wide. The New York State Museum acquired the wampum belt in 1899 from 
Harriet Maxwell Converse (E-37432). Museum records indicate that Mrs. 
Converse obtained the wampum belt on the Cornplanter Reservation in 
Pennsylvania. The belt is said to be a portion of the original which 
was divided among Cornplanter's heirs at the time of his death. At the 
time of collection, it was reported that the Gyantwaka Treaty Belt was 
a record of the treaty affirming the Cornplanter Reservation. A copy of 
the signed treaty was originally attached to the wampum belt. 
Consultation with the Tonawanda Band of Seneca identifies the Gyantwaka 
Treaty Belt as both a sacred object and an object of cultural 
patrimony.
    The Ely S. Parker Belt, also known as the Five Fires Belt, or Death 
Belt, is composed of seven rows of purple beads with five white open 
hexagons, representing the Five Iroquois Nations, and three short white 
stripes at each end. It measures 37\1/2\ inches long and two inches 
wide and has traces of red pigment on some of the beads. The New York 
State Museum acquired the wampum belt in 1899 from Harriet Maxwell 
Converse who purchased it from the widow of her long-time friend 
General Ely S. Parker (E-37434). At the time of collection, Mrs. 
Converse reported the Ely S. Parker belt was a war belt and a national 
belt of the Seneca people. The belt was handed down to Ely S. Parker 
with the title Donehogawah or Keeper of the Western Door. Consultation 
with the Tonawanda Band of Seneca identifies the Ely S. Parker Belt as 
both a sacred object and an object of cultural patrimony as it relates 
to the civil functions of a Council.
    The Blacksnake Mourning Belt is composed of nine rows of purple 
beads and measures 6\1/4\ inches long. The New York State Museum 
acquired the wampum belt in 1933 from Willard A. Gibson (E-37962). 
Museum records indicate that Mr. Gibson purchased the Blacksnake 
Mourning Belt with the assistance of his Seneca friend, Louis Plummer, 
from an elder on the Allegany Reservation in New York. At the time of 
collection, Mr. Plummer reported that the wampum belt was a mourning or 
condolence belt formerly in the possession of the Seneca chief Governor 
Blacksnake. Consultation with the Tonawanda Band of Seneca identifies 
the Blacksnake Mourning Belt as both a sacred object and an object of 
cultural patrimony as it relates to the condolence of a leader and 
installation of a successor.

Determinations Made by the New York State Museum

    Officials of the New York State Museum have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(C), the eight 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(3)(D), the eight cultural items 
described above have 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 sacred 
objects and objects of cultural patrimony and the Tonawanda Band of 
Seneca (previously listed as the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians of 
New York).

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the sacred objects and objects of 
cultural patrimony should contact Lisa Anderson, NAGPRA Coordinator, 
New York State Museum, 3122 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 
12230, telephone (518) 486-2020 before January 17, 2013. Repatriation 
of the sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony to the 
Tonawanda Band of Seneca (previously listed as the Tonawanda Band of 
Seneca Indians of New York) may proceed after that date if no 
additional claimants come forward.
    The New York State Museum is responsible for notifying the 
Tonawanda Band of Seneca (previously listed as the Tonawanda Band of 
Seneca Indians of New York) that this notice has been published.

    Dated: November 26, 2012.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2012-30455 Filed 12-17-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P





Back to the top