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Native American Graves Protection and

Repatriation Review Committee

Dispute Findings


Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee Findings and Recommendations Regarding a Carved Wooden Figure from the Hawaiian Islands
May 1, 1997

[Federal Register: May 1, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 84)]
[Notices]
[Page 23794-23795]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr01my97-118]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Services

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review
Committee: Findings

AGENCY: National Park Service, Department of the Interior

ACTION: NAGPRA Review Committee Advisory Findings And Recommendations
Regarding a Carved Wooden Figure from the Hawaiian Islands.

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After full and careful consideration of the information and
statements submitted and presented by representatives of the City of
Providence, RI, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Hui Malama I Na
Kupuna 'O Hawai 'i Nei, at its meetings on November 23, 1996, and March
27, 1997, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review
Committee (NAGPRA Review Committee) considers:
(1) The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Hui Malama I Na Kupuna 'O
Hawai 'i Nei are Native Hawaiian organizations;
(2) The carved wooden figure currently in the possession of the
City of Providence (catalogue number E2133) is a specific ceremonial
object needed by traditional Native Hawaiian religious leaders for the
practice of traditional Native Hawaiian religion by its present-day
adherents;
(3) There is a relationship of shared group identity that can be
reasonably traced between the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Hui Malama
I Na Kupuna 'O Hawai'i Nei and the Native Hawaiians who created and
used the carved wooden figure;
(4) The carved wooden figure cannot be identified as an item that,
as part of the death rite or ceremony of a culture,

[[Page 23795]]

is reasonably believed to have been placed intentionally at the time of
death or later with or near individual human remains;
(5) The carved wooden figure cannot be identified as an object of
ongoing importance to a Native Hawaiian organization itself rather than
property owned by an individual member; and
(6) There was insufficient information presented regarding the
circumstances of the acquisition of the carved wooden figure to make an
advisory finding concerning right of possession to the object as
defined by NAGPRA and its implementing regulations.
In arriving at these advisory findings, the NAGPRA Review Committee
noted that:
(1) The carved wooden figure is believed to have been collected in
Hawaii;
(2) Several recognized authorities on Hawaiian sculpture, including
William H. Davenport, Norman Hurst, Adrienne L. Kaeppler, Herb Kawainui
Kane, and Rubellite Kawena Johnson, identified the carved wooden figure
as a decorated canoe haka, a utilitarian object used to hold spears or
fishing poles, rather than a sacred object.
(3) Edward Dodd, another recognized authority on Hawaiian
sculpture, describes the carved wooden figure as a curious and rare
mixture of utilitarian function with some stylistic features
traditionally associated with god images.
(4) Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele, Kunani Nihipali, and Edward
Halealoha Ayau are recognized by members of the Office of Hawaiian
Affairs and Hui Malama I Na Kupuna 'O Hawai'i Nei as traditional
religious leaders responsible for performing duties related to Hawaiian
ceremonial or religious traditions.
(5) The three traditional religious leaders identified the carved
wooden figure as an 'aumakua, an ancestral deity who is called upon by
its present-day descendants for guidance and protection;
(6) Little is known regarding the circumstances of the carved
wooden object's original acquisition in the 19th Century.
Based on these advisory findings, the NAGPRA Review Committee
recommends that the City of Providence reconsider its determination
regarding the definition of the carved wooden figure. The carved wooden
figure should be considered a sacred object as defined by the Native
American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act [25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(C)
and 43 CFR 10.2 (d)(3)]. The NAGPRA Review Committee also recommends
that the City of Providence repatriate the carved wooden object to a
Native Hawaiian organization in the spirit of NAGPRA and its
implementing regulations.
These advisory findings and recommendations do not necessarily
represent the views of the National Park Service or Secretary of the
Interior. The National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior
have not taken a position on these matters.
Dated: April 16, 1997.
Ms. Tessie Naranjo,
Chair,
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee.
[FR Doc. 97-11278 Filed 4-30-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-F

 

 
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