[Federal Register: August 20, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 160)]
[Notices]
[Page 42097-42098]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr20au09-62]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service


Notice of Inventory Completion: Chemung Valley History Museum,
Elmira, NY

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves
Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the
completion of an inventory of human remains in the possession of the
Chemung Valley History Museum, Elmira, NY. The human remains were
removed from an unknown location in the Puget Sound area of Washington
State.
    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 human remains. The National Park Service is not responsible
for the determinations in this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by New York
State Museum professional staff. The Chemung Valley History Museum
consulted with representatives of the Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup
Reservation, Washington.
    In 1888, human remains representing a minimum of one individual
were removed from an unknown site in the Puget Sound area of Washington
State, by John James. Subsequently, the human remains were given to
James Stowell, who gave them to Dr. Charles Ott, Jr. Dr. Ott, Jr.
presented the human remains to the Chemung Valley History Museum in
1972. The discovery and transfer history of the skull was described on
a display card from an exhibit of James Stowell's Native American
artifacts from 1967. No known individual was identified. No associated
funerary objects are present.
    The human skull is well-preserved, and belongs to a female between
the ages of 20 and 35. The individual has supernumery tooth and cranial
deformation. The shape of the skull indicates cultural modification in
the form of skull flattening. The practice of flattening an infant's
forehead by using a series of boards and string was a common ancestral
tradition among Puget Sound tribes. The distinct shape of this
individual's skull suggest s cultural affiliation to the Puget Sound
area tribes because of their skull-flattening tradition.

[[Page 42098]]

    The well-preserved nature of the skull is indicative of an aerial
burial technique. New York State Museum staff report that this skull
does not show evidence of a ground burial, which suggests the group
practiced mainly aerial burial without secondary interment, or
collection interrupting the burial cycle.
    The Puyallup Tribe is one of the tribes in the Puget Sound area.
The history of the Puyallup Tribe records evidence of a ``Puyallup
graveyard,'' which was situated between the villages on Commencement
Bay and Point Defiance. The graveyard covered approximately one acre of
ground and ``contained canoes in various conditions.'' The Puyallup
gravesite was upset in 1882, when a farmer received permission to clear
the gravesite for use as a pasture. This date, in the same decade that
John James discovered the skull in question, might indicate that the
skull was unearthed in 1882, and found by Mr. James in 1888. Puyallup
canoe burials involved the body being wrapped in robes and blankets and
then the entire canoe was covered with mats with shed water, which is a
type of aerial burial practiced by the tribes in the Puget Sound area.
The Puget Sound ancestral practices of skull-flattening and areal
burial are consistent with the assessment of the skull by the New York
State Museum professional staff. The tribes in the Puget Sound area are
the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe of the Muckleshoot Reservation,
Washington; Nisqually Indian Tribe of the Nisqually Reservation,
Washington; Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup Reservation, Washington;
Squaxin Island Tribe of the Squaxin Island Reservation, Washington;
Squamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation, Washington;
Swinomish Indians of the Swinomish Reservation, Washington; and Tulalip
Tribes of the Tulalip Reservation, Washington.
    Officials of the Chemung Valley History Museum have determined
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human remains described
above represent the physical remains of one individual of Native
American ancestry. Officials of the Chemung Valley History Museum also
have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (2), there is a
relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably traced
between the Native American human remains and the Muckleshoot Indian
Tribe of the Muckleshoot Reservation, Washington; Nisqually Indian
Tribe of the Nisqually Reservation, Washington; Puyallup Tribe of the
Puyallup Reservation, Washington; Squaxin Island Tribe of the Squaxin
Island Reservation, Washington; Squamish Indian Tribe of the Port
Madison Reservation, Washington; Swinomish Indians of the Swinomish
Reservation, Washington; and/or Tulalip Tribes of the Tulalip
Reservation, Washington.
    Representatives of any other tribe that believes itself to be
culturally affiliated with the human remains should contact Casey
Lewis, Curator, Chemung Valley History Museum, 415 E. Water St.,
Elmira, NY 14901, telephone (607) 734-4167, before September 21, 2009.
Repatriation of the human remains to the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe of
the Muckleshoot Reservation, Washington; Nisqually Indian Tribe of the
Nisqually Reservation, Washington; Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup
Reservation, Washington; Squaxin Island Tribe of the Squaxin Island
Reservation, Washington; Squamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison
Reservation, Washington; Swinomish Indians of the Swinomish
Reservation, Washington; and/or Tulalip Tribes of the Tulalip
Reservation, Washington may proceed after that date if no additional
claimants come forward.
    The Chemung Valley History Museum is responsible for notifying the
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe of the Muckleshoot Reservation, Washington;
Nisqually Indian Tribe of the Nisqually Reservation, Washington;
Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup Reservation, Washington; Squaxin Island
Tribe of the Squaxin Island Reservation, Washington; Squamish Indian
Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation, Washington; Swinomish Indians of
the Swinomish Reservation, Washington; and Tulalip Tribes of the
Tulalip Reservation, Washington that this notice has been published.

    Dated: July 28, 2009.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-19984 Filed 8-19-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4312-50-S




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