[Federal Register: March 24, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 56)]
[Page 14137]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Park Service

Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items from New Mexico in
the Possession of the Arizona State Museum, The University of Arizona,
Tucson, AZ

AGENCY: National Park Service

ACTION: Notice


    Notice is hereby given under the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act, 43 CFR 10.10 (a)(3), of the intent to repatriate
cultural items in the possession of the Arizona State Museum which meet
the definition of ``object of cultural patrimony'' under Section 2 of
the Act.
    The cultural items are: four carved wooden birds, four wooden
snakes, four wooden god heads, four unpainted wooden rods, and a
ceremonial screen. Together, these items are collectively referred to
as Na'at'oye jish, Lightning Way paraphernalia.
    In 1927 or 1928, these items were removed from a cave in the
Lukachukai Mountains by John Hands during University of Arizona summer
expedition surveys of the Vandal Cave area of the Lukachukai Mountains
under the direction of Byron Cummings of the Arizona State Museum/
Department of Archeology. In 1931, John Hands donated this Lightning
Way jish to the Arizona State Museum.
    Consultation evidence presented by representatives of the Navajo
Nation indicate that the Lightning Way is one of twelve major chants
still performed in the Navajo Nation. Bundles for these Ways should
only be in the possession of a qualified Hataalii (chanter, singer, or
medicine person) capable of understanding the jish. In Navajo
tradition, jish is only cared for or possess by a human being, it is
not ``property'' capable of being ``owned'' in the Western meanings of
the words.
    Officials of the Arizona State Museum have determined that,
pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2 (d)(4), these 16 cultural items have ongoing
historical, traditional, and cultural importance central to the tribe
itself, and could not have been alienated, appropriated, or conveyed by
any individual. Officials of the Arizona State Museum have also
determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2 (e), there is a relationship
of shared group identity which can be reasonably traced between these
items and the Navajo Nation.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Navajo Nation.
Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to be
culturally affiliated with these objects should contact Dr. Gwinn
Vivian, Acting Repatriation Coordinator, Arizona State Museum,
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721; telephone (520) 621-4500
before April 23, 1998. Repatriation of these objects to the Navajo
Nation may begin after that date if no additional claimants come
Dated: March 18, 1998.
Veletta Canouts,
Acting Departmental Consulting Archeologist,
Deputy Manager, Archeology and Ethnography Program.
[FR Doc. 98-7581 Filed 3-23-98; 8:45 am]

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