FR Doc 05-10817
[Federal Register: June 1, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 104)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
National Park Service
Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: University of
Alaska Museum of the North, Fairbanks, AK
AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.
Notice is here 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 University of
Alaska Museum of the North, Fairbanks, AK, that meet the definitions of
"sacred objects" and "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 cultural
items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the
determinations in this notice.
The four cultural items are three ceremonial dance headdresses made
from wood and organic paint and one beaded ceremonial tunic. One
headdress measures 26.7 x 21.6 cm, is made of wood, canvas, and metal,
and depicts in formline design a crest animal painted red and black.
The second headdress is also made of wood and measures 29 cm tall; the
base measures 22.8 x 24 cm. It depicts a frog crest in formline design
and is decorated with abalone. The third headdress is a frontlet
depicting Hawk and Sockeye. It is decorated with abalone shell, ermine
or rabbit skins, and sea lion whiskers. The ceremonial tunic is made
from red wool, has a Shark crest design on the front in beadwork and
applied textile, and measures 102.5 x 159 cm.
Two of the three headdresses were obtained by the museum in 1976 as
a donation from Harold McCracken. Their original acquisition was
described in a publication by Mr. McCracken (Roughnecks and Gentlemen,
1968), who states that he purchased ``wooden dance helmets'' in 1916
(p. 84). Mr. McCracken also notes in the museum's original accession
file that the two headdresses were acquired at Hoonah Village. The
third headdress was purchased by the University of Alaska Museum
director with museum funds from Maxine Silcot in 1985. There is no
record of this transaction other than a notation with the purchase
amount on the catalog card.
The ceremonial tunic was donated to the museum in 1957 by Pearl
Miller Stuart, as part of a larger collection of undocumented Tlingit
material. Ms. Stuart purchased the tunic in Ketchikan in 1956, along
with a number of other garments that had no associated provenance.
The University of Alaska Museum of the North professional staff
weighed evidence provided by the Hoonah Indian Association against
anthropological and historic evidence in the University of Alaska
Museum accession records and catalogs. The Hoonah Indian Association
satisfactorily demonstrated a relationship of shared group identity,
which can be traced historically and prehistorically by members of the
present-day Indian tribe and an identifiable earlier group. The
University of Alaska Museum of the North professional staff also
consulted with representatives of the Central Council of the Tlingit &
Haida Indian Tribes.
According to Tlingit tradition, ceremonial objects are required for
use in potlatches and as part of the cycle of memorial rights. The
Tlingit people are required to treat these objects and the spirits they
embody according to established protocols to ensure the spiritual
balance and well-being of the group. Such objects are inseparable from
the ceremonies for which they are intended, and the Tlingit are
compelled to host and participate in these ceremonies for their
families, past, present, and future. The members of the Hoonah Indian
Association (acting under Tlingit traditional law) consider that
ownership of property resides with the group rather than any specific
individual. Property cannot be transferred, conveyed, or alienated
unless all members of the clan agree. Furthermore, the Tlingit assert
an ownership-interest in the crest and spirit designs depicted on the
objects subject to this claim.
Officials of the University of Alaska Museum of the North have
determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(C), the 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. Officials of
the University of Alaska Museum of the North also have determined that,
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), the cultural items described above
have ongoing historical, traditional, and cultural importance central
to the culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual.
Lastly, officials of the University of Alaska Museum of the North 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 three headdresses and ceremonial tunic and the Hoonah
Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to
be culturally affiliated with the sacred objects and cultural patrimony
should contact Dr. Molly Lee, Curator of Ethnology, University of
Alaska Museum of the North, 907 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6960,
(907) 474-7828 before July 1, 2005. Repatriation of the sacred objects
and cultural patrimony to the Hoonah Indian Association may proceed
after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
The University of Alaska Museum of the North is responsible for
notifying the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes,
Hoonah Indian Association, Huna Totem Corporation, and Sealaska
Corporation that this notice has been published.
Dated: May 20, 2005
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 05-10817 Filed 5-31-05; 8:45 am]
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