FR Doc E7-21365
[Federal Register: October 31, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 210)]
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: Denver Museum of
Nature & Science, Denver, CO
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 Denver Museum of
Nature & Science, Denver, CO, which meet the definitions of "sacred
object" and "object 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 cultural
items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the
determinations in this notice.
The first cultural item is a Beaver song leader's staff called
S'igeidi Shis'aati Woodzakaa (A.C. 497). Such staffs are also generally
known as Keet Gooshi (Killer Whale Fin) because of their unique shape,
which mimics a fin. The staff is made of carved wood; painted in
stylized blocks of red, blue, and black; and decorated with 12 tassels
of human hair. The staff features a single figure (a beaver) with a
tall head crest. The beaver sits on its haunches with the tail brought
through its legs and is turned up in front. The beaver holds an object
in its hands, part of which, along with the left arm, has been missing
since 1977 according to museum records. The staff is approximately 87
cm in height, 15 cm in width, and 20 cm in length. Representatives of
the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes provided
consultation information that the tassels of human hair that decorate
the Beaver song leader's staff are reasonably believed to have been
freely given and are not human remains as defined in 43 C.F.R. 10.2
In 1954, the staff was purchased from the Fred Harvey Company by
Francis V. Crane and Mary W. A. Crane. The Cranes then donated the
cultural item to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science along with the
larger Crane Collection in 1968. It was exhibited in the Denver Museum
of Nature & Science's Northwest Coast House until 2002.
The second cultural item is a Beaver headdress called S'igeidi
Shakee.at (A. C. 11345). Listed in museum purchase records as being
from circa 1890, this headdress consists of a carved wooden frontlet
with a beaver and is painted red and green with insets of abalone
shell. A panel is attached to a red cloth and the red cloth is
decorated with flicker feathers and ermine skins. A strip of white down
feathers travels across the back of the headdress. The headdress is
approximately 19 cm in length, 14 cm in width, and 6 cm in depth.
In 1973, Mary W. A. Crane purchased the headdress from Douglas C.
Ewing of New York, a dealer and collector. In 1976, Mrs. Crane donated
the headdress to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, as part of the
larger Crane collection. For a time, the headdress was placed in the
Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Northwest Coast Ceremonial Season
During consultation, representatives of the Central Council of the
Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes recounted the social and spiritual
importance of both cultural items and the rules of Tlingit cultural
property law. Also explained were the ritual uses of the objects and
the history of the beaver forming the landscape feature of Basket Bay
was recounted. A genealogy was also given demonstrating continuous
ownership of the crest from the founding of Angoon up to the present,
and that the Deisheetaan Clan has a right to the Beaver crest. One of
the caretaker's brothers, Kaakwajee, of Angoon, was photographed
holding the staff in 1904. Tlingit tribal members identified Kaakwajee
and noted that he belonged to the Deisheetaan Clan, Basket Bay Arch
House. It is not known how the staff left the clan's possession.
Museum records document the history of the cultural items from the
time they were sold by the dealers to the Cranes. Tlingit of the Basket
Bay Arch House of the Deisheetaan Clan of Angoon, AK, are members of
the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes.
Officials of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science have determined
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(C), the two cultural items 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 Denver
Museum of Nature & Science have also determined that, pursuant to 25
U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), the two cultural items have ongoing historical,
traditional, or cultural importance central to the Native American
group or culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual.
Lastly, officials of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science have
determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (2), there is a
relationship of shared group identity which can be reasonably traced
between the sacred objects/objects of cultural patrimony and the
Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes.
Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to
be culturally affiliated with the sacred objects/objects of cultural
patrimony should contact Dr. Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Curator of
Anthropology, NAGPRA Officer, Department of Anthropology, Denver Museum
of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205,
telephone (303) 370-6378, before November 30, 2007. Repatriation of the
sacred objects/objects of cultural patrimony to the Central Council of
the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes on behalf of the Basket Bay Arch
House of the Deisheetaan Clan of Angoon, AK, may proceed after that
date if no additional claimants come forward.
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is responsible for notifying
the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes that this
notice has been published.
Dated: October 3, 2007.
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E7-21365 Filed 10-30-07; 8:45 am]
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