FR Doc E8-3457[Federal Register: February 25, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 37)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
National Park Service
Notice of Intent to Repatriate a Cultural Item: Alaska State
Museum, Juneau, 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 a cultural item in the possession of the Alaska State
Museum, Juneau, AK, which meets the definition of "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 one cultural item is the Woodzix[eacute]edi Gooch Naazein
Kud[aacute]s' or Multiplying Wolf Tunic (ASM catalogue number II-B-
1356). The tunic is woven in the Chilkat technique, made by an unknown
weaver in the style common in the late 19th century. The one-piece,
sleeveless tunic is worn draped over the shoulders and over other
clothing by both men and women. It has a figurative design of wolves
woven on the front and geometric designs on the back. One side of the
tunic is permanently closed, while the other side closes with leather
ties. The tunic is hand woven from cedar bark, mountain goat wool, and
commercial wool, and the design figures are dyed black, blue, and
yellow, on a natural white background.
The "multiplying wolf" design depicted on the tunic is a primary
crest of the Wolf House of the Kaagwaantaan clan of Sitka, AK. The
ceremonial use of the tunic by members of the Wolf House is documented
in photos from the late 19th century to early 20th century. Several
images show the tunic being worn by Jake Yarquan (Yaak waan), a leader
of the Wolf House who was most likely the caretaker of the tunic.
Following Mr. Yarquan's death, the tunic was purchased from his widow,
Lily Yarkwan, by the Historical Library and Museum Commission, and
donated to the Alaska Historical Library and Museum, Territory of
Alaska (now known as the Alaska State Museum).
Under Tlingit law, the tunic is considered at.oow of the Wolf House
of the Sitka Kaagwaantaan, and is by definition the property of the
group. Based on Tlingit law, the tunic is an object of cultural
patrimony and has ongoing cultural importance to the clan. While at.oow
is cared for by a clan leader it remains communal property. In this
case, the tunic was alienated by the widow of the caretaker, Lily
Yarkwan, who belonged to another clan. According to museum records,
Mrs. Yarkwan presented herself as legal owner of the tunic to museum
officials, who subsequently purchased it in good faith. There is no
evidence that the Wolf House itself was directly involved in the
alienation or that the transaction was handled in accordance with
The Alaska State Museum has received claims for this object by the
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes (on behalf of Mr. Andrew
Gamble, a leader of the Wolf House), and by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska
(on behalf of Mr. Herman Kitka, a clan leader of the Wolf House).
During consultation with the tribes and clan officials, the parties
presented similar information on the details, meaning, and history of
the tunic, as well as traditional Tlingit law, but differed regarding
the present leadership of the Wolf House. All parties agreed that the
tunic is an object of cultural patrimony and was alienated without the
consent of the Wolf House.
Officials of the Alaska State Museum have determined that, pursuant
to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), the tunic has ongoing historical,
traditional, or cultural importance central to the Native American
group or culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual.
Officials of the Alaska State Museum also have determined that,
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (13), the museum does not have right of
possession to the object of cultural patrimony. Lastly, officials of
the Alaska State Museum 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 object of cultural patrimony and the
Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes and Sitka Tribe of
Alaska, both acting on behalf of leaders of the Wolf House of the Sitka
Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to
be culturally affiliated with the object of cultural patrimony should
contact Mr. Bruce Kato, Chief Curator, Alaska State Museum, 395
Whittier Street, Juneau, AK 99801-1718, telephone (907) 465-2901,
before March 26, 2008. Repatriation of the object of cultural patrimony
to the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes and/or
Sitka Tribe of Alaska, on behalf of the Wolf House of the Sitka
Kaagwaantaan clan, may proceed after that date if no additional
claimants come forward.
Dated: January 22, 2008
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E8-3457 Filed 2-22-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-S
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