FR Doc E9-25966[Federal Register: October 28, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 207)]
[Page 55576-55577]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



National Park Service
Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Peabody Museum of 
Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.
    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 Peabody Museum of 
Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, that meet 
the definition of "unassociated funerary objects" under 25 U.S.C. 
    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 32 unassociated funerary objects are 1 wooden warrior's helmet 
(69-30-10/1587); 3 wooden humanoid masks (69-30-10/1604; 69-30-10/1677; 
and 69-30-10/1678); 1 mosquito frontlet mask (69-30-10/1607); 1 small 
shaman's spirit mask (69-30-10/1667); 1 wooden box depicting a human 
figure in bondage (69-30-10/1673); 2 wooden carvings (69-30-10/1674 - 
1675); 1 wooden octopus mask (69-30-10/1679); 1 wand with carved eagle 
head design (69-30-10/1690); 1 shaman's mask (69-30-10/1699); 2 
shaman's tools (69-30-10/1719 -1720); 1 wooden wand (69-30-10/1764); 2 
wooden rattles (69-30-10/1779 - 1780); 1 oystercatcher rattle (69-30-
10/1785); 1 carved argillite dish (69-30-10/1841); 1 greenstone 
grinding tool (69-30-10/1842); 1 carved wood and metal pipe (69-30-10/
1853); 1 wooden pipe depicting a bird (69-30-10/1867); 1 wooden pipe 
depicting killer whales (69-30-10/1872); 1 carved wood and metal pipe 
(69-30-10/1875); 1 wooden and metal pipe in the shape of a frog (69-30-
10/1876); 1 wooden pipe carved in shallow relief (69-30-10/1880); 1 
ivory carving (69-30-10/1909); 1 ivory charm (69-30-10/1915); 1 gaming 
piece (69-30-10/1965); 1 shaman's necklace strung with copper wire (69-
30-10/1989) ; 1 carved horn (69-30-10/2037); and 1 wooden figure 
depicting a brown bear (69-30-10/2039). The Peabody Museum of 
Archaeology and Ethnology is not in possession of the human remains.
    In 1869, the 32 unassociated funerary objects were purchased by the 
Peabody Museum from Edward G. Fast. The totality of the evidence 
indicates that these items came from Tlingit territory in the area of 
southeast Alaska. Edward Fast wrote that he collected all of these 
items from "that portion of the [Alaskan] territory south of Mount St. 
Elias" while he was stationed in Sitka, AK, between October 1867 and 
July 1868. However, additional historical sources indicate that a 
portion of Fast's collection came from the Russian American Company's 
museum and was collected by the Russian scholar I.G. Voznesenskii.
    Museum documentation, combined with other sources, indicates that 
the cultural items were likely recovered from grave contexts. These 
items most likely date to the Historic period, specifically to the 19th 
century. Anthropological and historic information indicate that the 
area south of Mount St. Elias in the state of Alaska is within the 
traditional and historic territory of the Tlingit people. Present-day 
Tlingit people are represented by Sealaska Corporation, a Native 
corporation representing Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples within 
the southeastern part of Alaska.
    Officials of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology have

[[Page 55577]]

determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(B), the 32 cultural 
items are reasonably believed to have been placed with or near 
individual human remains at the time of death or later as part of the 
death rite or ceremony and are believed, by a preponderance of the 
evidence, to have been removed from specific burial sites of Native 
American individuals. Officials of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology 
and Ethnology 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 unassociated funerary objects and the 
Tlingit, represented by Sealaska Corporation.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the unassociated funerary objects should 
contact Patricia Capone, Repatriation Coordinator, Peabody Museum of 
Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge, MA 02138, telephone (617) 496-
3702, before November 27, 2009. Repatriation of the unassociated 
funerary objects to Sealaska Corporation may proceed after that date if 
no additional claimants come forward.
    The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is responsible for 
notifying the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes, 
Kootznoowoo Inc., Sealaska Corporation, Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and 
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe.

    Dated: October 8, 2009
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-25966 Filed 10-27-09; 8:45 am]


Back to the top