FR Doc 2010-10376[Federal Register: May 4, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 85)]
[Notices]               
[Page 23800]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr04my10-115]                         


[[Page 23800]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Intent to Repatriate a Cultural Item: Rochester Museum 
& Science Center, Rochester, NY

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.
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    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 one cultural item in the possession of the Rochester 
Museum & Science Center, Rochester, NY, that meets 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 
item. The National Park Service is not responsible for the 
determinations in this notice.
    In 1961, the museum acquired a large wooden medicine face (AE 9499/
61.334.1) from the Rochester Museum Association that previously had 
purchased it from M.L. Philpott, Rochester, NY. According to the 
seller, it had belonged to his father-in-law, a worker on several 
estates in the Adirondacks, who received it from a Dr. Salisbury in 
approximately 1913.
    Original museum documentation stated that this medicine face could 
only be generally affiliated with the "Iroquois" (New York State or 
Canada). Oral evidence presented during consultation with 
representatives of the Haudenosaunee Standing Committee on Burial Rules 
and Regulations, as well as historical and anthropological scholarly 
materials, support the fact that the Onondaga Nation is the Keeper of 
the Central Fire of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and as such has the 
responsibility within the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to bring back 
national cultural patrimony and sacred objects that are affiliated with 
the "Iroquois" generally, and to return those objects to their 
rightful communities. Therefore, it is the understanding of all the 
Haudenosaunee Confederacy Nations that any medicine faces affiliated 
generally as "Iroquois" are affiliated with the Onondaga Nation.
    In the course of consultations with members of the Onondaga Nation, 
it was shown that any individual who carved a medicine face and 
alienated it to a third party that in turn donated it to the Rochester 
Museum & Science Center did not have the authority to do so. 
Furthermore, Onondaga Nation traditional religious leaders have 
identified this medicine face as being needed for the practice of 
traditional Native American religions by present-day adherents. Based 
on consultation with NAGPRA representatives from the Onondaga Nation 
and other Haudenosaunee and non-Haudenosaunee consultants, the museum 
has determined that the medicine face is both a sacred object and 
object of cultural patrimony. Accordingly, museum documentation, 
consultation and oral evidence show that this medicine face is a sacred 
object and an object of cultural patrimony, and that the medicine face 
can be culturally affiliated to the Onondaga Nation of New York on 
behalf of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Iroquois 
Confederacy or Six Nations, which includes the Mohawk, Oneida, 
Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora Nations that are in part 
represented by the following Federally-recognized tribes: Cayuga Nation 
of New York; Oneida Nation of New York; Oneida Tribe of Indians of 
Wisconsin; Onondaga Nation of New York; Seneca Nation of New York; 
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma; Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York; 
Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians of New York; and Tuscarora Nation of 
New York).
    Officials of the Rochester Museum & Science Center have determined, 
that pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(C), the one cultural item described 
above is a specific ceremonial object needed by traditional Native 
American religious leaders for the practice of traditional Native 
American religions by their present-day adherents. Officials of the 
Rochester Museum & Science Center have also determined that, pursuant 
to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(D), the one cultural item described above has an 
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 Rochester Museum & Science 
Center 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 sacred object/object of cultural patrimony and the Onondaga 
Nation of New York.
    Representatives of any other Indian Nation or tribe that believes 
itself to be culturally affiliated with the sacred object/object of 
cultural patrimony should contact Adele DeRosa, Rochester Museum & 
Science Center, Rochester, NY 14607, telephone (585) 271-4552, ext 302, 
before June 3, 2010. Repatriation of the sacred object/object of 
cultural patrimony to the Onondaga Nation of New York may proceed after 
that date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The Rochester Museum & Science Center is responsible for notifying 
the Onondaga Nation of New York that this notice has been published.

    Dated: April 27, 2010.
David Tarler,
Acting Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2010-10376 Filed 5-3-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-S



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