[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 93 (Friday, May 13, 2011)]
[Page 28065]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-11869]



National Park Service


Notice of Intent To Repatriate a Cultural Item: Montana 
Historical Society, Helena, MT

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 a cultural item in the possession of the Montana 
Historical Society, Helena, MT, that meets the definition of a sacred 
object 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.
    The cultural item is a split horn bonnet headdress (X1892.01.38), 
which has a cap of animal skin and is covered with strips of ermine. 
The split horns are attached at either side and are wrapped with a 
woven wool sash of predominately red wool. Yellow or green twill weave 
tape is tied to the base of the horns along with a different pattern of 
red sash. The horn tips are joined by a strand of blue and white beads. 
The tips are decorated with blue and yellow horse hair, brass hawk 
bells, ermine strips with red feathers, and large blue beads. At the 
base of the horns are 16 inch strands of red wool yarn in a bundle. 
Ermine tubes around the lower edge of the cap are 10-12 inches long. 
The ermine strips and tubes are attached in a variety of ways. They are 
decorated with either large beads, red wool yarn, red and blue 
feathers, or porcupine quills. Running horizontally under the ermine on 
the outside of the cap are six brass buttons decorated in low relief 
with floral and leaf motifs. The buttons are inserted into the cap by 
means of a shank, and have been secured inside the cap with a strip of 
leather through the eyes. Below the buttons, at the base of the cap, is 
a piece of leather in upside down ``V'' pattern. A narrow strip of 
leather appears to lace across this area. A red stroud strip is just 
above the face.
    According to museum records this bonnet was acquired by Major R. A. 
Allen ``from the Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegan Indians,'' while serving 
as the United States Indian Agent for the Blackfeet Agency, Montana 
Territory, between 1884 and 1886. In 1892, Allen loaned it to the 
Montana Historical Society. Subsequently, it was purchased by William 
Andrus Clark, who donated it to the Society's collections in 1900.
    Consultation with Blackfeet tribal and religious leaders confirmed 
that the bonnet originated from the Blackfeet, it is a ceremonial 
artifact associated with a religious society, and it is required for 
the practice of a traditional religion by contemporary adherents. The 
present-day Blackfoot Confederacy (Blackfeet Tribe, Blood Nation of 
Montana, Piegan Nation of Canada, and the Siksika Nation of Canada) is 
descended from the four tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy as 
constituted during the 1880s, and is represented in the United States 
by the Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana.
    Officials of the Montana Historical Society have determined, 
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(C), that the one cultural item is a 
specific ceremonial object needed by traditional Native American 
religious leaders for the practice of traditional Native American 
religions by present-day adherents. Officials of the Montana Historical 
Society also have determined, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), that there 
is a relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably 
traced between the sacred object and the Blackfoot Confederacy, which 
is represented by the Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian 
Reservation of Montana.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the sacred object should contact Jennifer 
Bottomly-O'looney, Curator, Montana Historical Society, 225 North 
Roberts St., Helena, MT 59620, telephone (406) 444-4711, before June 
13, 2011. Repatriation of the sacred object to the Blackfeet Tribe of 
the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana may proceed after that date 
if no additional claimants come forward.
    The Montana Historical Society is responsible for notifying the 
Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana that 
this notice has been published.

    Dated: May 9, 2011.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2011-11869 Filed 5-12-11; 8:45 am]

Back to the top