FR Doc 2010-10787[Federal Register: May 7, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 88)]
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: Rochester Museum &
Science Center, Rochester, NY
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 Rochester Museum
& Science Center, Rochester, NY, that meet the definitions of "sacred
objects" and "objects 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.
Between 1923 and 1966, the Rochester Museum & Science Center
acquired from various sources 10 medicine faces made by members of the
Tonawanda Seneca Nation.
In 1923, a large wooden medicine face was collected by Edward D.
Putnam, Curator, Rochester Museum, Rochester, NY, on the Tonawanda
Reservation. It was accessioned into the museum's collection on August
25, 1923 (AE 383/23.32.61). According to museum documentation, "This
is a shaman's mask used by the Seneca False Face Company in curing
diseases by invoking the spirit of the myth creature represented by the
In 1929, the museum accessioned two large wooden medicine faces
that were collected by James Skye from the Tonawanda Reservation (AE
1673/29.270.1, made circa 1900; and AE 1689/29.270.2, made circa 1920).
In 1929, the museum purchased a large wooden medicine face with a
medicine bag attached to it from Alvin Dewey, Rochester, NY (AE 2871/D
4974/29.259.18). According to the catalog card by Dewey, it was "Last
used by Chauncey Abrams of Tonawanda Reservation."
In 1929, a large wooden medicine face was purchased from Alvin
Dewey, Rochester, NY (AE 2873/29.259.20). In June 1916, Mr. Dewey had
purchased the medicine face from William S. Wakeman, Batavia, NY.
Before selling it to the museum, it was lent to Arthur C. Parker, State
Archeologist, on December 23, 1923. At that time, it was reported to
have been 75 years old.
In March 1966, the museum purchased five large medicine faces from
Kidd Smith that were made on the Tonawanda Seneca Reservation, circa
1960. Four are identified as being simply wooden medicine faces (AE
10256/66.356.1, AE 10271/66.356.3, AE 10272/66.356.4 and AE 10273/
66.356.5) with the fifth medicine face being made of basswood (AE
Museum documentation, supported by oral evidence presented during
consultation by Tonawanda Seneca Nation NAGPRA representatives,
indicates that these medicine faces are culturally affiliated with the
Tonawanda Seneca Nation. Tonawanda Seneca Nation traditional religious
leaders have identified these medicine faces as being needed for the
practice of traditional Native American religions by present-day
adherents. During consultation, it was shown that individuals who
carved a face did not have the authority to alienate it to a third
party or sell it indirectly to the Rochester Museum & Science Center.
Therefore, based on consultation with NAGPRA representatives from the
Tonawanda Seneca Nation and other Haudenosaunee and non-Haudenosaunee
consultants, the museum has determined that the medicine faces are both
sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony.
Officials of the Rochester Museum & Science Center have determined
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(C), the 10 cultural items described
above 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
Rochester Museum & Science Center have also determined that, pursuant
to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(D), the 10 cultural items described above have 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 objects/objects of cultural patrimony and the
Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians of New York.
Representatives of any other Indian Nation or tribe that believes
itself to be culturally affiliated with the sacred objects/objects of
cultural patrimony should contact Adele DeRosa, NAGPRA
Coordinator/Collections Manager, Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657
East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607, telephone (585) 271-4552, ext 302,
before June 7, 2010. Repatriation of the sacred objects/objects of
cultural patrimony to the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians of New York
may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
The Rochester Museum & Science Center is responsible for notifying
the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians of New York that this notice has
Dated: April 27, 2010.
Acting Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2010-10787 Filed 5-6-10; 8:45 am]
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