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Detail of Plateau Bag (NMNH catalog no. E204234)
Executive Summary

Inventory and Assessment of Human Remains from the Rogue River Area of Oregon in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Region:Northwest Coast
Associated Cultures: Rogue River, Tolowa, Tututni, Siletz, Grand Ronde, Galice Creek, Applegate River, Shasta Costa, Upper Coquille, Upper Umpqua, Chetco, Takelma, Shasta

2010

This report was initiated in response to a request from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon for the return of culturally affiliated human remains.  An internal review of records indicated that remains sent from Port Orford, Curry County, Oregon of a person killed during the Rogue River War were not addressed in the museum’s previous response to the tribe’s 1993 repatriation request.  Neither the tribe nor the museum had previously recognized the remains as potentially affiliated, probably because the database catalog information for the NMNH does not mention the Rogue River War and only lists Port Orford, Oregon as the provenience.  Upon closer examination of the associated records, the remains are not from Port Orford, but were only sent to the museum from there in 1859 by R. W. Dunbar.  The individual was purportedly killed in 1856 during the Rogue River War in a battle on or near the Rogue River.  It is possible that this battle was the Gold Beach Uprising of February 23, 1856, since the collector was present at this encounter and wrote about it to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs at the time.  However, it is also possible that this individual was killed at another battle or encounter on the Rogue River.
                                                                                                                                                                                 
This report documents the human remains of a female individual in the NMNH killed during the Rogue River War.  No funerary objects were identified in the collections of the NMNH as associated with this individual. 

Survivors of the Rogue River War were removed to the Grand Ronde and Siletz reservations. Human remains from the Rogue River War have therefore been culturally affiliated with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon.  It is recommended that these remains be offered for repatriation jointly to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon. 

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Smithsonian Institute - National Mueseum of Natural History