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Detail of Plateau Bag (NMNH catalog no. E204234)

Executive Summary

Inventory and Assessment of a Stone Pendant (A017905) Requested by the Mohegan Tribe

Region: Northeast
Associated Cultures: Mohegan, Pequot

In compliance with 20 U.S.C. 80q et seq. (Public Law 101-185), the National Museum of the American Indian Act, and Public Law 104-278 (NMAI Act Amendments of 1996), this report provides an inventory and assessment of a pendant housed in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) claimed by the Mohegan as a culturally affiliated funerary object. The Museum holds no human remains associated with this object.

In 1996, representatives of the Mohegan visited the NMNH to review all archeological collections from Connecticut. Of the objects viewed, the Mohegan representatives identified a stone pendant which they believe to be an unassociated funerary object culturally affiliated with their tribe. In response to a request by the Mohegan Tribe for the return of this object, documentation was initiated in 1998. This report provides documentation of a single catalog number, A017905-, a stone pendant collected from Norwich, Connecticut by Mr. James H. Clark of Newport, Rhode Island. The pendant was donated to the Smithsonian in 1875 as part of Accession 4159.

Based on the preponderance of available evidence, which includes museum records, archival records, published accounts, oral historical information, typology, iconography, the condition of the objects, and expert opinion, it is found that the stone pendant (A017905-) is an unassociated funerary object culturally affiliated with the Mohegan. As the Museum lacks the records to establish that it has the right of possession to the pendant, it was recommended that the pendant be offered for return to the Mohegan Tribe.

Repatriation Update
The stone pendant was repatriated to the Mohegan Tribe on May 25, 2006.

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Smithsonian Institute - National Mueseum of Natural History