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Detail of Plateau Bag (NMNH catalog no. E204234)

Executive Summary

Human Remains Attributed to the Blackfeet at the National Museum of Natural History

Region: Plains
Associated Cultures: Blackfeet

In November, 1985, the NMNH sent to all tribes within the continental United States a letter discussing Native American human remains in its collection and a computer summary of those remains by state. After receiving this summary, the Blackfeet Nation in March 1986 requested information on human remains that may be cultural affiliated with the Blackfeet from Montana. After a review of all of the remains from Montana by the NMNH, the skeletal remains of 16 individuals in 16 catalog numbers were identified as Blackfeet. Archival records indicate the 15 crania, one radius, one ulna and ten metal bracelets were removed from an historic Blackfeet cemetery in 1892 by individuals collecting for the Army Medical Museum. The remains and objects were transferred from the Army Medical Museum to the Smithsonian in 1904. One individual was associated with one copper and nine iron bracelets. In 1988, these remains and funerary objects were repatriated to the Blackfeet.

Smithsonian Institute - National Mueseum of Natural History