Cultural Affiliation: Caddo
This report provides an inventory and assessment of the cultural affiliation of the human remains and funerary objects in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) from the Fish Hatchery Site (16NA9), Louisiana. This report documents human remains and funerary objects from a single site in Louisiana in partial response to a request from the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma.
This report documents the human remains of a minimum of two individuals in the collections of the NMNH that are cataloged in a single number, P362447, and ceramic objects that were recovered from the Fish Hatchery Site that were cataloged under six numbers. These remains were excavated by Winslow Walker in 1931 and sent by him to the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE). The remains were transferred from the BAE and accessioned into the collections of the NMNH in October of 1931. During osteological documentation, it was determined that the human remains in P362447 are those of two different individuals.
The Fish Hatchery Site was utilized as a cemetery by people whose material culture has been archaeologically described as the Lawton phase. The Lawton phase has been archaeologically identified as representing the Natchitoches tribe. The Natchitoches were forced to sell their lands and were removed from their homelands in Louisiana to Oklahoma in the nineteenth century. They united with Caddo people from the other confederacies, the Hasinai and the Kadohadacho. The cultural affiliation of the individuals buried at the Fish Hatchery Site is demonstrated to be with the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma. It was recommended that these remains be offered for repatriation to the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma. The ceramic vessels in catalog numbers A367182 and A367183 were been identified as those originally placed in the burial of the individual given catalog number P362447. The remainder of the ceramic objects that were recovered from the Fish Hatchery Site were determined to be unassociated funerary objects. It was recommended that they be offered for repatriation to the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma. The snail shell in catalog number A558541 located during examination of the human remains was not found to be a funerary object. It was recommended that the NMNH retain this snail shell.
The human remains and funerary objects were repatriated to the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma on October 24, 2007.
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