An Exploration of the Kennewick Man Controversy
The Kennewick Man contention is one of the most good known federal tribunal instances covering with NAGPRA and Anthropological research. The instance is influential for Native Americans, Anthropologists, Archaeologists, and federal jurisprudence shapers likewise. Though it lasted many old ages and endured a really rough route, the Kennewick Man instance will function as a great illustration and larning tool to anthropologists of today, tomorrow, and old ages to come.
Kennewick Man has a great significance to anthropology and archeology for assorted grounds. It is possibly the most influential illustration of how the NAGPRA Torahs affect anthropologists and the complications that can come with the deficiency of lucidity in those Torahs. Kennewick Man besides has influenced anthropology by being one of the oldest and most complete human skeletal remains found in North America, which led to new information on beginning due to his skull morphology. “As one of the best-preserved New World skeletons of the period, the Kennewick specimen has the possible to lend greatly to this treatment, but it may be reburied before scientists can analyze it further” ( Slayman, hypertext transfer protocol: //www.archaeology.org ) . The true significance of the Kennewick adult male can non yet be to the full explained because all of the scientific findings have yet to be concluded. We can merely trust that the hereafter research will ensue in the anthropology detecting more replies that can take us to greater in-depth cognition of who we are, how we got here and how humanity originated.
Kennewick adult male can decidedly be considered an ethical argument, when looking at the procedure from both a Native American ‘s spiritual and cultural position, every bit good as from an anthropological and scientific position. The ethical argument from the position of the Northwest Indian tribes to claim the remains is that harmonizing to their apprehension of NAGPRA jurisprudence they had “cultural affiliation” to the Kennewick Man, doing those folks responsible for the traditional religious and cultural attention of those remains – and moreover going their belongings. Vine Deloria, Jr. , a professor from the University of Colorado and Standing Rock Sioux native writes on the topic, siding with Native Americans saying that
“Archaeology has ever been dominated by those who wave “science” in forepart of us like an unlimited recognition card, and we have deferred to them – believing that they represent the subject in an nonsubjective and indifferent mode. Yet the find of a skeleton in the Colombia River… led to an overly baffled lawsuit..and a spade of claims by bookmans that this skeleton could rewrite the history of the Western Hemisphere.” ( Thomas, Page xviii ) .
Because of their ethical standing, the scientific justification is non needfully an of import statement for US Anthropologists to maintain the remains. The whole logical thinking behind the NAGPRA Torahs should hold, in their sentiment, given them all rights to the remains – which would hold in bend prevented the remains from being studied further.
When sing this as an ethical argument through an anthropological position, it comes down to the scientific importance of being able to analyze the remains.
“Archaeologist Rob Bonnichsen was quoted as stating: ‘There ‘s a whole book of information [ in Kennewick Man ‘s castanetss ] . To set him back in the land is like firing a rare book so we ‘ll larn nil. . . .It seems to be the instance that there is a major attempt to barricade scientific enquiry into the survey of American beginnings ‘ ( O’Hagan, 1998: 8 ) .” ( Watkins, Page 13 )
The consequences of farther researching the Kennewick Man would do it possible to obtain replies that would profit non merely the Native Americans of North America, but humanity as a whole. Anthropology is in kernel the holistic survey of world, and utilizing the well preserved pieces of our yesteryear such as the Kennewick adult male, can most decidedly caducous new visible radiation on origin theories and lead to finds of our yesteryear.
NAGPRA is the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, is a jurisprudence which was passed by the federal authorities in 1990 to supply “a procedure for museums and Federal bureaus to return certain Native American cultural points — human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony – to lineal posterities, culturally attached Indian folk, and Native Hawaiian organizations.” ( www.nps.gov/nagpra ) . NAGPRA states that these cultural points will be repatriated to the Native Americans if they can turn out cultural association to the points in inquiry. “Cultural association is established when the preponderance of the grounds — based on geographical, affinity, biological, archaeological, lingual, folklore, unwritten tradition, historical grounds, or other information or adept sentiment — moderately leads to such a conclusion.” ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.nps.gov/nagpra/TRAINING/Cultural_Affiliation.pdf )
In order to try at clear uping the finding of cultural association, certain guidelines have been set in topographic point.
“All of the undermentioned demands must be met to find cultural association between a contemporary Indian folk or Native Hawaiian organisation and the human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony of an earlier group:
( 1 ) Being of an identifiable contemporary Indian folk or Native Hawaiian organisation with standing under these ordinances and the Act ; and
( 2 ) Evidence of the being of an identifiable earlier group. Support for this demand may include, but is non needfully limited to grounds sufficient to:
( I ) Establish the individuality and cultural features of the earlier group,
( two ) Document distinguishable forms of material civilization industry and distribution methods for the earlier group, or
( three ) Establish the being of the earlier group as a biologically distinguishable population ; and
( 3 ) Evidence of the being of a shared group individuality that can be moderately traced between the contemporary Indian folk or Native Hawaiian organisation and the earlier group. Evidence to back up this demand must set up that a contemporary Indian folk or Native Hawaiian organisation has been identified from prehistoric or historic times to the present as falling from the earlier group.” ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.nps.gov/nagpra/TRAINING/Cultural_Affiliation.pdf )
In the Kennewick Man contention, The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers was responsible for the land on which the Kennewick Man was found, ab initio doing him the belongings of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. They had chosen to let anthropologists to analyze the remains to seek and bring out some replies in the enigma of the Kennewick Man. After through NAGPRA, the remains were ordered to be returned to the local Native Americans, the Scientists and Army Corps decided to seek and prosecute an entreaty with NAGPRA. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers where shortly after involved in a Federal tribunal instance to find to whom the remains should belong. Since the Kennewick Man was discovered on their belongings, the remains became that federal bureau ‘s duty. After the concluding opinion, it was ordered that the Kennewick adult male stay belongings of the Army Corps.
The Kennewick argument involved a US Federal Court instance between the Northwest Native American folk ( the Umatilla, Yakama, Nez Perce, Wanapum and Colville ) who laid claim over the Kennewick Mans remains, and the US Army Corps of Engineers ‘ Scientists who were responsible for the remains because they were discovered on their belongings. The archeologists and physical anthropologists analyzing the remains argued that the significant significance of the remains could assist reply many inquiries of human in-migration into North America. These scientists were the complainant in the instance. After farther survey of the remains the Department of the Interior and National Park Service, in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers were able to happen concluding to confute exact cultural association with the Native America Tribes, saying that NAGPRA Torahs did non use to the Kennewick Man ‘s instance.
The Anthropologists want to further analyze the remains because they are one of the oldest, most good preserved and complete homo remains of all time to be found in the Western Hemisphere. By analyzing the castanetss, we could happen replies to when and how worlds foremost entered North America, every bit good as information about the Kennewick Man ‘s decease, civilization and life style. The Native American folks did non desire him studied because if he were culturally affiliated with the folks, they would be responsible for guaranting the Kennewick Man ‘s proper entombment. Defacing or analyzing the remains would be against their spiritual, religious and cultural beliefs.
The Plaintiff Scientists in the instance were comprised of eight anthropologists and archaeologists brought together for the right to analyze the remains and halt repatriation.
“The eight complainants in Bonnichsen v. United States included five physical anthropologists ( C. Loring Brace, Richard Jantz, Douglas Owsley, George Gill, and D. Gentry Steele ) and three archaeologists ( Robson Bonnichsen, Dennis J. Stanford, and C. Vance Haynes Jr. ) . Owsley and Stanford were at the Smithsonian Institution and the others held university positions.“ ( Oldham, www.historylink.org )
The suspect party consisted of the five Native American folks claiming cultural association to the remains and advancing the repatriation of the Kennewick adult male. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers were in charge of the remains, and along with the Department of the Interior and National Park Service furthered the surveies to find the beginning of the Kennewick Man ‘s lineage and line of descent for proper association.
The Kennewick Man instance was eventually concluded, and the opinion was in favour of the complainant scientists.
“The scientific community should be allowed to analyze the 9,000-year- old human castanetss known as Kennewick Man, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled … rejecting an entreaty by several folks claiming affinity and seeking to rebury the remains… The three-judge panel, with an sentiment written by Judge Ronald Gould, upheld a District Court determination that the folks have shown no direct affinity to the remains and have no such authority.” ( Paulson, www.Seattlepi.com )
Today the remains of the controversial Kennewick Man reside in the Burke Museum at the University of Washington, where scientists continue to analyze the remains. The opinion and scientific surveies proved that the line of descent of the Kennewick adult male was more Caucasic than Native American, hence dissociating him with Native American association and taking him from NAGPRA ordinances.
In the controversial instance affecting the Kennewick Man, I am pleased with the result. I side with the scientists, admiting the significance of analyzing the Kennewick Man ‘s remains. Because the Kennewick Man was proven to be non of Native American line of descent, it seems inarguable that the instance be removed from under NAGPRA Torahs. The possible replies that can come from the future surveies of the Kennewick Man are so huge that I can merely wait with exhilaration for consequences to come from these surveies. With Archaeology and Anthropology technologically progressing more and more every twenty-four hours, it is a great unmeasurable triumph for scientific discipline to be able to dispute and win such an influential instance as this one.
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