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Anthropology 2231F/G Lecture Notes - Biocultural Diversity, Patrilineality, Food Processing

Course Code
ANTH 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

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Lecture 27 Northwest Coast
British Columbia, Washington, Oregon
o E.g. Kwakwaka’wakw
Biocultural Diversity
o Biodiversity and cultural diversity seen as a single entity
o Lot of ecological diversity
o 11 different languages with several different dialects
Complex Hunter-Gatherers or Affluent Forager
o No agriculture or pottery
No maize, beans, squash, etc.
o Had huge villages and complex kinship systems
o Semi-Sedentism and Entrenched mobility
Not nomadic
Moved residences far less often, complex mobility
1000-2000 people, returned to same sites every year
o Intensive Resource Management
Large amounts of processed and stored foods
Salmon, herring, halibut, clams, camas bulbs, Wapato,
sea mammals, deer/elk
Salmon berries used almost as currency
Clam beds or gardens used to encourage clams to settle there
in the calm water, thousands of clams there
Wapato: onion-like bulbs, women cut them with there feet in
the water, but them into baskets
Ceremonial distinction of tasks, certain families for certain
tasks, etc.
o Household Unit
Society household based
30-100 people, as many as 20 families in a single house
Clans, lineages
From real or fictitious ancestor
North matrilineal, south patrilineal
Also based on time of year of marriage, etc.
Territory owned by families or groups
Took territoriality very seriously
Anything that washed up on shore belonged to the elite
member of society, usually a chief
Basic economic, social and residential unit
Houses had:
1. Theatre or stage for social and spiritual and theatre
2. Shelters in damp northwest coast climate
3. Food processing factories
4. Physical manifestation of social rank
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