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AN201 - The North Pacific Coast Notes.docx

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Byron Williston

The North Pacific Coast  South Alaska to Washington  Coastal mountains to the ocean  Language groups o Tlingdit, haida, tsimshian, wakashan, salish  Marine, riverine fishers, sea mammal hunters, forest hunters o Seals, sea lions, sea otters Climate o Cool summers, mild winters, high precipitation o 2 main weather systems o Change from winter to summer o Significant variations due to mountains o Frost free 50-250 days of the year o Western European climate o The sea: o Reacts to climate and tides Flora o Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Western Red Cider, Yellow Cider Wildlife o Fish o 6 species of salmon  Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Pink, Chum, Steelhead o Rivers, Lakes  Kokanee, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Sturgeon o Sea  Cod, Halibut, Flounder, Eulachon, Smelt, Tuna, Dogfish o Marine Invertebrates  Mussels, Oysters, Clams, Snails, Crabs Sea mammals o Harbor seal, Fur seal, Sea lion, Sea otter, Porpoise, Dolphin, Orca (Blackfish), Humpback, Gray sperm whales Birds o Sea species  Albatross, Fulmar, Auk, Puffin, Murre, Cormorant o Migratory Species  Swans, Geese, Ducks o Upland Species  Ptarmigan, Grouse, Pigeon, Quail Land mammals o Black and white-tailed Deer, Elk, Mountain Goat, Sheep, Moose, Woodland Caribou, Black, Grizzly Bear o Furbearers: Beaver, Otter, Lynx, Cougar, Material Culture  Wood o Most dominant resource o Highly developed techniques o Built houses, canoes, poles  Stone o Inuksuk’s o Houses o Tools Peoples/Languages o Basic social unit  village o Inter-village trade, potlatch, kinship ties o Inter-village warfare, slave capture o Regional distinctions o Linguistic, cultural o Two main areas: o North Maritime: Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian o Central: Nuchulnuth, Kwakiutl, Coast & Interior Salish 1. The North Maritime Survival Cycles: o Two seasons: Work/ Ritual, Outdoors/Indoors, Winter Village/ Summer Settlements o Spring o Head to sea or rivers to hunt  Shellfish, Halibut, Porpoise, Seal o Bear Hunting (Tlingit) o Late Spring/Summer o Salmon runs, Gathering berries, edible roots, bark o Late summer o Last salmon runs (Chum) Activities, Exploitive, Trade o Three recurrent themes: o Ownership o Kinship, o Rank/status o Resources valued, used according to seasonal availability; o Resources owned by kin groups, villages o Fishing sites, berry grounds, hunting territory, adjacent seas, river mouths o Ownership is corporate, but regulated by senior persons in village or lineage o Trade o Extensive  local specialties traded between groups:  Eulachan, Seaweeds, Copper  Canoes, Boxes, Slaves  Inter group/ Intragroup trade  trading partnerships  Trade distinct from pot latching Division of Labor/Gender Relations o Division of Labor  Gender based o Men o Sea hunting, forest hunting, warfare, political leadership, carving crafts, ritual leadership, shamanic roles o Women o Gathering, food preparation, weaving, households, child care, sometimes curing o Matriliny  high female status: o Haida value their daughters  Sky Woman: original ancestress Social Organization o Village  basic unit of community life o Autonomous economically and politically o One or more Great Houses (30 – 60 residents) o Inter-village relations: o Trade, Warfare, Inter-marriage, Kin ties o Winter and Summer sites (Summer – sometimes temporary camps) o Village chief  senior male of senior lineage o Chief and Wife: “Owners” of village Kinship Structure o Haida and Tlingit clans  Raven, Eagle (or Wolf) moieties o Tsimshian: 4 clans: Killer Whale, Wolf, Eagle, Raven o Moieties composed of 23(Haida)/30(Tlingit) lineages o Lineage members scattered o Moieties, Clans, Lineages exogamous o Marry outside of clan o Owned ceremonial property o Crests, Names, Songs, Stories, Dances – right of use o Crests displayed on poles, houses, clothing, body painting/tattoos, canoes, weapons, utensils o Crest images  Anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, spirit beings, land features Family • Crow System • One of the six major kinship systems o (Eskimo, Hawaiian, Iroquois, Omaha, Sudanese and CROW) o Somewhat similar to the Iroquois system, but distinguishes between the mother's side and the father's side. Relatives on the mother's side of the family have more descriptive terms, and relatives on the father's side have more classificatory terms Marriage o Mother‟s kin – consanguine (blood relation), reserved, respect o Father‟s kin - joking relationships, flirtation- potential mates o Marriages arranged (high status families) o Preference: Cross-cousins o Polygyny rare Cosmology/Religion o „Sacred Geography‟ – order of universe o Beliefs about humans and animals are very complex o Tlingit Body: o Flesh is the outer covering o Bones are the “real” body  8 bones  Right forearm, right upper arm, left forearm, left upper arm, right thigh, right lower leg, left thigh, left lower leg o Tlingit cremated dead o Several incorporeal parts o Breath/inner being/immortal spirit  reincarnated  “yahaayi” o Animals have spirits, minds  apart of societies o Demanded respect o Haida made offerings of feathers, oil andtobacco to animal spirits 2. The Central Maritime Language/Peoples o Coastal and Inland Salish o Named regional groups o 22 Nuchulnuth o 23 Kwakiutl o 40+ Salish o Regional groups composed of villages o Intermarried, traded, fought o Regional groups dialectically distinct o Common ancestors Survival o Exploitive cycles  similar to North Maritime o Sea, coastal waters, rivers, forests o Varied hunting (Whaling, wildfowl, inland hunting) o Rich resources o Extensive use of plant foods o Salmon consistently important throughout o Whaling  sacred activity Social Organization o Villages composed of „houses‟: extended, linked families o Strong emphasis on ranking and seniority o Descent o Ambilineal o Kinship o Bilateral o Kin Terms: Eskimo; Eskimo-Hawaiian Kinship Groups o Bilateral extended families o Important groups: Kwakiutl: Numaym o Strongly competitive o Goal: preservation/accumulation of symbolic wealth o Arranged marriages: consolidate privileges o Kwakiutl o Bridewealth  „Buying Back Wife‟ o Separation; Remarriage o Fictive marriages (Daughters to house posts) o Other forms of marriage: endogamy (marriage within group) Religion/Ceremonialism  Nawalak – sacred nature of world o Humans, animals, natural places, natural features  World is neither deterministic nor unpredictable o Animated by spiritual forces  Personal religion o Dealing with supernatural forces – prayers, offerings, songs  There are no specifically religious communal events  Shamanism – person who is empowered
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