42 research outputs found

    MOCCASIN ECONOMICS: ENTANGLED MUSEUM STORIES OF NIITSITAPI WOMEN, LABOR, AND FOOTWEAR

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    This dissertation emphasizes how anthropologists can use museum collections as anthropological data banks (Sturtevant 1973) to uncover the unwritten histories of objects, people, and cultures. I show how museum collections are repositories for the untold stories of Native women’s economic histories and how objects embody women’s critical contributions to the economic, spiritual, and cultural survival of their communities throughout time. To reveal the complex, hidden labor processes involved in historical and contemporary moccasin-making, I draw on interviews with contemporary Niitsitapi moccasin-makers, as well as object-based analyses of 109 pairs of moccasins from five museum collections and numerous archival documents and photographs. Analyses revealed that most of the Niitsitapi moccasins in these five museum collections are outgrowths of production for tourist markets. Additionally, I show how moccasin production has historically been influenced by the colonial policies of the United States government and how moccasins’ stories are influenced by museum categorization tools

    Rock Art Documentation in the Digital Age: The Rafter Z Site (24RB2809) in Rosebud County, Montana

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    The Rafter Z site was a previously unrecorded rock art site located on private land in Rosebud County, Montana. The resulting thesis provided an opportunity to systematically document the site and conduct important rock art research within southeastern Montana. The thesis project was sectioned into two phases. The first phase provided the documentation of the Rafter Z site, surveying of 170-acres of private land, documentation of three additional cultural sites, and a comprehensive analysis of the Rafter Z site. This research showed that the Rafter Z site constitutes one of the larger rock art sites in Rosebud County and the greater southeastern Montana region. Housing 36 shield-bearing warriors and 14 freestanding shields, the site offers a unique perspective into the Plains warrior ethos from the Late Prehistoric period. In addition, the site provides insight into early Crow and the Kiowa/ Kiowa Apache use of the region during the mid-to-late Prehistoric period with its mixture of Castle Garden and Timber Creek style rock art figures. The second phase of the proposed project utilized two digital techniques recently applied to rock art documentation: photogrammetry and reflectance transformation imaging (RTI). Several variables were tested to ascertain the best methods to effectively render 3D models using photogrammetry and conduct RTI on the sandstone substrate. Overall, these digital documentation methods heightened the interpretive and archival quality of the site documentation and data collected. Enhancing the archival quality of rock art will allow future research to occur when access may be limited

    Archaeological Perspectives of Warfare on the Great Plains

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    The Great Plains of the United States have played an influential role in shaping academic and popular visions of Native American warfare, largely because of the well-documented violence that was so central to the expansion of Euroamerican settlement there. However, violence has deep roots on the Plains, and these roots have never been examined systematically across the region as a whole. Covering the Plains as well as some adjacent areas and spanning both pre-Contact and post-Contact periods, this volume explores a series of central topics that are important regionally and to the larger study of warfare in general. The editors provide an overview of the evidence for violence in the region as a whole, but contributors focus particularly on three important and interrelated topics: what fortifications tell us about war, what representations of war in art tell us about combatants’ views of war, and how war shaped and reflected human societies on the Plains

    THE QUEST OF VISION: VISUAL CULTURE, SACRED SPACE, RITUAL, AND THE DOCUMENTATION OF LIVED EXPERIENCE THROUGH ROCK IMAGERY

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    This document will approach the multifaceted concepts that arise through the study of rock art and the cultivation of culture and belief through vision. Through this document the audience will encounter conceptual ideas regarding belief systems, ritual, experience, cognition, sacredness, and space/landscape — and how these are all essential dynamics that take place in the processes that cultivate the Shoshone visual culture. This document will employ an anthropological lens on the mentioned subject matters, while also approaching these concepts with an interdisciplinary curiosity of how they intermingle; creating a cohesive experience that focuses on these processes which empowered these people[s] to document their visions upon the landscapes that they existed within. In closing, I assert that the data, methods, and theories being implemented from multiple fields can — and will — continue to guide scholars to crystalize educated hypothesis regarding cross-cultural phenomenon such as sacred experiences and visions; along with the propagation, cultivation, and revivification of rituals with specifics to the creation of visual culture

    Identifying Socialized Landscapes in the Bridger Mountains, Montana

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    Archaeologists, working in the Rocky Mountains and throughout the world, have long recognized that people, regardless of time and space, invest social meanings into the landscape around them. Based on de Certeau’s (1984) “Spatial Stories,” these “socialized landscapes” consist of two archaeologically identifiable components: espaces (or practiced spaces) and tours (or practiced paths). I operationalize these ideas by creating archaeological expectations for six socialized landscape types, inspired by Scheiber’s (2015) mountain landscape tropes: resource, symbolic, wilderness, refuge, recreational, and composite. In doing so, I ask what types of socialized landscapes we can identify from a largely lithic archaeological record in the Rocky Mountains. I test my expectations with a pilot study in the Bridger Mountains of southwestern Montana. By controlling for time period using projectile point types found at sites throughout the mountains, I conduct a series of four analyses by time period to determine what types of espaces and tours people there created in the past. I then compare those results against my archaeological expectations. My results indicate that people in the Paleoindian Period created a resource socialized landscape, whereas groups from the Early Archaic through to the Late Pre-Contact Periods created composite socialized landscapes of resources and symbolic place-markers. Although this pilot study reveals areas of the methodology and analyses that can be improved in future studies, my study suggests that we can use this approach to study past socialized landscapes created by hunter-gatherers both in the Rocky Mountains and throughout the world, even when we lack oral traditions to better understand these spaces

    Archeological Reconnaissance of Selected Trail Corridors, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Presidio and Brewster Counties, Texas 2004 - 2010

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    Between 2004 and 2010, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) archeologists conducted reconnaissance level archeological investigations of selected trails at Big Bend Ranch State Park, Brewster and Presidio Counties, Texas. The purpose of the investigations was to provide cultural resources information that would be beneficial in developing a multi-use trail system in the park that would avoid both direct and potential secondary impacts to archeological sites, when possible, or provide recommendations for mitigative measures, when necessary. These investigations also provide the baseline data needed for conducting future conditions assessments on these sites. During the course of these investigations, a total of 188 kilometers (117 miles) of trails were surveyed. The majority of these trails followed existing ranch roads, while the remainder followed drainages, existing livestock or game trails, or were newly created. New trail construction was coordinated with the Texas Historical Commission via interim reports. On average, the survey corridors were approximately 100 m (330 ft) wide, resulting in a total of about 7,456 acres being examined for archeological resources during the project. The examined trail routes are scattered across the park, providing a good cross-section of much of the topography in the area and the archeological sites that occur in these settings. Seventy-two previously recorded archeological sites were examined during the investigations, and a total of 159 previously unknown archeological sites, with cultural components ranging in age from the Early Paleoindian period to the mid-twentieth century, were recorded. Among the Native American site types are open habitations, rockshelter habitations, rock imagery sites, quarry sites, lithic scatters, isolated hearths, rock cairns and vision quest sites. Euro-American sites include open campsites, a wide variety of ranching facilities, cinnabar mining sites, candelilla wax processing sites, and historic graffiti. A total of 169 prehistoric and historic isolated finds were also documented during the investigation, consisting primarily of isolated cultural features or individual artifacts. Discussions of the archeological resources in this report include recommendations for the management and protection of sites examined during the present investigations. Site monitoring schedules and recommendations for nomination of significant sites as official State Antiquities Landmarks are often included

    Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1885-'86

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    52-1Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1885-86. [2989] Research related to the American Indian; includes Indian linguistic families, Ojibwa and Cherokee ceremonial, etc.1891-15

    Basketmaker II Warfare and Fending Sticks in the North American Southwest

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    Direct physical evidence and rock art, including head skin trophies, indicate that violence linked to warfare was prevalent among the preceramic farmers of the North American Southwest known as Basketmakers. The degree of intergroup conflict indicates that Basketmakers may have needed defense against atlatl darts. In the early 1900s archaeologists suggested that distinctive wooden artifacts served this purpose. Despite resembling Puebloan rabbit sticks, the first to report these S-shaped and flattened sticks with longitudinal facial grooves thought that hunting was not their purpose. Yet the sticks appear singularly inadequate for the task of atlatl dart defense. I evaluate the suggested function of these artifacts and their relationship to warfare in Basketmaker II society. I consider multiple lines of evidence to analyze stick function: ethnography, experiments, use-wear, bioarchaeological markers of violence, and prehistoric art. I conducted a detailed analysis of almost 500 prehistoric flat curved sticks and radiocarbon dated 63 of them. Some of the documented variation in this artifact class is geographically patterned, likely based on learning networks, but dating reveals that much of it is linked to an evident shift in tool function. The sticks become more like ethnographic rabbit sticks through time and exhibit a corresponding increase in traces of such a use. Yet, there are those with damage that seems indicative of atlatl dart defense. My experiments showed that a defender can knock aside atlatl darts from close range with these sticks. Some tribes in South America perform a similar feat in a duel-like context and Diego de Landa may have observed an analogous ritual in the 1500s among the Yucatec Maya. The fending hypothesis is most logical in a duel. Many of the analyzed prehistoric sticks come from a known Puebloan war god shrine in central New Mexico, where an informant identified one as symbol of membership in a warrior society. In addition to prowess as a man killer, war society membership in the distant past might have involved atlatl duels where dart defense with a stick displayed great skill and courage. Basketmakers may have considered S-shaped sticks as an ancient symbol of warrior status

    Historic Inscriptions of the Northern Plains: Identity and Influence in the Residual Communication Record

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    During the 19th and 20th centuries, emigrants on the Northern American Plains engaged in a communication behavior that left messages carved, incised, and painted onto the physical landscape. Often mingling with indigenous pictographs and petroglyphs known as rock art, the emigrants\u27 messages are called historic inscriptions and exist in the form of names, dates, text, and ideographs. This information referred to here as residual communication represents archaeological evidence of individuals and groups who influenced and transformed environments and histories in the American West. The goal of this dissertation is to examine historic inscriptions on the Northern Plains to explore how these communication elements convey individual identities, group identities, and cultural values during a period of sudden and drastic transitions in the region. This dissertation research asserts that historic inscriptions are an unexplored cultural resource that can provide information about topics such as cultural identity, the importance of self, and are literal signatures of colonialism via superimposition atop Northern Plains rock art. While many publications have examined the intricacies of rock art, this dissertation is the first of its kind to systematically examine the data potential of historic inscriptions on the Northern Plains as a cultural resource

    Commensal or Comestible? The Role and Exploitation of Small, Non-ungulate Mammals in Early European Prehistory. Towards a Methodology for Improving Identification of Human Utilisation.

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    This is the PhD thesis as examined, and without any third party permissions obtained. A further copy of this thesis with permissions, or with the relevant images removed, will be deposited in due course.Small mammals, namely those species larger than microfauna like rats and murids but smaller than medium, sheep-size fauna, are generally one of the less studied areas of zooarchaeology. While this may be partly influenced by modern cultural biases, it is more often because finding small, rabbit-sized, mammal remains in archaeological deposits presents a problem in accurately differentiating between those arising from natural, biological and anthropogenic agencies. This thesis tackles this subject using a synthesis of different methods, examining the exploitation and role of small, non-ungulate mammals in early Western European prehistory by combining existing ethnographic knowledge and archaeological research with actualistic experiments and bone assemblage analysis. It first presents a detailed summary of the various taphonomic effects on bone from natural, biological and human action, with particular reference to those of small mammals, using empirical evidence to describe the processes and likely resultant effects. Small mammal utilisation is then contextualised using archaeological and ethnographic evidence to examine past and present practices in Europe and other areas of the world. Different acquisition methods, such as hunting and trapping, are described, and using small mammals for dietary and non-dietary purposes is outlined, along with the rationale for such utilisation given their size. Also considered are other, more abstract ideological and symbolic roles they fulfilled within different cultures, whether physically using parts of the animal, or conceptually. To extend the existing methods available to zooarchaeologists, and improve identifying human exploitation of these species, the ‘chaĂźne opĂ©ratoire’ of small game use is examined from an osteological perspective, starting with acquisition, through processing, cooking and consumption to discard, using a series of experiments and microscopic analysis to explore potential bone modification signatures and fracture patterns arising from such activities. Finally, it places these results into broader context by comparing the fracture patterns with bones from British and North American archaeological sites, to demonstrate that similar changes can be seen.Arts and Humanities Research Counci
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