Introduction to the Cultures of North American Aboriginal Peoples - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Introduction to the Cultures of North American Aboriginal Peoples

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The Indians on Santa Catalina Island carved these stone pots from steatite, a ... Among Chumash produced on Santa Cruz Island. Specialist villages. Settlement Pattern ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to the Cultures of North American Aboriginal Peoples


1
Introduction to the Cultures ofNorth American
Aboriginal Peoples
  • California

2
California
  • California
  • Roughly equivalent to modern state of California
  • Eastern limit is the Sierra Nevada
    Mountains/Colorado River
  • Mediterranean climate
  • Cool wet winters and warm dry summers
  • Broadleaf evergreen flora
  • Live oak chaparral (mosaic of oak groves and
    grasslands) Sclerophyllous Woodland
  • Eight species of oak (Quercus sp.)
  • Four deciduous and four evergreen
  • High acorn production (200-400 kg/year)

3
Climate
  • Mild, moist winters, hot dry summers inland
  • Cool, often foggy coasts
  • High percentage of sunshine
  • High summer diurnal temperature range
  • Frost danger during winter
  • Growing season at lower elevations/along the
    coast is year-round

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California Fauna
  • Virtually all terrestrial species found in North
    America (except for species restricted to the
    arctic/sub-arctic)
  • Importance of marine species
  • Shellfish
  • Oysters (Ostreiddae)
  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Abalone (Haliotis)
  • Sea urchin (Echinoidea)
  • Marine mammals
  • Whales, porpoises, dolphins, sea otters, sea
    lions, seals

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Shellfish
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Resource Diversity
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Major Characteristics
  • Acorn as staple food
  • Basketry
  • Use of ground stone vessels
  • Shell bead money
  • Central villages and specialized resource camps
  • Importance of trade, craft specialization
  • Various boat types
  • Linguistic diversity

10
Diet
  • Acorn
  • Inedible in raw state
  • Tannic acid
  • Water soluble
  • Acorns are first ground
  • Washed with warm water to remove acid (leaching)
  • Cooked into a mush
  • Stored in granaries
  • Formed 30-60 of diet (up to 900 kg/ person/
    year)
  • Wide range of game from small mammals and birds
    up to large game (elk, bear)
  • Shellfish
  • Insects
  • Fish
  • Salmon (in N. and Central California)
  • Trout
  • Marine species

11
Leaching acorn
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Hunting techniques
  • Stalking
  • Effective range of bow and arrow is less than 10
    meters
  • Wide range of point sizes
  • Use of foreshafts
  • Fishing using hooks, harpoons, nets, baskets
  • Rivers, lakes, estuaries, surf zone, deep sea
    fishing

13
Foreshafts
  • Yurok
  • Each about 20 cm long
  • 501d is a bird shaft
  • 501e is a squirrel shaft
  • Hupa
  • Arrow with flint point
  • Arrow with foreshaft of hard wood.
  • -Boy's arrow with two feathers and simple shaft.

14
Arrows
  • Left Yokuts shaft for use with foreshafts cane
    shaft with feather fletching attached with sinew
    and asphalatum, approx. 65 cm long. Center
    Hupa-Karok-Yurok syringa shaft with carved bone
    point, approx. 75 cm long.
  • Far left Cahuilla type backshaft of baccharis
    salicifolia, foreshaft of chamise, obsidian
    point, fletching attached with deer sinew and
    pine pitch approx. 72 cm long

15
Bows
  • Top Paiute type bow shaped from cedar, backed
    with brain-tanned deer sinew, raw
    deerskin-wrapped grip, braided sinew bowstring
    approx. 112 cm long Center Hupa-Karok-Yurok bow
    shaped from aged yew wood, painted with
    traditional designs, twined sinew bowstring,
    90-107 cm long.
  • Bottom Maidu/Miwok bow of mountain mahogany,
    braided sinew bowstring, 90-100 cm long

16
Fishing technology
17
Baskets
  • Made from a wide range of materials
  • Roots
  • Stems
  • Bark
  • Three main colors
  • White, red, black
  • Designs are made using different color materials
  • Designs are primarily geometric

18
Basketry
  • Coiled basketry technique
  • trays, bowls of all sizes, treasure baskets and
    hats
  • Twined basketry technqiue
  • leaching basins, sieves, fish traps, cradles, and
    water bottles

19
Basket functions
  • Storage
  • Food
  • Water
  • Sometimes lined with asphalt
  • Burden
  • Cooking
  • Clothing (hats)
  • Decorative (gift baskets)
  • Fishing baskets
  • Trays
  • Winnowing
  • Baby carriers (cradleboard)

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Mortars Cooking vessels
  • Mortar and pestle made from sandstone were used
    for grinding and processing acorns or seeds.
  • The Indians on Santa Catalina Island carved these
    stone pots from steatite, a soft, easily worked
    soapstone which they quarried on the island.
    These heat resistant cooking vessels were traded
    to the Chumash of the Northern Channel Islands
    and to people on the mainland coast, in exchange
    for local resouces.

27
Bedrock mortars - Chumash
28
Bedrock mortar - Olompali
29
Shell beads (Olivella sp.)
  • Small beads
  • Ground into circles
  • Holes drilled
  • Among Chumash produced on Santa Cruz Island
  • Specialist villages

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Settlement Pattern
  • Groups occupied relatively restricted areas
  • Main village ranges in size from 50 to several
    hundred (Chumash)
  • Villages are semi-permanent
  • May move after a period of years
  • Fair amount of variability
  • Each village would be politically independent (a
    triblet)
  • Yokuts were made up of at least 50 triblets
  • Short term use of resource camps
  • Houses were simply structures made of reeds or
    reed mats
  • Semi-subterranean sweathouses were a common
    feature and used daily by men

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Trade
  • Because groups occupied relatively limited areas
    trade was very important
  • Raw materials
  • Shells
  • Obsidian
  • Cherts
  • Finished goods
  • Baskets
  • Ground stone
  • Tools

36
Major sources of obsidian
37
Boat types
  • Tule reed canoes
  • Bundles of tule reeds are tied together to form a
    simple canoe
  • Usually not more than 2-3 m in length
  • Suitable for lakes, bays, estuaries
  • Chumash plank canoes (tomol)
  • Made from short planks of wood without a frame
  • Planks are stitched together using sinew or
    rawhide
  • Seams are sealed with asphalt
  • Manufactured by specialists belonging to a guild
  • The Brotherhood of the (Canoe) Tomol
  • 4 to 9 m long, 1 m abeam
  • Could carry up to 1800 kg
  • Capable of travel on the open ocean

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Linguistic Diversity
  • One of the highest rates of language diversity in
    the world
  • Six distinct language families
  • Yukian isolate
  • 40-50 distinct languages plus at least as many
    dialects
  • Pomo had seven dialects (territory of c. 4000
    km2)
  • Distribution of language families reveals
    something about the movement of peoples in
    California

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