Our understanding of the precontact nature of the Northwest Coast has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. This book brings together the most recent research on the culture history and archaeology of a region of longstanding anthropological importance, whose complex societies represent the most prominent examples of hunters and gatherers.
Combining archaeology, ethnohistory, and ethnography, this collection investigates several aspects of this cultural complexity, carrying on the intellectual traditions of Donald H. Mitchell and Wayne Suttles. Its interdisciplinary approach creates a broader context in which to interpret the past. The generously illustrated chapters address a wide range of topics, and include original and penetrating analyses of the fur trade, migration, household structures, and precontact metallurgy and architecture.
Emerging from the Mist updates and expands our understanding of the nature and evolution of precontact Northwest Coast society to reveal the vibrant, rich cultures that existed there. Scholars and students of archaeology and anthropology, and those with an interest in Northwest Coast history, will find this volume especially rewarding.
The papers included here are important contributions describing original research and serve as well-deserved tribute to Professor Mitchell… Any archaeologist working on the Northwest Coast will want to read this book… I encourage Northwest Coast archaeologists to read Quentin Mackie’s (2001: 4-11) useful critique of cultural complexity and typological thinking, and to confront the archaeological record on its own terms.
1 Introduction: The Northwest Coast in Perspective / R.G. Matson
2 A Hunter-Gatherer Paramount Chiefdom: Tsimshian Developments through the Contact Period / Andrew R.C. Martindale
3 Northwest Coast Wet-Site Artifacts: A Key to Understanding Resource Procurement, Storage, Management, and Exchange / Dale R. Croes
4 The Coast Salish House: Lessons from Shingle Point, Valdes Island, British Columbia / R.G. Matson
5 Nuu-chah-nulth Houses: Structural Remains and Cultural Depressions on Southwest Vancouver Island / Alexander P. Mackie and Laurie Williamson
6 Preliminary Analysis of Socioeconomic Organization at the McNichol Creek Site, British Columbia / Gary Coupland, Roger Colten, and Rebecca Case
7 Dimensions of Regional Interaction in the Prehistoric Gulf of Georgia / Colin Grier
8 The Cultural Taphonomy of Nuu-chah-nulth Whale Bone Assemblages / Gregory G. Monks
9 The Thin Edge: Evidence for Precontact Use and Working of Metal on the Northwest Coast / Steven Acheson
10 A Stitch in Time: Recovering the Antiquity of a Coast Salish Basket Type / Kathryn Bernick
11 Reviewing the Wakashan Migration Hypothesis / Alan McMillan
12 Location-Allocation Modelling of Shell Midden Distribution on the West Coast of Vancouver Island / Quentin Mackie
13 The Northwest Coast as a Study Area: Natural, Prehistoric, and Ethnographic Issues / Leland Donald
Epilogue / Leland Donald
Notes on Contributors
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