Additional early human evidence include dozens of sagebark sandals uncovered by University of Oregon archaeologist Luther Cressman in and later revealed to be more than 9, years old. Indigenous peoples have another explanation for how people came to this place—origin stories that vary with place and circumstance and that usually involve supernatural forces. The Chinook people on the lower Columbia River, for example, tell several stories about the origin of their people.
While chronicler James Swan was living in the Pacific Northwest, from to , he recorded a number of stories the Chinooks told him. One involves an old man who is a giant and an old woman who is an ogress. When the old man catches a fish and attempts to cut it sideways, the woman cries out that he must cut the fish down the back. The man ignores her and cuts the fish crossways. The fish changes into a giant bird that flies toward Saddle Mountain on the northern Oregon Coast. The man and woman go in search of the bird. One day, while picking berries, the woman discovers a nest full of thunderbird eggs.
As she begins to break the eggs, humans appear out of the broken shells. The Klamath and Modoc creator Kamukamts floats on a great lake in a canoe and runs aground on top of the house of Pocket Gopher. While the two discuss who will become the elder brother, Gopher creates hills, mountains, fish, roots, and berries.
Kamukamts names all the animals that will live on the land and walks around the earth selecting homes for the tribes. When Kamukamts sees smoke, Gopher admits defeat, declaring him the elder brother as the smoke comes from the people Kamukamts brought into being.
All Native peoples of Oregon have stories that describe how the world came to be—stories that have been passed from generation to generation. Some stories were recorded by anthropologists such as Franz Boas, whose Chinook Texts, for example, includes an account of Coyote transforming surf to land and learning how to fish. By the sixteenth century, dozens of bands of people lived in present-day Oregon, with concentrated populations along the Columbia River, in the western valleys, and around coastal estuaries and inlets.
Before , according to ethnologist Melville Jacobs, the Pacific Northwest was home to approximately , people, who spoke sixty to seventy languages.
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From the Coming of the White Man to the Present Day
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Even the Indian agents employed to enforce the legislation considered it unnecessary to prosecute, convinced instead that the potlatch would diminish as younger, educated, and more "advanced" Indians took over from the older Indians, who clung tenaciously to the custom. The potlatch ban was repealed in Potlatches now occur frequently and increasingly more over the years as families reclaim their birthright. Anthropologist Sergei Kan was invited by the Tlingit nation to attend several potlatch ceremonies between and and observed several similarities and differences between traditional and contemporary potlatch ceremonies.
Kan notes that there was a language gap during the ceremonies between the older members of the nation and the younger members of the nation age fifty and younger due to the fact that most of the younger members of the nation do not speak the Tlingit language. Despite these differences, Kan stated that he believed that many of the essential elements and spirit of the traditional potlatch were still present in the contemporary Tlingit ceremonies.
In his book The Gift , the French ethnologist, Marcel Mauss used the term potlatch to refer to a whole set of exchange practices in tribal societies characterized by "total prestations", i. Other examples of this "potlatch type" of gift economy include the Kula ring found in the Trobriand Islands. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Potlatch disambiguation.
Basic concepts. Provisioning systems. Hunting-gathering Pastoralism Nomadic pastoralism Shifting cultivation Moral economy Peasant economics. Case studies.
Related articles. Original affluent society Formalist—substantivist debate The Great Transformation Peasant economics Culture of poverty Political economy State formation Nutritional anthropology Heritage commodification Anthropology of development. Major theorists. Schneider Eric Wolf. Main article: Potlatch Ban. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, eds. Oxford: Pergamon Press. University of Washington Press Bruce Morrison and C. Roderick Wilson, pp.
Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. Conversations with Khahtsahlano — Retrieved New York: Palgrave. American Anthropologist. Indians of the North Pacific Coast. McGill-Queen's University Press. Reproduced in n.
Pacific Northwest Reading List
In Bell, Catherine; Val Napoleon eds. Vancouver: UBC Press. Retrieved 6 February The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 27 November Anthropos: International Review of Anthropology and Linguistics. The Enigma of the Gift.
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Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.