Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies: A Handbook

Overview

The Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies provides a comprehensive and in-depth documentation of how Native American societies met the challenges of adapting to the varied ecosystems of North America over the past 10,000 years. The contributors identify a number of recurrent themes and questions which have shaped debates regarding the nature of Native American interaction with and impact on their local environments throughout the Holocene. The volume features full ecosystem coverage of ...

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Overview

The Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies provides a comprehensive and in-depth documentation of how Native American societies met the challenges of adapting to the varied ecosystems of North America over the past 10,000 years. The contributors identify a number of recurrent themes and questions which have shaped debates regarding the nature of Native American interaction with and impact on their local environments throughout the Holocene. The volume features full ecosystem coverage of North America, detailing the use of wild plant and animal resources in each of eight broadly defined geographical regions. The independent domestication of eastern North American plants and the subsequent introduction of domesticated crops, first from Mexico and subsequently from Eurasia, are described in detail, as is the introduction of Eurasian domesticated livestock, and the role of the turkey, the dog, and tobacco in indigenous North American societies. Drawing from this rich analysis, the volume closes by considering the ways in which and the degree to which Native American societies actively shaped their natural environments.

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Editorial Reviews

Peter H. Raven
A brilliant exposition of the varied relationships between indigenous North American peoples and their diverse environments that brings into clear focus these interactions, this collection of papers leads the reader far beyond the tired paradigms of the past to lay the foundation for important progress in the future. The many stages of domestication and the acceptance of other crops from outside the region demonstrate beautifully the opportunities and challenges of this fundamentally-important process, and the relationship between small, dispersed groups of hunter gatherers in its development over the past 10,000 years tells a story of great interest for all students of the continent and its nature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935623014
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
  • Publication date: 4/16/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 628
  • Product dimensions: 8.95 (w) x 11.41 (h) x 1.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce D. Smith is curator and senior archaeologist in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Indigenous North American Societies and the Environment
2. Plant Use by Arctic and Subarctic Indigenous Peoples
3. Archaeological and Ethnographic Evidence for Indigenous Hunting and Fishing Economies in the North American Arctic and Subarctic
4. Plant Use by Northwest Coast and Plateau Indigenous Peoples
5. Prehistoric Native American Use of Animals on the Northwest Coast and Plateau
6. Archaeological and Ethnographic Evidence for Indigenous Plant Use in California
7. Native Hunting Adaptations in California: Changing Patterns of Resource Use from the Early Holocene to European Contact
8. Subsistence through Time in the Greater Southwest
9. Prehistoric Hunting and Fishing Patterns in the American Southwest
10. Plant Foods and Foodways among the Great Basin's Indigenous Peoples
11. Animal Use in the Great Basin of North America: Ethnographic and Archaeological Evidences
12. Patterns of Plant Use in the Prehistoric Central and Southern Plains
13. Native American Use of Animals on the North American Great Plains
14. The Role of Plants in Southeastern Subsistence Economies
15. Animals in Southeastern Native American Subsistence Economies
17. Animal Use by Holocene Aboriginal Societies of the Northeast
18. Native American Domestication and Husbandry of Plants in Eastern North America
19. The Role of "Tropical" Crops in Early North American Agriculture
20. Tobacco and Smoking in Native North America
21. The Diversity and Origin of American Dogs
22. Domestication of the Turkey in the American Southwest
23. Fusion Gardens: Native North America and the Columbian Exchange
24. Eurasian Domesticated Livestock in Native American Economies
Conclusion: Shaping the Natural World: Patterns of Human Niche Construction by Small-Scale Societies in North America

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