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Paleolithic intertribal relations

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whalebreath View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 00:51
The Kwakiutl live here in present day British Columbia-I know a number of tribe members who live here in the city of Vancouver and others resident on Vancouver Island.

Their villages were always immediately adjacent to deep water and they were famous for travelling the coast-your depiction of them as somehow sedentary is laughable.

The potlatch as mentioned wasn't in any way  exclusive to the Kwakiutl but was practiced by many other tribes-you'd know that if you'd ever discussed this with NW coast indigenous people.
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fantasus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 08:25
Originally posted by whalebreath whalebreath wrote:

The Kwakiutl live here in present day British Columbia-I know a number of tribe members who live here in the city of Vancouver and others resident on Vancouver Island.

Their villages were always immediately adjacent to deep water and they were famous for travelling the coast-your depiction of them as somehow sedentary is laughable.

The potlatch as mentioned wasn't in any way  exclusive to the Kwakiutl but was practiced by many other tribes-you'd know that if you'd ever discussed this with NW coast indigenous people.
Just some questions: If they always move (from seanson to season or day to day) then how can there be "villages" and not "camps" or something else?
And does not the word "village" indicate there is more than 10-15 persons living there?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 14:35
I thought that ocean fishing had begun from very early times. Wasn't that how humans arrived at Australia? Hopping from island to island looking for fish in the sea?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 16:05
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

I thought that ocean fishing had begun from very early times. Wasn't that how humans arrived at Australia? Hopping from island to island looking for fish in the sea?
It could have happened that way, but is there sufficient evidence it actually did? Alternatively the first humans could have beeen carried by the winds or currents. Even if there was always some open water I can imagine people could have arrived without anything like boats or rafts. During heavy storms or floods they could have been taken far out, perhaps on pieces of tree or other plant materials, and carried to the opposite coasts. Just a hypothetical possibility.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 16:08
Depends what you mean by 'ocean fishing' I guess. What I had in mind (and that applies to the Kwakiutl at least in primitive times) obviously included fishing (and shellfish gathering) in the fringes of the ocean, but not travelling out to sea for long periods as the Polynesians would do later.
 
Originally posted by whalebreath whalebreath wrote:

Their villages were always immediately adjacent to deep water and they were famous for travelling the coast-your depiction of them as somehow sedentary is laughable.
I tried to point out I was not saying they were sedentary, merely that they didn't have to ROAM. Evidence of that is that - what? at least 8000 years later - they ae still in the same place, and living in villages.
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The potlatch as mentioned wasn't in any way  exclusive to the Kwakiutl but was practiced by many other tribes-you'd know that if you'd ever discussed this with NW coast indigenous people.
In my first post on the subject I indicated that 'Kwakiutl' wasn't precisely correct in modern usage, but it does happen to be the way the people of the region have been known for the past 100-odd years. Take it up with Boas if you want.
 
Yes the  Kwakwaka'wakw were not the only group to develop the potlatch, but if I had used any other of their names no-one would have known what I was talking about. And while we're at it, it's worth pointing out that similar institutions exist in various other parts of the world in similarly beneficent surroundings.
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 11 Dec 2011 at 16:08
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Goban View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2012 at 04:58
Lower, Middle, or Upper Paleolithic? Tongue

There was a considerable amount of variability in Hunter-Gatherer mobility patterns  in the Paleolithic. From semi-sedentary seasonal rounds to rounds that took many years to complete (the life-cycle hypothesis where an individual may have even been "aged" by the location they were born and how many times their group revisited it). Of course, this has much to do with resource availability and the stresses in that environment vs how long it takes to recover from their "visit," so to speak. Likewise, these should correlate directly with the carrying capacity of the group. More mobile groups should tend to be less in numbers than groups that have more sedentary habits- which likely consist of multiple smaller groups that could congregate seasonally, for example (yes, still Paleolithic, maybe even LP considering the controversial H.erectus encampment that I had a "look-see" at not too long ago).

Nothing is of course  is "set in stone" Smile and the variability would naturally include peculiar patterns that are difficult to pin down archaeologically. consider, for example, complete changes in subsistence strategies where arguably the same people change from a predominant ocean-based to land-based exploitation. Each strategy has its own constraints, criteria (i.e. mobility habits), and material culture and it is difficult to associate one with the other even though the same group(s) may be flip-flopping regularly (sometimes even long-term, over many generations).

However,  these changes in material culture, particularly with innovations, are one of the ways of gauging the scale and frequency of inter-group encounters and exchange as well. Along with exotic materials and technological industries, ideas and cultural contributions disseminate and accumulate and may lead to more rapid advances in complexity of a particular material culture or to totally new industries that were never seen before. This has lead many to argue that in the Lower and middle Paleolithic there was not as much exchange and interaction as there was in the UP. Consider how long certain industries persisted (even though they were wide spread) and you supposedly have a direct correlate to the scale and frequency of interaction (average cranial capacity notwithstanding).  Big smile

 

Edited by Goban - 04 Jan 2012 at 05:07
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