The Religious System of the Northwest Coast of North America

Roy L. Carlson

in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199232444
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 The Religious System of the Northwest Coast of North America

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The Northwest Coast of North America is a narrow strip of green coniferous forest sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Coast-Cascade-Cordilleran mountain ranges on the east, that stretches from the Alaska Panhandle south to north-west California. Archaeological evidence of religion is dependent upon discovery of material expressions of beliefs and practices. This article first summarizes ethnographic data with some reference to prehistoric materials, followed by chronological presentation of the archaeological data. Specifically, it discusses religious beliefs and religious practices during the Early Period (between 13000 and 4000 bc), the Middle Period (between 2000 bc and ad 400) and the Late Period (ad 400 to European contact in the late 1700s).

Keywords: religion; archaeology; ethnographic data; Pacific Ocean

Article.  6664 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America

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