Chapter

Toward a Historical Ecology of Pinniped and Sea Otter Hunting Traditions on the Coast of Southern British Columbia

Iain McKechnie and Rebecca J. Wigen

in Human Impacts on Seals, Sea Lions, and Sea Otters

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267268
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948976 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267268.003.0007
Toward a Historical Ecology of Pinniped and Sea Otter Hunting Traditions on the Coast of Southern British Columbia

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Marine mammals (pinnipeds, cetaceans, and sea otters) have been important to the First Nations people in coastal British Columbia for millennia, but their archaeological distribution is poorly known. While archaeological evidence of marine mammal hunting is known for numerous locations over the past 10,000 years of human occupation on the British Columbia Coast, few studies have examined archaeological evidence of mammalian hunting traditions on broad regional and/or temporal scales. This chapter analyzes archaeological evidence on the historical ecology of pinniped and sea otter hunting traditions, focusing on archaeological assemblages along the coast of southern British Columbia. It examines the spatiotemporal extent of human hunting and the possible influence of humans on this aspect of the marine environment. It also discusses the potential significance that hunting these animals had to First Nations cultures in the region. Drawing on archaeological and ethnographic information, it looks at the patterns of use of marine mammals by First Nations people over the past 8,000 years.

Keywords: British Columbia; marine mammals; pinnipeds; sea otters; First Nations; hunting; archaeological evidence; historical ecology

Chapter.  15309 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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