Consumption, Survival, and Personhood in Native North America

Author(s): Craig N. Cipolla

Year: 2013


For many decades, archaeologists treated European-manufactured material culture recovered from Native American sites as straightforward indicators of cultural loss. Contemporary Native American historical archaeologies take a different tack, placing patterns of consumption on center stage. Rather than typifying European-manufactured material culture as a reflection (or a juggernaut) of cultural change in Native North America, these new approaches use such assemblages to address the nuances of subaltern agency, cultural appropriation, and colonial entanglement. Such approaches shed new light on the ways in which marginalized groups of Native Americans endured colonialism using consumer agency as a part of their respective survival strategies. This paper synthesizes research on Native groups of New England from the seventeenth century onwards. It focuses on the ways in which Native American consumption practices shaped social relations between colonized and colonist, reiterated and transformed ancient cultural patterns, and altered notions of personhood, individuality, and community.

Cite this Record

Consumption, Survival, and Personhood in Native North America. Craig N. Cipolla. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428354)

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Temporal Keywords
17th-20th C

Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 197