"Winged Worldviews": Human-Bird Entanglements in Northern Venezuela, A.D. 1000–1500


Drawing from archaeology, zooarchaeology, ethnohistory, ethnology, and avian biogeography, this paper aims at (re)constructing the interrelations between indigenous peoples and birds in north-central Venezuela, between AD 1000 and 1500. Amerindian narratives and premises of perspectival ontology from the South American Lowlands suggest that certain birds were more closely interrelated with humans then other beings. The analyses of nearly 3000 avian bone remains recovered in six late Ceramic Age sites located on the Venezuelan Caribbean islands and on the adjacent mainland indicate that the uses of birds as food, a source of raw material, and a symbol were culturally contingent. Formal and contextual analyses of bird imagery crafted in pottery, stone, and shell also suggest culture-specific uses and entanglements. Differences are especially visible between the Cariban-speaking Valencioid pottery makers from north-central Venezuela and their neighbours from the north-western coast, the Arawakan-speaking Dabajuroid, during the last centuries before the European Conquest.

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"Winged Worldviews": Human-Bird Entanglements in Northern Venezuela, A.D. 1000–1500. Maria Magdalena Antczak, Andrzej T. Antczak. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429066)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15789