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Wabanaki Foodways in the Protohistoric Quoddy Region: Hunter-Gatherer Continuity, Change, and Specialization in a Changing Social Seascape

Author(s): Gabriel Hrynick ; Susan Blair ; Katherine Patton ; Jesse Webb

Year: 2017

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Summary

In the context of rapid social or environmental change, foodways offer a way to track how identities are negotiated amid new realities. The Protohistoric period (550–350 BP) in the Northeast was an early site of sporadic and often indirect Indigenous-European contact in North America and the Wabanaki of Maine and the Maritime Provinces were early participants in the world economic system. Analyses of the Devil’s Head and Birch Cove sites in Passamaquoddy Bay indicate that Wabanaki diets were becoming increasingly specialized during the Protohistoric period and that Wabanaki people were shifting the seasonality of their occupations, likely to adapt to a new social seascape. Published accounts of peri-contemporaneous faunal remains from the initial French settlement at Saint Croix Island suggest an unwillingness or inability to integrate local foods into Old World foodways despite dietary stress. Yet subsequent French settlers incorporated some Wabanaki foods into their diet, which eventually became a blended and distinct Acadian cuisine. In both cases, foodways may comprise an ongoing way in which people set themselves apart, offering us a window onto the nature of the contact experience in Passamaquoddy Bay.


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Wabanaki Foodways in the Protohistoric Quoddy Region: Hunter-Gatherer Continuity, Change, and Specialization in a Changing Social Seascape. Gabriel Hrynick, Susan Blair, Katherine Patton, Jesse Webb. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429220)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14293

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America