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Colonialism and Cuisine: Change and Continuity in Soapstone Consumption during the Contact Period in Alta, California

Author(s): Kaitlin Brown

Year: 2017

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Summary

This paper investigates the processes of colonialism and identity politics in the Santa Barbara Channel region through the lens of consumption. The establishment of colonial institutions became entangled with pre-existing indigenous industries, thus creating change and continuity in a variety of practices. Here, I focus on soapstone vessels as they were utilized for cooking and storing foods before, during, and after the mission period. A drastic shift in the morphological characteristics of these cooking pots inside the mission space indicates a shift in food processing activities and gendered specific tasks beginning in 1782 A.D. I argue that this change reflects the rise of a new citizen class, one in which Christianized Indians began producing and consuming goods that were influenced by Spanish/Early Hispanic practices. I also find that the use of traditional soapstone vessels indicates the persistence of deep-rooted practices that were maintained in the historic period. By situating soapstone consumption at the center of this study, a reassessment of foodways, identity, and gender is offered in the region during the colonial period.


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Colonialism and Cuisine: Change and Continuity in Soapstone Consumption during the Contact Period in Alta, California. Kaitlin Brown. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429549)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16794

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