The Use and Cultural Importance of Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) on the NWC: An Example from Prince Rupert Harbour.
Eulachon was an important resource for many NWC First Nations. Ethnographers such as Garfield and Boas note the particular importance of this fish among the Tsimshian. One of the primary eulachon spawning locations on the coast is at the mouth of the Nass River, north of PRH, and rights to fish at particular locations in this area were owned by Tsimshian descent groups. Access to this fish, its processing, and storage played an important role in structuring subsistence and settlement patterns, as well as social and political relations among the Tsimshian and neighbouring groups. Oral records document that fishing eulachon is an ancient Tsimshian practice, yet archaeological data from sites in PRH have produced relatively low rates of eulachon remains, even when fine screens are used. We aim to address two points with this paper. First, we explore what biases might affect the recovery and interpretation of eulachon remains in archaeological contexts in comparison to expectations drawn from written and oral historical sources. Second, we examine multiple lines of data to consider how the Tsimshian, and other NWC groups, used eulachon in the past and how it might have influenced broader aspects of ancient Tsimshian lifeways.
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The Use and Cultural Importance of Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) on the NWC: An Example from Prince Rupert Harbour.. Katherine Patton, Trevor Orchard. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430240)
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min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15871