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Chien Opératoire: Dogs as Technological Systems in the Northern Great Plains

Author(s): Kacy Hollenback ; Abigail Fisher

Year: 2017

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In the past, like today, dogs (Canis familiaris) were not only human companions, they were also tools, beasts of burden, alarm systems, sources of food, and ritual elements. Since first domesticated, humans have shaped dogs physically and behaviorally, and they have, in turn, shaped our societies. As such, domesticated canines can be treated as a form of technology, regardless of their own forms of agency. By technology we refer to objects (i.e., dogs and linked artifacts), related practices, and associated knowledge. In this paper, we use concepts developed in technological theory to explore canid technological systems of the Northern Plains over time. Using data derived from ethnohistory, early ethnographies, and archaeology, we situate human-canine relationships within the context of other technological systems embedded in Plains cultures.

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Chien Opératoire: Dogs as Technological Systems in the Northern Great Plains. Kacy Hollenback, Abigail Fisher. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431011)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Plains

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16888

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