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When Smuggling Sailors met the First Angelinos: Material Messages from Forgotten Santa Catalina Island, California

Author(s): Austin Ringelstein

Year: 2017

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Summary

A colonial archaeological assemblage from Santa Catalina Island, California contains both "traditional" native materials and substantial Euro-American trade goods. Archival sources and artifacts suggest that the native islanders, known as the Pimu Tongva people, opportunistically acquired trade goods from Euro-American seafarers for close to 300 years. Although the bulk of the trade items appear to be European in origin, recent insight suggests that some of the materials have associations with American sea-otter hunters who frequented the island in the early nineteenth century. These visitations resulted in encounters between Americans, native Hawaiians, Alaskans, and native Californians that are only beginning to be understood. Ships' logs from these episodes reveal that the sea-otter hunters, intent on smuggling, also used the island to careen and repair their ships, conceivably resulting in material exchanges. The ways in which the Pimu Tongva mixed the old with the new reveal how a coastal Californian group continued to craft their own identity in a rapidly changing world.


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Cite this Record

When Smuggling Sailors met the First Angelinos: Material Messages from Forgotten Santa Catalina Island, California. Austin Ringelstein. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431922)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16667

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