Surf and Turf: Understanding Montaukett Economic Strategies through the Whaling Era

Author(s): Allison J.M. McGovern

Year: 2015


This paper explores the daily practices within two 19th century Native Algonquin households at Indian Fields, a Montaukett village in eastern Long Island, New York. Though geographically distant from the white settlements of East Hampton Town, the Montaukett residents of these households were intimately entangled in local and global economic activities and social networks. Their participation in whaling, seafaring, and agriculture, the dominant economic activities, often led to absences from home. Remaining residents sustained their households through hunting, fishing, service work, and small-scale craft production. An archaeological analysis of two households, which cover the height and decline of the whaling industry, provides a comparison for understanding subsistence, production, consumption, and exchange at local indigenous sites, within the broader economic and socio-political context. The economic and social strategies employed at Indian Fields in the 19th century are essential to a contemporary understanding of Montaukett survivance.

Cite this Record

Surf and Turf: Understanding Montaukett Economic Strategies through the Whaling Era. Allison J.M. McGovern. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433854)

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Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 368