Catawba Foodways at Old Town: Loss and Discard of Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Author(s): Rosemarie T Blewitt

Year: 2016


This paper analyzes botanical remains recovered at the Old Town site, a late 18th century occupation of the Catawba Nation, and integrates those data with faunal and ceramic analysis along with ethnographic and ethnohistorical sources to describe Catawba foodways. The Old Town occupation was defined by wars and a major epidemic, and was one of the places where the devastated Catawba peoples reformed and reconstituted their new identity. I examine the foodways at Old Town as part of the changing social landscape within the Catawba Nation, which experienced coalescence and ethnogenesis as part of its interactions with colonial intrusions. I propose that the Catawba at Old Town, after losing significant portions of their traditional ecological knowledge during earlier crises, were in the process of discarding that knowledge as part of a strategy of survival that focused on succeeding in the colonial market economy at the expense of traditional subsistence economies.

Cite this Record

Catawba Foodways at Old Town: Loss and Discard of Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Rosemarie T Blewitt. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434431)


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): 357