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Global Network, Native Node: The Social Geography of a New York Whaling Port

Author(s): Emily Button Kambic

Year: 2014

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Whaling ports in the nineteenth century were nodes in multiple networks, where the global maritime economy overlapped with regional indigenous landscapes, and residential and occupational sites became locations of cultural encounter. How did the material spaces of ports structure and reflect these dynamics of movement and exchange? What specific forms of cross-cultural interaction did ports foster, and how did Native Americans negotiate this cosmopolitanism in material ways? I consider these questions in a case study of Sag Harbor, New York, which was an active whaling port in the 19th century, like New London and New Bedford further north. Sag Harbor’s historic working-class landscapes have been well preserved, including the neighborhood of Eastville, a site of Shinnecock, Montaukett, and African American community formation. Through lenses of space and materiality, I will explore how whaling’s global connections shaped geographies of social difference at home.

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Global Network, Native Node: The Social Geography of a New York Whaling Port. Emily Button Kambic. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436672)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-11,04

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