What Is Good to Eat Is Good to Translocate: The Intangible Dimension of Non-Native Animal Introduction and Consumption in the Pre-Columbian Caribbean
Author(s): Christina Giovas
This is an abstract from the "The Intangible Dimensions of Food in the Caribbean Ancient and Recent Past" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Despite occupying the Caribbean since ca. 6500-6000 BP, Amerindians did not introduce continental animals to the islands until approximately 2000 years ago. In most cases, non-native taxa, while consumed, did not rival local marine resources in dietary importance; yet there is limited evidence to support an alternative, ritual-based explanation for their introduction. Why were these animals transported over water into the Antilles, and what do these actions signify? Focusing on a suite of a half-dozen mammals, I examine the possible material, social, and ideological drivers of animal introduction, including risk management, logistics, identity and status mediated consumption, and animal agency, among other possibilities. I also consider the likely reasons for the apparent late dispersal of these fauna into the islands, while critically assessing the authenticity of this patterning. Antillean translocation studies are at a critical juncture, requiring new lines of inquiry and data to move forward. Existing evidence suggests, however, the intangible dimensions of ethnophoresy are a necessary component to explaining this phenomenon and identifying its archaeological correlates in the pre-Columbian Caribbean.
Cite this Record
What Is Good to Eat Is Good to Translocate: The Intangible Dimension of Non-Native Animal Introduction and Consumption in the Pre-Columbian Caribbean. Christina Giovas. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450596)
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min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25418