A Zooarchaeological Analysis of Diné Hunting Traditions

Author(s): Alicia Becenti

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Nat’aah Nahane’ Bina’ji O’hoo’ah: Diné Archaeologists & Navajo Archaeology in the 21st Century" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Throughout history, the Diné have worked to manage the arrival of new people, ideas, and resources into their communities. Following the introduction of Old World domesticates to northwestern New Mexico during the Gobernador phase (c. 1700-1775), Diné groups increasingly incorporated sheep-based pastoralism into their earlier hunting-gathering-farming way of life. The re-examination of faunal remains and lithic artifacts originally recovered from seven Dinétah pueblitos by the BLM (Marshall 1995) shows that this period of transition overlaps with shifting hunting practices and ritualization. Rituals coinciding with this shift allowed for a more efficient hunting tradition and perhaps the creation of stories and prayers suited for their subsistence strategies. Given that hunting strategies are dependent on the geography of the area, season and the type of game exploited, this project opens the door to a broader discussion of Diné hunting efficiency, mobility, and traditional relationships with wild game as they relate to the adoption of new cultural influences during the Gobernador period.

Cite this Record

A Zooarchaeological Analysis of Diné Hunting Traditions. Alicia Becenti. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450690)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25861