Cattle Colonialism: A Comparative Perspective on Chickasaw Territory and Latin America

Author(s): Terrance Weik

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the "Afro-Latin American Landscapes" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Indigenous and enslaved people’s increasing global encounters with cattle in the nineteenth century present unique vantage points from which to understand the diversity of engagements that constituted and created capitalism, settler-colonialism, and Afro-Indigenous Landscapes. The archaeology of Levi Colbert’s Prairie (LCP), in the Chickasaw territory of the US Southeast, and Latin American cattle ranching are examined to explore African (Diasporan), Indigenous, and European culturally specific and entangled social practices and experiences that facilitated exchange and interaction. As ever-expanding cattle ranching in the western hemisphere began in Latin America, a comparative perspective is a useful aspect of a logistical model of pastoral capitalism at LCP. The goal is to develop a better understanding of emergent cattle colonialism. Archival sources such as maps and head counts (human or bovine) are fruitful forms of evidence that, along with artifacts, animal bones, and other forms of data, lend themselves to complementary and unique lines of inquiry. The resulting research can make valuable contributions to our understanding of the economics of landscape practices, the lacunae in nineteenth-century Chickasaw settlement strategies, the nature of agrarian materiality, and the relationships between people and embodiments of the earth.

Cite this Record

Cattle Colonialism: A Comparative Perspective on Chickasaw Territory and Latin America. Terrance Weik. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 467222)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 32942