“The Archaeology of Daily Life”
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Two Voices is a collection of stories written by two sisters whose lives spanned the 20th Century. Their mother Susan was the daughter of Wawetkin, a Sauk Chief. Their father James Bedal was a pioneer. The book includes legends of the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe and tribal history. Individual stories tell of family life on the Bedal homestead in the high Cascade Mountains. Stories of the family logging, mining, and horse packing businesses during early pioneer days are wonderfully told by the persons who lived this life.
Biomolecular archaeology reveals ancient origins of indigenous tobacco smoking in North American Plateau
Shannon Tushingham, Charles M. Snyder, Korey J. Brownstein, William J. Damitio, and David R. Gang
Chemical analysis of residues contained in the matrix of stone smoking pipes reveal a substantial direct biomolecular record of ancient tobacco (Nicotiana) smoking practices in the North American interior northwest (Plateau), in an area where tobacco was often portrayed as a Euro-American–introduced postcontact trade commodity. Nicotine, a stimulant alkaloid and biomarker for tobacco, was identified via ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in 8 of 12 analyzed pipes and pipe fragments from five sites in the Columbia River Basin, southeastern Washington State. The specimens date from 1200 cal BP to historic times, confirming the deep time continuity of intoxicant use and indigenous smoking practices in northwestern North America. The results indicate that hunting and gathering communities in the region, including ancestral Nez Perce peoples, established a tobacco smoking complex of wild (indigenous) tobacco well before the main domesticated tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) was introduced by contact-era fur traders and settlers after the 1790s. This is the longest continuous biomolecular record of ancient tobacco smoking from a single region anywhere in the world—initially during an era of pithouse development, through the late precontact equestrian era, and into the historic period. This contradicts some ethnohistorical data indicating that kinnikinnick, or bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) was the primary precontact smoke plant in the study area. Early use likely involved the management and cultivation of indigenous tobaccos (Nicotiana quadrivalvis or Nicotiana attenuata), species that are today exceedingly rare in the region and seem to have been abandoned as smoke plants after the entry of trade tobacco.
While tobacco is one of the most heavily consumed (and abused) plant substances of the modern era, with profound global health consequences, its early use remains poorly understood. Here we report a substantial direct biomolecular record of ancient tobacco smoking by hunter-gatherers of interior northwestern North America. Nicotine-positive samples demonstrate deep time continuity of indigenous tobacco smoking in a place where tobacco has been depicted as being introduced by early Euro-American traders and explorers. The spread of domesticated trade tobacco seems to have overtaken and obscured ancient indigenous tobacco practices. The information—represented here by the longest continuous biomolecular record of tobacco use from a single region—informs programs designed to combat persistent commercial tobacco use rates among modern Tribal communities.
Last week during Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Duolingo revealed two new language programs, Navajo and Hawaiian.
The revitalization of Indigenous languages has continuously been a struggle for many Tribes around the US and beyond.
We wanted to spotlight some of the efforts taking place within the PNW by PNW Tribes to keep their languages alive.
*All text and images are taken from their respective sites.
If you’re interested in museum sciences the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture has a current exhibit on how artifacts are processed at a museum to share with the public. Take a day and learn about the work the done at museums so ensure preservation of the past for the future.
A working Collections Lab opens for a public view behind-the-scenes. Topics include:
Artifact Boot Camp
Collection Intersections and Artistic Spirit
The Science of Decay
“Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. They are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artifacts, art and specimens which they hold in trust for society.”
-United Kingdom Museum Association Code of Ethics
Two free archaeology events are coming to Oregon!
Portland: Saturday June 2nd
Portland State campus next to the Farmers Market
Harney County (Burns/Hines): Saturday June 9
Portland State University is working with archaeologists, heritage specialists and school groups in Harney County to support their creation of activities that promote heritage on the east side of our fair state. We'll host a panel of experts to identify the artifacts visitors bring to the event.
Archaeology Roadshow's theme this year is 'the Archaeology of Change.' Fundamentally, archaeologists study the ways people, societies, and environments change through time: within a year, over decades, centuries, or even millennia. Sometimes cultures persist in the face of environmental upheavals or cultural shifts; sometimes they don't. Why in some places and times do once highly-mobile people become sedentary? Why do the food choices people make change or not? Why is change sometimes fast or sometimes gradual? Why do some parts of culture persist (and some parts change)?
The 2018 Celebrating Salish Conference was held last week at Northern Quest Resort and Casino. The conference is a revitalization effort to keep alive the endangered Salish language; conference workshops explored teaching using songs (even Salish karaoke!), games, and conversation.
Field work in Alaska shedding light on how the Americas were populated.
K'ómoks First Nation artist who has combined Native and pop culture to represent the warrior spirit with a Northwest Coast Star Wars helmet. Visit his site to view more and find locations to purchase his prints.
Matika Wilbur, Swinomish and Tulalip, has set out on a multi-year project across the United States to photograph all 562 federally recognized tribes, portraying the subjects how they wish to be portrayed, blogging about her experiences, and changing the way we see Native America.
Louie Gong, Nooksack artist, founded the Native-owned and operated company Eighth Generation, established a shop in Pike Place Market in Seattle, and has had massive success selling shoes, blankets, jewelry, and more.