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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department of Anthropology

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Human Ecology and Archaeobiology

book cover image buffalo hunting scene


Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies
Edited by Bruce D. Smith
A Smithsonian Contribution to Knowledge
Published in Cooperation with
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

A brilliant exposition of the varied relationships between indigenous North American peoples and their diverse environments that brings into clear focus these interactions, this collection of papers leads the reader far beyond the tired paradigms of the past to lay the foundation for important progress in the future. The many stages of domestication and the acceptance of other crops from outside the region demonstrate beautifully the opportunities and challenges of this fundamentally-important process, and the relationship between small, dispersed groups of hunter gatherers in its development over the past 10,000 years tells a story of great interest for all students of the continent and its nature.—Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden

The Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies provides a comprehensive and in-depth documentation of how Native American societies met the challenges of adapting to the varied ecosystems of North America over the past 10,000 years. The contributors identify a number of recurrent themes and questions which have shaped debates regarding the nature of Native American interaction with and impact on their local environments throughout the Holocene.

The volume features full ecosystem coverage of North America, detailing the use of wild plant and animal resources in each of eight broadly defined geographical regions. The independent domestication of eastern North American plants and the subsequent introduction of domesticated crops, first from Mexico and subsequently from Eurasia, are described in detail, as is the introduction of Eurasian domesticated livestock, and the role of the turkey, the dog, and tobacco in indigenous North American societies. Drawing from this rich analysis, the volume closes by considering the ways in which and the degree to which Native American societies actively shaped their natural environments.

List of Contributors
Mary J. Adair, Karen R. Adams, Alestine Andre, Robert L. Bettinger, John R. Bozell, Virginia L. Butler, Sarah K. Campbell, Kimberly Carpenter, Fiona Hamersley Chambers, Gary W. Crawford, Christyann M. Darwent, Richard R. Drass, Sandra L. Dunavan, Carl R. Falk, Suzanne K. Fish, Catherine S. Fowler, Gayle J. Fritz, D. Ann Trieu Gahr, Kristen J. Gremillion, William R. Hildebrandt, Steven R. James, Joel C. Janetski, Eileen Johnson, Volney H. Jones, Amanda Karst, Heather A. Lapham, Jennifer A. Leonard, Natalie D. Munro, Lee A. Newsom, Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman, Elizabeth J. Reitz, David E. Rhode, C. Margaret Scarry, Bruce D. Smith, Lynn M. Snyder, Bonnie W. Styles, Nancy J. Turner, Eric Wohlgemuth, and Richard A. Yarnell.

    Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Indigenous North American Societies and the Environment
    Bruce D. Smith
  2. Plant Use by Arctic and Subarctic Indigenous Peoples
    Alestine Andre, Amanda Karst, and Nancy J. Turner
  3. Archaeological and Ethnographic Evidence for Indigenous Hunting and Fishing Economies in the North American Arctic and Subarctic
    Christyann M. Darwent
  4. Plant Use by Northwest Coast and Plateau Indigenous Peoples
    Fiona Hamersley Chambers and Nancy J. Turner
  5. Prehistoric Native American Use of Animals on the Northwest Coast and Plateau
    Sarah K. Campbell and Virginia L. Butler
  6. Archaeological and Ethnographic Evidence for Indigenous Plant Use in California
    Robert L. Bettinger and Eric Wohlgemuth
  7. Native Hunting Adaptations in California: Changing Patterns of Resource Use From the Early Holocene to European Contact
    William R. Hildebrandt and Kimberly Carpenter
  8. Subsistence Through Time in the Greater Southwest
    Karen R. Adams and Suzanne K. Fish
  9. Prehistoric Hunting and Fishing Patterns in the American Southwest
    Steven R. James
  10. Plant Foods and Foodways Among the Great Basin’s Indigenous Peoples
    Catherine S. Fowler and David E. Rhode
  11. Animal Use in the Great Basin of North America: Ethnographic and Archaeological Evidences
    Joel C. Janetski
  12. Patterns of Plant Use in the Prehistoric Central and Southern Plains
    Mary J. Adair and Richard R. Drass
  13. Native American Use of Animals on the North American Great Plains
    John R. Bozell, Carl R. Falk, and Eileen Johnson
  14. The Role of Plants in Southeastern Subsistence Economies
    Kristen J. Gremillion
  15. Animals in Southeastern Native American Subsistence Economies
    Heather A. Lapham
  16. People and Plant Interactions in the Northeast
    Gary W. Crawford
  17. Animal Use by Holocene Aboriginal Societies of the Northeast
    Bonnie W. Styles
  18. Native American Domestication and Husbandry of Plants in Eastern North America
    C. Margaret Scarry and Richard A. Yarnell
  19. The Role of “Tropical” Crops in Early North American Agriculture
    Gayle J. Fritz
  20. Tobacco and Smoking in Native North America
    Sandra L. Dunavan and Volney H. Jones
  21. The Diversity and Origin of American Dogs
    Lynn M. Snyder and Jennifer A. Leonard
  22. Domestication of the Turkey in the American Southwest 
    Natalie D. Munro
  23. Fusion Gardens: Native North America and the Columbian Exchange
    Lee A. Newsom and D. Ann Trieu Gahr
  24. Eurasian Domesticated Livestock in 517 Native American Economies
    Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman and Elizabeth J. Reitz
  25. Shaping the Natural World: Patterns of Human Niche Construction by Small-Scale Societies in North America
    Bruce D. Smith

For ordering information, contact:
Rowman & Littlefield Inc.: http://www.rowmanlittlefield.com

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