Copper on the Northwest Coast, a biographical approach

Journal article


Thompson, L. and R.C.P. Doonan 2019. Copper on the Northwest Coast, a biographical approach. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. Vol 29 (April 2019), pp. 1102-1112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.06.009
AuthorsThompson, L. and R.C.P. Doonan
Abstract

This paper explores Indigenous use of copper metal to create objects of cultural importance on the Northwest Coast of North America, and the impacts of colonial contact on established cultural practices. Prior to contact (late 17th to early 19th century), native copper and occasional shipwreck drift copper was collected, traded, and used by Indigenous communities to fabricate meaningful objects such as Coppers. Following the introduction of foreign trade materials, copper continued to be used to create culturally significant artefacts but existing frameworks of interaction with the metal shifted to accommodate the new materials and social relations introduced by contact.

This investigation highlights the utility of a biographical approach to gain an understanding of Indigenous artefacts and the relationships they engender. Specifically, a close material investigation of a Kwakwaka'wakw Copper fabricated from multiple pieces of metal is conducted. This copper alloy artefact results from a series of material choices, fabrication traditions, and usage that, when considered alongside archaeological and ethnographic data allow us insight in to social, economic, and political changes during the contact period.

KeywordsArtefact biography; Copper; Material culture studies; Northwest coast
Year2019
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Journal citationVol 29 (April 2019), pp. 1102-1112
PublisherElseiver
ISSN2352-409X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.06.009
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.06.009
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X17307162
https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85048929988&origin=resultslist&sort=plf-f&src=s&st1=Copper+on+the+Northwest+Coast%2ca+biographical+approach&sid=0c9600d78874ff453c9f129fd9823233&sot=b&sdt=b&sl=69&s=TITLE-ABS-KEY%28Copper+on+the+Northwest+Coast%2c+a+biographical+approach%29&relpos=0&citeCnt=1&searchTerm=
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online18 Jun 2018
Apr 2019
Online06 May 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted10 Jun 2018
Deposited08 Jun 2023
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/9z25w/copper-on-the-northwest-coast-a-biographical-approach

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