Examining diets, identities, and entanglements of Coast Salish dogs

Sparrow, Anna (2020) Examining diets, identities, and entanglements of Coast Salish dogs. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The Coast Salish of southern Vancouver Island maintained domestic dog populations for over 6000 years. Using a multi-scalar approach, including oral tradition, isotopic dietary analysis of dog remains from six archaeological sites (DiSe-7, DcRu-12, DiSc-1, DjSf-13, DjSf-14, & DjSe-6) and radiocarbon dating, this project addresses the agency of dogs and their unique entanglement and relationships with humans. Through multiple lines of evidence, the interwoven relationships between dogs and their humans are explored and the following questions addressed: 1) what foods were dogs eating? 2) What is the dietary variability on the Pacific Northwest Coast over time and space? 3) How can these data, combined with ancillary lines of archaeological evidence, be used to interpret human-canine entanglement through relational approaches? Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analyses of 60 samples indicates that dogs were consuming mainly high-trophic marine-based proteins, consistent with previous palaeodietary research in coastal British Columbia, which indicates a primarily high-trophic marine diet for both humans and dogs along the coast. New radiocarbon dates are produced for six sites (two previously undated) indicating long-term associations between species over time and space within the region. The presence and personalities of dog characters from Coast Salish traditional narratives in conjunction with dietary stable isotope data and radiocarbon dates provides us with insights into human-dog relationships in this region.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14680
Item ID: 14680
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 90-129).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: September 2020
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Dogs--British Columbia--Vancouver Island--History; Coast Salish Indians--British Columbia--Vancouver Island--Antiquities; Dogs--Food--British Columbia--Vancouver Island.

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