Dog Days to Horse Days: Evaluating the Rise of Nomadic Pastoralism Among the Blackfoot
AuthorBethke, Brandi Ellen
AdvisorZedeño, Maria Nieves
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis doctoral dissertation revisits the horse in Blackfoot culture in order to explore how its adoption altered Blackfoot hunting practices and landscape uses during the Contact Period in the Northwestern Plains of North America. The Blackfoot provide one of the best avenues for research into the horse's impact on big-game hunters because of their pre-contact trajectory, history of interaction with other groups, detailed ethnographic record, and continued investment in equestrianism. While the socio-economic consequences of the horse's introduction have been studied from a historical perspective, the archaeology of this transition remains ambiguous. This project presents a new, archaeological dimension to the dynamics of the Blackfoot equestrian transition by incorporating material culture with traditional knowledge, historic accounts, and geospatial data into a multi-scalar, transnational interpretation of the horse's impact on both Blackfoot social, economic, religious, and spiritual life, as well as the way in which Blackfoot peoples used and understood their landscape. The results of this study show how these changes may be best understood as a transition in modes of production from hunting and gathering to nomadic pastoralism. In this endeavor, this project contributes new theoretical and methodological approaches as well as substantive new data to our understanding of hunting and pastoralism among people of the Northwestern Plains.
Degree ProgramGraduate College