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Nicole M. Mathwich – “Landscapes of resilience: O’odham resource use in the colonial Pimería Alta”

June 18, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm MST (Arizona)

The Columbian Exchange was the vast and pervasive transfer of animals, plants, diseases, and people between the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia. Archaeologists studying the Exchange have examined emergent identities, cultural persistence, and the long-term political ramifications of archaeological interpretations of cultural change for indigenous peoples of the Americas; however, less attention has been given to investigating the mechanisms of how native peoples negotiated the introduction of European livestock within their local environments. Livestock possess the ability to transform local ecology, and have the disruptive potential to be agents of colonialism. Without adequate analysis of indigenous peoples’ experiences of this facet of colonialism, there is a risk of under-valuing local knowledge and ecological constraints. My research integrates society, economy, and ecology to study shifts in indigenous landscape use following the introduction of livestock. I use multiple, independent lines of evidence to examine how local conditions influenced indigenous responses to colonial pressures at Spanish colonial mission and presidio sites between A.D. 1685 and A.D. 1850 in the Santa Cruz Valley (southern Arizona and northern Sonora). Using mission registers, agent-based modeling, zooarchaeological data, and stable isotope analysis, I investigated how O’odham resource use responded to colonial demands. My findings identify multi-site patterns in resource use and reflect a mix of reorganization of resources in response to colonial pressures and the persistence of traditional landscape use. These results broaden understandings of the diverse responses of indigenous communities to Spanish colonialism and emphasize the importance of local dynamics in shaping colonial interactions.


June 18, 2018
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm MST
Event Category:


Katherine Cerino


DuVal Auditorium, Banner-University Medical Center
1501 N Campbell Ave
Tucson, AZ United States
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