Fishtrap stakes delineating chevron patterns in the intertidal zone of Comox Harbour. Photo credit: Greene 2010.
I posted once before some time ago on the incredible fishtrap complexes in Comox Harbour on eastern Vancouver Island, highlighting Megan Caldwell’s M.A. thesis (downloadable) on the topic, and mentioning in passing that primacy of investigation should perhaps go to Nancy Greene, who has been mapping and dating these features for about a decade. I was glad to find the other day that Nancy Greene has a 2010 downloadable poster on the topic (link starts a 4 meg PDF) from an academic conference: WARP, the Wetland Archaeological Research Project, which itself has a nifty new website.
These Comox Harbour fishtraps are one of the wonders of B.C. Archaeology and it is highly welcome to see some more of Greene’s reconstructions and mapping.
Posted in alaska, anthropology, Archaeology, First Nations, history, Northwest Coast, Technology, underwater archaeology, Vancouver Island
Tagged alaska, Comox, fish weirs, fishing, fishtraps, herring, Intertidal, Q’umu?xs, salmon, Vancouver Island
Daryl braves the barrage of bras to set the Vancouver Aquarium straight on the value of dead fish over living fish. Click to play part 1.
Rockwash superstars Nicole and Daryl show off their cool wares in a couple of videos I just found online – I vaguely remember them going off to give this talk at the Vancouver Aquarium. It’s in two parts: 1 and 2. Nicole looks fabulous and Daryl has trimmed his beard! Win-Win. The projects they describe sure were a lot of fun to take part in. There are a few other talks up including Lyle Dick and Norm Sloan on Sea Otters on the Gwaii Haanas Youtube Channel.
A sandhill crane is a tough act fo follow but Nicole hammers home the righteous message of dead fish. Click to play part 2.
Posted in anthropology, Archaeology, fieldwork, Haida Gwaii, Northwest Coast, underwater archaeology
Tagged Archaeology, clam gardens, First Nations, fishing, fishtraps, Gaadu Din, Gwaii Haanas, Haida, history, Huxley Island, Kilgii Gwaay, Northwest Coast, sea otters, Teaching, underwater archaeology, Vancouver, Vancouver aquarium, videos
FbTa 59, a possible clam garden on the central coast. Source: Elroy White / Xanius M.A. thesis.
I’ve only met Elroy once or twice but he seems like a sharp guy and I was looking forward to reading his 2006 thesis, which turns out to be an exceptional work – ambitiously trying to implement Eldon Yellowhorn’s “internalist archaeology” in his home territory (Heiltsuk) on the central coast. This project, which focuses on fishtraps, is exemplary in a couple of ways. First, as a cutting edge exercise in the practice of archaeology, indeed, practice as theory. The combination of field archaeology, internalist work with a dozen elders, and extensive videography was a great exercise. (PS Elroy, post some videos!). Second, well, fishtraps are exceptionally interesting and need more study. Essentially, we are just guessing about the specific functions and efficiencies of these features. Elroy gathers a lot of information from elders, including interesting longitudinal data showing how quickly these features silt up — evidence in some ways for their silt retention qualities and also a suggestion there may be a lot of partially or totally obscured fishtraps out there. And, as above, Elroy appears to find some “clam gardens” (diagram) in Heiltsuk territory. Maybe it’s because my doctoral SSHRC project was going to be on fishtraps until I got talked out of that and into a GIStraightjacket, but I love’em. Anyway, you can get yourself a copy of this high quality MA theses here, at SFU dSpace.
Incidentally, for an earlier, wider scope take on subsistence and settlement and fish traps on the central coast, you can also download John Pomeroy’s 1980 PhD thesis (which doesn’t show up under “archaeology” in their classification or keyword scheme for some reason.)
Elroy White (Xanius) with intertidal fishtraps. Credit: Ecotrust Canada.
Posted in anthropology, Archaeology, dSpace, First Nations
Tagged Archaeology, clam gardens, fish weirs, fishtraps, Heiltsuk, Intertidal, mariculture, Northwest Coast