reply to Read

Fri, 30 Sep 1994 11:52:00 PDT

Mike Lieber writes:

" Unless the villages
of the NWC were as deadly as the ancient cities, the 0 growth option probably
fits. What you get in that case is a population that during salmon season is
barely adequate to exploit available resources, while the same population in
other seasons is too big for the resource base. Slaves did not do well.

Lieber's clarification of where the 0 growth rate likely comes from
makes sense and is seems to be similar, for example, to the Netsilik eskimo
predicament: extremely high quantity of resources part of the year and a
dearth of resources the remainder of the year. As I understand the
situation of the Netsilik (and this may be true of other eskimo groups prior
to contact) the "balancing" part of the demographic growth curve occurred
through actual and substantial starvation that happened when the caribou did
not migrate as expected.

With the Netsilik it seems that even with the use of sophisticated fishing
technology it still was not possible to get enough salmon during the
short summer runs to make up for loss of caribou when the caribou did not
migrate as expected. From Lieber's comments it sounds like the NW coast
groups were facing the same predicament: Even though there was an abundance
of salmon when the salmon ran, not enough salmon could be obtained to carry
them through the lean season when the lean season was bad?

Dwight Read