Northwest coast (was Re: The Anthroplogy of th..)

24 Dec 1994 04:14:01 GMT

In <3df9nj$> writes:

` abandoned it. Then the fact that these people didn't have a maritime
` culture argues against this hypothesis--unless there's a good story
` to tell about why maritime culture was less adaptive in Oregon than
` in Kamchatka or whatever.
` But there might be one. From south of Puget Sound, the coast
` is pretty unprotected, not many islands--put a boat out in Oregon
` and you're in the open ocean right away. Farther north it's different;
` the B.C. coast is all islands and fjords, much easier territory for
` small boats. I don't know what the NE Asian coast is like, or what
` might be likely setting-off points, but if it's more like the Inland
` Passage of BC/Alaska than like the naked coast of Oregon & California,
` then we might have a story--the maritime adaptations that got people
` over in the first place weren't that useful under the different
` conditions found farther south, and so were lost.
` Two questions that bear on this, neither of which I know the
` answer to: 1) what are coastal conditions like in Kamchatka &
` Manchuria? 2) what kind of maritime technology do coastal NE Asian
` cultures like the Chukchee and Nivkh have?
I don't know the details of Kamchatka, but from what I've seen, it's
like the coast here (BC) but colder and wetter on land. The ocean
life is quite similar. The main point I want to make here though is
that not only is the coast south of Puget Sound unsheltered, it is
also of a different character. The smoothness of the coastline means
there is less intertidal bounty per area of coastline. There are lots
more sandy beaches, which are more of an intertidal desert by comparison
with the rocky northern coast. The seasons are more extreme, the winters
cold and windy. Whereas in the shelter of the inlets, villages could
be built right on the shoreline, this would be very unpleasant during
the winter months further south. I confess though, that I'm not familiar
with the activities of native americans along the Washington/Oregon

========================================================================== <== faster % Pete Vincent % Disclaimer: all I know I
% learned from reading Usenet.