Totem poles and tricycle races

the certainties and uncertainties of Native village life, Coastal Alaska 1878–1930

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract Anthropological and ethnohistorical accounts of the Northwest Coast and Southeast Alaska have underemphasized the early and thorough industrialization of the area. This paper describes the transformation of Native families and community forms by small scale salmon‐canning firms in the late 19th and early 20th century, beginning with the building of the first salmon cannery in Klawock, Alaska, in 1878. Attention to the unmaking of past forms of obligation and expectation leads to an understanding of the volatility of specifically local histories in Native villages. Totem poles and tricycle races are both locations of ambiguous cultural production that are tied to these histories in overlapping and complex ways, and as such, they serve as metaphors for the larger processes at work in these towns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-157
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Historical Sociology
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

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Pole
village
uncertainty
history
industrialization
obligation
metaphor
town
firm
community
Uncertainty
Totem Pole
Certainty
Village
Coast
Cultural Production
Industrialization
Northwest Coast
Salmon
Local History

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Abstract Anthropological and ethnohistorical accounts of the Northwest Coast and Southeast Alaska have underemphasized the early and thorough industrialization of the area. This paper describes the transformation of Native families and community forms by small scale salmon‐canning firms in the late 19th and early 20th century, beginning with the building of the first salmon cannery in Klawock, Alaska, in 1878. Attention to the unmaking of past forms of obligation and expectation leads to an understanding of the volatility of specifically local histories in Native villages. Totem poles and tricycle races are both locations of ambiguous cultural production that are tied to these histories in overlapping and complex ways, and as such, they serve as metaphors for the larger processes at work in these towns.",
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AB - Abstract Anthropological and ethnohistorical accounts of the Northwest Coast and Southeast Alaska have underemphasized the early and thorough industrialization of the area. This paper describes the transformation of Native families and community forms by small scale salmon‐canning firms in the late 19th and early 20th century, beginning with the building of the first salmon cannery in Klawock, Alaska, in 1878. Attention to the unmaking of past forms of obligation and expectation leads to an understanding of the volatility of specifically local histories in Native villages. Totem poles and tricycle races are both locations of ambiguous cultural production that are tied to these histories in overlapping and complex ways, and as such, they serve as metaphors for the larger processes at work in these towns.

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