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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Bad Year Economics at Birchy Lake

Donald H. Holly Jr. Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL 61920 USA, and Department of Archaeology, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, NL. Email: dhholly@eiu.edu Paul Prince Department of Anthropology, MacEwan University, Edmonton, AB T5J 2P2, Canada John C. Erwin Provincial Archaeology Office, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6, Canada SUBMITTED: Jan 16, 2017ACCEPTED: May 09, 2017ONLINE: Apr 19, 2018 Abstract Full Text PDF Abstract Anthropologists have long been interested in understanding how societies cope with risk and uncertainty in their subsistence economies. The topic has been of particular interest to the study of hunters and gatherers, where risk and uncertainty are often conceptualized as problems of the natural rather than social environment. This paper focuses on an archaeological site located in the interior of the island of Newfoundland that was inhabited by Amerindian people hunting caribou in the spring of the year, presumably because they were having difficulty procuring marine resources at the coast. The plight of these Amerindians, at a time when they were sharing the island with Paleo-Inuit peoples and climate change was undermining islanders’ access to critical marine resources, highlights the complex play between cultural adaptation, social and historical processes, and the natural environment. Key words: risk management, hunter-gatherers, Arctic and Subarctic, grease rendering, subsistence stress, history and tradition.

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