Human Ecology

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 201–212 | Cite as

Kwakwaka’wakw “Clam Gardens”

Motive and Agency in Traditional Northwest Coast Mariculture
  • Douglas Deur
  • Adam Dick
  • Kim Recalma-Clutesi
  • Nancy J. Turner
Article

Abstract

The indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast of North America actively managed natural resources in diverse ways to enhance their productivity and proximity. Among those practices that have escaped the attention of anthropologists until recently is the traditional management of intertidal clam beds, which Northwest Coast peoples have enhanced through techniques such as selective harvests, the removal of shells and other debris, and the mechanical aeration of the soil matrix. In some cases, harvesters also removed stones or even created stone revetments that served to laterally expand sediments suitable for clam production into previously unusable portions of the tidal zone. This article presents the only account of these activities, their motivations, and their outcomes, based on the first-hand knowledge of a traditional practitioner, Kwakwaka’wakw Clan Chief Kwaxistalla Adam Dick, trained in these techniques by elders raised in the nineteenth century when clam “gardening” was still widely practiced.

Keywords

Clam gardens Mariculture Traditional ecological knowledge Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw Clan Chief Kwaxistalla Adam Dick 

References

  1. Ames, K. (1991). The Archaeology of the Longue Durée: Temporal and Spatial Scale in the Evolution of Social Complexity on the Southern Northwest Coast. Antiquity 65: 935–45.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, M. K. (2009). The Ozette Prairies of Olympic National Park: Their Former Indigenous Uses and Management. Report to Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, Washington.Google Scholar
  3. Berkes, F. (2012). Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Management, 3rd edn., Philadelphia, Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  4. Blackburn, T. C., and Anderson M. K. (Eds.). (1993). Before the Wilderness. Menlo Park, CA: Ballena.Google Scholar
  5. Blukis Onat, A. R. (2002). Resource Cultivated on the Northwest Coast of North America. Journal of Northwest Anthropology 36(2): 29–48. Reprinted in: A Collection of Papers from the Journal of Northwest Anthropology Associated with Traditional Indigenous Resources. Part 1. General and Terrestrial. Electronic edition, Spring 2011. Volume 43(2): 125–144.Google Scholar
  6. Boas, F. (1921). Ethnology of the Kwakiutl. Bureau of American Ethnology 35th Annual Report, Parts 1 and 2. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  7. Boas, F. (1948). In Boas Yampolsky, H. (ed.), Kwakiutl Dictionary. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  8. Boas, F. [with George Hunt] (1906). Kwakiutl Texts, Second series, G. E. Stechert and Co, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Bouchard, R., and Kennedy, D. (1990). Clayoquot Sound Indian Land Use. British Columbia Indian Language Project, Victoria.Google Scholar
  10. Boyd, R. (1990). Demographic history, 1774–1874. In Suttles, W. (ed.), Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 7: Northwest Coast. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 135–146.Google Scholar
  11. Boyd, R. (1999). Indians, Fire and the Land in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.Google Scholar
  12. Brookfield, H. C. (1972). Intensification and Disintensification in Pacific Agriculture. Pacific Viewpoint. 13(1): 30–48.Google Scholar
  13. Butler, V., and Campbell, S. (2004). Resource Intensification and Resource Depression in the Pacific Northwest of North America: A Zooarchaeological Review. Journal of World Prehistory 18: 327–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Caldwell, M. E. (2013). Marine Resource Management on the Northwest Coast: Examples from Tla’amin Traditional Territory. Unpublished Ph.D. dis. University of Alberta Department of Anthropology.Google Scholar
  15. Caldwell, M. E., Lepofsky, D., Combes, G., Washington, M., Welch, J. R., and Harper, J. R. (2012). A Bird’s Eye View of Northern Coast Salish Intertidal Resource Management Features, Southern British Columbia, Canada. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 7(2): 219–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cannon, A., Burchell, M., and Bathurst R. (2008). Trends and strategies in shellfish gathering on the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. In Antezak, A. T., and Cipriani, R. (eds.), Early Human Impact on Megamolluscs, BAR British Archaeological Reports International Series 1865, Oxford, pp. 7–22.Google Scholar
  17. Carpenter, J., Humchitt, C., and Eldridge, M. (2000). Heiltsuk Traditional Fish Trap Study. Final Report, Fisheries Renewal BC Research Reward, Science Council of BC Reference Number FS99-32, Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre, Waglisla, BC.Google Scholar
  18. Cullis-Suzuki, S. (2007). An Ethnoecological study of the Kwakwaka’wakw Traditional Harvesting of Eelgrass, Zostera marina L.; Zosteraceae. M.Sc. thesis, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, BC.Google Scholar
  19. Deur, D. (1999). Salmon, sedentism and cultivation: toward an environmental ‘prehistory’ of the Northwest Coast. In Hirt, D., and Goble, P. (eds.), Northwest Lands, Northwest Peoples: An Environmental History Anthology. University of Washington Press, Seattle.Google Scholar
  20. Deur, D. (2000). A Domesticated Landscape: Native American Plant Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America, Ph.D. Dissertation, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.Google Scholar
  21. Deur, D. (2002). Rethinking Precolonial Plant Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America. The Professional Geographer 54: 140–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Deur, D. (2005). Tending the garden, making the soil: Northwest coast estuarine gardens as engineered environments. In Deur, D., and Turner, N. J. (eds.), “Keeping it Living”: Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America, 2005th ed. University of Washington Press, Seattle and UBC Press, Vancouver, pp. 296–330.Google Scholar
  23. Deur, D., and Turner, N. J. (2005). Keeping it Living: Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America. University of Washington Press, Seattle.Google Scholar
  24. Deveau, A. (2011). Kwakwaka’wakw use of the edible seaweed lhəqq’əstən (Porphyra abbottiae Krishnamurthy: Bangiaceae) and heavy metal bioaccumulation at traditional harvesting sites in Queen Charlotte Strait and Broughton Strait. MSc Thesis, University of Victoria, BC.Google Scholar
  25. Donald, L., and Mitchell, D. (1975). Some Correlates of Local Group Rank among the Southern Kwakiutl. Ethnology 14(4): 325–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Edwards, G. T. (1979). “Indian Spaghetti.” The Beaver (Autumn): 4–11.Google Scholar
  27. Ellis, D. W., and Swan, L. (1981). Teachings of the Tides: Uses of Marine Invertebrates by the Manhousaht People. Theytus Books, Nanaimo, B.C.Google Scholar
  28. Ellis, D. W., and Wilson, S. (1981). The Knowledge and Usage of Marine Invertebrates by the Skidegate Haida People of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Monograph Series No. 1, Queen Charlotte Islands Museum Society, Skidegate, BC.Google Scholar
  29. Groesbeck, A. S., Rowell, K., Lepofsky, D., and Salomon, A. K. (2014). Ancient Clam Gardens Increased Shellfish Production: Adaptive Strategies from the Past Can Inform Food Security Today. PLoS One 9(3): e91235 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Haggan, N., Turner, N., Carpenter, J., Jones, J. T., Mackie, Q., and Menzies, C. (2006). 12,000+ Years of Change: Linking Traditional and Modern Ecosystem Science in the Pacific Northwest. Working Paper Series No. 2006–02, University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre, Vancouver.Google Scholar
  31. Harper, J. R., Haggarty, J., and Morris, M. C. (1995). Broughton Archipelago Clam Terrace Survey. Unpublished report. Coastal & Ocean Resources Inc, Sidney, BC.Google Scholar
  32. Harper, J., Dick, A., Mitchell, D., Sewid-Smith, D., Bouchard, R., Kennedy, D., Morris, M., Recalma-Clutesi, K. (2005). Clam Gardens of British Columbia. Paper presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association, Nanaimo, B.C.Google Scholar
  33. Hunn, E. S., Johnson, D. R., Russell, P. N., and Thornton, T. F. (2003). Huna Tlingit traditional environmental knowledge, conservation, and the management of a “Wilderness” Park. Current Anthropology 44: S79–S103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jackley, J., Gardner, L., Djunaedi, A., and Salomon, A. K. (2015). Ancient Clam Gardens, Traditional Management Portfolios, and the Resilience of Coupled Human-Ocean Systems. Ecology and Society. In press. Google Scholar
  35. Jamieson, G. S. (1986). Paralytic shellfish poisoning. In Jamieson, G. S., and Francis, K. (eds.), Invertebrate and Marine Plant Resources of British Columbia. Canada Special Publications in Fisheries and Aquatic, Science, p. 91.Google Scholar
  36. Kozloff, E. N. (1983). Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast. Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, B.C.Google Scholar
  37. Langdon, S. J. (2006). Tidal pulse fishing. Selective traditional Tlingit Salmon fishing techniques on the West Coast of Prince of Wales Archipelago. In Menzies, C. (ed.), Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Management. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, pp. 21–46.Google Scholar
  38. Lepofsky, D., and Caldwell, M. (2013). Indigenous Marine Resource Management on the Northwest Coast of North America. Ecological Process 2: 12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lepofsky, D., and Lertzman, K. (2008). Documenting Ancient Plant Management in the Northwest of North America. Botany 86(2): 129–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lepofsky, D., Smith, N. F., Cardinal, N., Harper, J., White, E., Salomon, A. K., Morris, M., Puckett, M., and Rowell, K. (2015). Ancient Mariculture on the Northwest Coast of North America. American Antiquity.Google Scholar
  41. Lloyd, T. A. (2011). Cultivating the Taki’lakw, the ethnoecology of tleksem, Pacific silverweed…; lessons from Clan Chief Kwaxsistalla of the Dzawada7enuxw Kwakwaka’wakw of Kingcome Inlet. MSc. Thesis, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, BC.Google Scholar
  42. Lutz, J. S. (2008). Makúk: A New History of Aboriginal-White Relations. UBC Press, Vancouver.Google Scholar
  43. Menzies, C. (2006). In Menzies, C. (ed.), Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Natural Resource Management. University of Nebraska, Lincoln.Google Scholar
  44. Minnis, P. E., and Elisens, W. J. (Eds.) (2000). Biodiversity and Native America. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.Google Scholar
  45. Moss, M. (1993). Shellfish, Gender, and Status on the Northwest Coast of North America: Reconciling Archeological, Ethnographic and Ethnohistorical Records of the Tlingit. American Anthropologist 95(3): 631–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Quayle, D. B. (1978). The Intertidal Bivalves of British Columbia. British Columbia Provincial Museum Handbook No. 17, B.C. Provincial Museum, Victoria.Google Scholar
  47. Recalma-Clutesi, K., with Szimanski, A., White, W., Woods, D. (2007). Smoke From His Fire. APTN/Knowledge Network video documentary.Google Scholar
  48. Suttles, W. (1987). Coping with abundance: subsistence on the Northwest Coast. In Suttles, W. (ed.), Coast Salish Essays. University of Washington Press, Seattle, pp. 45–63.Google Scholar
  49. Thornton, T. F. (1999). Tleikw aaní, the “Berried” Landscape: The Structure of Tlingit Edible Fruit Resources at Glacier Bay, Alaska. Journal of Ethnobiology 19(1): 27–48.Google Scholar
  50. Thornton, T. F., Moss, M. L., Butler, V. L., Hebert, J., and Funk, F. (2010). Local and Traditional Knowledge and the Historical Ecology of Pacific herring in Alaska. Journal of Ecological Anthropology 14(1): 81–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Turner, N. J. (1999). “Time to Burn”: Traditional Use of Fire to Enhance Resource Production by Aboriginal Peoples in British Columbia. pp. 185–218. In Boyd, R. (Ed.) Indians, Fire and the Land in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.Google Scholar
  52. Turner, N. J. (2005). The Earth’s Blanket. Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living. Douglas & McIntyre & Seattle: University of Washington Press, Vancouver.Google Scholar
  53. Turner, N. J., and Berkes, F. (Eds.). (2006). Developing Resource Management and Conservation. Special Issue of Human Ecology. 34(4):475–614.Google Scholar
  54. Turner, N. J., and Clifton, H. (2006). “The forest and the seaweed”: Gitga’at seaweed, traditional ecological knowledge and community survival. In Menzies, C. (ed.), Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Natural Resource Management. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, pp. 65–86.Google Scholar
  55. Turner, N. J., and Peacock, S. L. (2005). Solving the perennial paradox: evidence for plant resource management on the Northwest Coast. In Deur, D. E., and Turner, N. J. (eds.), Keeping it Living: Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America. University of Washington Press, Seattle, pp. 101–150.Google Scholar
  56. Turner, N. J., and Turner, K. L. (2008). “Where Our Women Used to Get the Food”: Cumulative Effects and Loss of Ethnobotanical Knowledge and Practice; Case Studies From Coastal British Columbia. Botany 86(1): 103–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Turner, N. J., and Wilson, B. (2008). The culture of forests: Haida traditional knowledge and forestry in the 21st century. In Drengson, A., and Taylor, D. M. (eds.), Wild Foresting: Practicing Nature's Wisdom. Island Press, Washington, D.C, pp. 130–137.Google Scholar
  58. Turner, N. J., Smith, R. Y., and Jones, J. T. (2005). “A fine line between two nations”: Ownership Patterns for Plant Resources among Northwest Coast Indigenous Peoples - Implications for Plant Conservation and Management. In Deur, D., and Turner, N. J. (eds.), “Keeping it Living”: Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America. University of Washington Press, Seattle, pp. 151–180. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
  59. Turner, N. J., Ari, Y., Berkes, F., Davidson-Hunt, I., Ertug, Z. F., and Miller, A. M. (2009a). Cultural management of living trees: an international perspective. In: Lepofsky, D. (Ed.), Indigenous Resource Management: Past, Present and Future. Journal of Ethnobiology 29(2):237–270.Google Scholar
  60. Turner, N. J., Harvey, T., Burgess, S., and Kuhnlein. H. V. (2009b). The Nuxalk Food and Nutrition Program, Coastal British Columbia, Canada: 1981–2006. In Kuhnlein, H. V., Erasmus, B., and Dina, Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems. The many dimensions of culture, diversity and environment for nutrition and health, pp 23–44.Google Scholar
  61. White, E. (2006). Heiltsuk Stone Fish Traps: Products of My Ancestors’ Labour. Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.Google Scholar
  62. Williams, J. (2006). Clam Gardens: Aboriginal Mariculture on Canada’s West Coast. New Star Press, Vancouver, BC.Google Scholar
  63. Williams, N. M., and Hunn, E. S. (Eds.). (1982). Resource Managers: North American and Australian Hunter-Gatherers. American Association for the Advancement of Science Selected Symposia Series. Westview Press, Boulder, CO.Google Scholar
  64. Woods, D. J., and Woods, D. (producers) (2005). Ancient Sea Gardens. Mystery of the Pacific Northwest, directed by Kim Recalma-Clutesi and Aaron Szimanski, written by Tim Horton. Toronto, ON: Aquaculture Pictures, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Tsawataineuk First NationQualicum BCCanada
  3. 3.Qualicum First NationQualicum BCCanada
  4. 4.School of the Environment, University of VictoriaVictoria BCCanada

Personalised recommendations