Ethnicity and Periphery: The Archaeology of Identity in Russian America

Chapter
Part of the Contributions To Global Historical Archaeology book series (CGHA)

Abstract

Capitalism did not extend around the globe by an invisible hand; it was imposed in face-to-face encounters that drew European colonizers and indigenous populations into processes of confrontation, accommodation, and exchange. Russian conquest and rule of Alaska (1743–1867) was accompanied by class-mediated cultural fusion and the emergence of a new, creolized ethnicity, a transformation inscribed in textual records and archaeological sites of the colonial era. This chapter examines ethnic processes in Russian America on several scales: the dynamics of Russian participation in the capitalist world-system; relations of production within the colony, which varied as a function of supply and control; social hierarchy and interaction; and the material language of ethnic negotiation.

Keywords

Sugar Clay Europe Shipping Mold 

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA

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