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Hunting for Hides, Hunting for Hides, 0817314938, 0-8173-1493-8, 978-0-8173-1493-4, 9780817314934, , , Hunting for Hides, 0817352767, 0-8173-5276-7, 978-0-8173-5276-9, 9780817352769, , , Hunting for Hides, 0817383778, 0-8173-8377-8, 978-0-8173-8377-0, 9780817383770,

Hunting for Hides
Deerskins, Status, and Cultural Change in the Protohistoric Appalachians
Heather A. Lapham

Quality Paper
2006. 198 pp.
Price:  $29.95 s
E Book
2009. 200 pp.
Price:  $29.95 d

Changes in Native American communities as they adapted to advancing Europeans.
This volume investigates the use of deer, deerskins, and nonlocal goods in the period from A.D. 1400 to 1700 to gain a comprehensive understanding of historic-era cultural changes taking place within Native American communities in the southern Appalachian Highlands. In the 1600s, hunting deer to obtain hides for commercial trade evolved into a substantial economic enterprise for many Native Americans in the Middle Atlantic and Southeast.  An overseas market demand for animal hides and furs imported from the Americas, combined with the desire of infant New World colonies to find profitable export commodities, provided a new market for processed deerskins as well as new sources of valued nonlocal goods.  This new trade in deerskins created a reorganization of the priorities of native hunters that initiated changes in native trade networks, political alliances, gender relations, and cultural belief systems.  

Through research on faunal remains and mortuary assemblages, Lapham tracks both the products Native Americans produced for colonial trade--deerskins and other furs--as well as those items received in exchange--European and native prestige goods that end up in burial contexts. Zooarchaeological analyses provide insights into subsistence practices, deer-hunting strategies, and deer-hide production activities, while an examination of mortuary practices contributes information on the use of the nonlocal goods acquired through trade in deerskins. This study reveals changes in economic organization and mortuary practices that provide new insights into how participation in the colonial deerskin trade initially altered Native American social relations and political systems.


 Heather A. Lapham is Curator of the Center for Archaeological Investigations at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a specialist in zooarchaeology.


"A fascinating study of how power and prestige shifted during the first 200 years of European and Native American interaction in the eastern United States."-- Dale Hutchinson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"Lapham's analysis demonstrates how faunal data can be used to transcend subsistence studies and, combined with other data, can address more complex issues such as culture change."-- Lucretia Kelly, Washington University in St. Louis

"By examining what must have been a major economic activity in the seventeenth century--the deerskin trade--Lapham has illuminated an important page in the early history of colonialism in the Southeastern United States and provided a useful comparative case study for fur trade historians. This book will surely find an audience among students and scholars interested in the big historical questions associated with colonialism, culture change, economic reorganization, and social relations, as well as the ways in which the multiple evidentiary lines of zooarchaeology and mortuary analysis can be brought to bear on these issues."--Southeastern Archaeology