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From watershed to house: The cultural landscapes of the Sts'ailes people

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
This study explores the relationship between the Sts’ailes people and their cultural landscape in the Harrison Watershed in Southwestern B.C. Archaeological, geographic, environmental, ethnographic, and ethnohistoric data are used to assess Sts’ailes social organization and social relations. Working under the assumption that spatial distance is a reflection of social distance, the patterning of houses and settlements reveal five social units: the tribe, the extended settlement community, the settlement community, the local group, and the household. Examining these social units provides insight into how people within them interacted socially, economically, and politically and how each unit had an important role within pre-contact Sts’ailes society. At the settlement scale, major social changes are evident ~1,200 cal. B.P., based on the co-utilization of both plank houses and pithouses and large variation in house size. This study demonstrates the value of exploring cultural landsapes at various social and spatial scales.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Lepofsky, Dana
Thesis advisor: Reimer, Rudy
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etd6034_PRitchie.pdf 80.15 MB

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