Where the Spirit Resides in Northern Prehistory

Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 9:10am to 12:10pm
Ambassador H
There has been a long interest in understanding the workings of non-human agency in anthropology, from early debates about animism and totemism to more recent archaeological theorizing about “things.” The topic remains pertinent because many cultures do not narrowly demarcate between inanimate and animate, natural and supernatural, the physical and the spiritual. This is certainly true for the native inhabitants of subarctic and arctic North America, who shared a landscape with non-human persons, spirits, and animate objects for millennia. This session offers case studies and theoretical papers that identify and examine the entangled relations between people and these non-humans in the archaeological record. Papers are welcomed that explore these relationships wherever they occur: on the landscape, in hunting and gathering, food preparation, consumption, and discard, the crafting and use of technology, settlement and household organization, caching, burial, and ritual.
  • Donald H. Holly Jr., Eastern Illinois University & Memorial University