AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: THE RAW MATERIALS OF CALIFORNIA PLAINWARES: INVESTIGATING COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE THROUGH CERAMIC VESSELS
Author: SARAH PEELO (UC Davis)   
Date/Time: Thu., 3:15 PM
Co-Author(s): SARAH PEELO (UC Davis) 
Abstract: This paper analyzes the raw materials used to manufacture ceramics from four Spanish Missions in Alta California using petrographic analysis, electron microprobe analysis, and ImageJ software. The results suggest that each of these Spanish California Missions produced their own pottery using distinct local clays. However, analysis of inclusion shape and size, silt fraction, and sorting suggest that clay processing within each mission was rather variable. These results are important to understanding how diverse indigenous peoples living in colonial settlements created community. During the Mission Period (1769-1834) many California Indians left their local tribelets, around which they formed social identities, and relocated to mission settlements. Ethnohistoric studies demonstrate that California mission communities were places composed of people of many different tribelet, or ethnic, groups. The archaeological investigation presented here contributes to an understanding of how people from diverse local groups produced and reproduced their social and cultural identities once they moved to the pluralistic mission communities. Here I concentrate on the identities created through ceramic production, among those who manufactured pots. Indigenous potters participating in the day-to-day, stylistic and symbolic practices of different social communities create material patterning. By being active participants in social communities, people construct identities in relationship to them. When faced with living in places of cultural diversity, some mission communities may have formed a shared cultural identity through shared ceramic raw material choice, however variations in clay processing within missions suggest multiple communities of practice and thus multiple identities may have formed out of this cultural interaction.

Program Number: 2-0840
Session Title: CERAMIC ECOLOGY XXIV: CURRENT RESEARCH ON CERAMICS 2010
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): CHARLES KOLB (National Endowment for the Humanities) 
Chair(s): CHARLES KOLB (National Endowment for the Humanities)  
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