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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ritual Management of Salmonid Fish Resources in California


Ethnographers at times are more concerned with reporting data than interpreting them. As a result, ethnographies often have the appearance of being little more than collections of facts organized by a generally standardized topical outline. Synoptic surveys may result from an effort to synthesize a particular trait, custom, or complex, and from these there often results a deeper insight into the function and purpose of what, in unanalyzed form, seem to be cultural practices which are illogical or meaningless. We attempt here to review native ritual, belief, and ceremony connected with anadromous fish in the northern part of the state in the effort to determine what logical and functional significance these had in terms of Native California life and survival.

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