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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Traditions of Sucker Exploitation in the Pit River System: An Ajumawi Example


The avowed significance of riverine-focused cultural adaptations in northeastern California notwithstanding, little is understood regarding the use of specific fish species, the variability in harvest strategies, or the relative dietary values of the resources. Recent ethnographic research on traditional sucker fishing practices among the Ajumawi division of the Pit River Indians provides a specific illustration of a significant resource used in prehistoric times and continuing through historical accommodation to the middle of the twentieth century. The perpetuation of sucker use survives to the present and is attributed in part to historical residence patterns and continuous availability, but also to the dietary significance of this traditional resource.

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