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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 3, Issue 2, 1981

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The Distribution of Rock Art Elements and Styles in Utah

Sixty rock art elements and styles found in Utah can be grouped into Geometric, Representational, and Bizarre categories. The distributional patterns exhibited by these motifs range from generalized to tightly restricted. Many are tentatively associated with particular prehistoric groups. During the Fremont/Anasazi occupation period there appears to have been a higher degree of interaction between areas north and south along the Colorado River than between the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau.

Pyramid Lake Northern Paiute Fishing: The Ethnographic Record

By way of conclusion, it is perhaps worth noting some of the geographical relationships of Pyramid Lake fishing implements and practices. Most are clearly shared with the Walker River Northern Paiute, and at least to some degree with the Carson Lake and Humboldt Basin groups (Speth 1969; Stewart 1941). Platforms, weirs, gill nets, dip nets, and set Unes are found over much of the area, with local adaptations to fit specific hydrographic features. These same features, plus some of the same methods of weir and basket-trap construction, the use of shuttles and gauges, and large hfting nets, are also shared with some adjacent groups to the west,including particularly the Klamath (Barrett 1910; Kroeber and Barrett 1960). These and other features, as Kroeber and Barrett (1960) pointed out some years ago, also show a continuum from the Klamath area to the Pacific Coast. The kuyuidikadi and several other Northern Paiute groups can now be added to these distributions. In addition, some of these features seem to have been well established in the western Great Basin in the prehistoric past. Parallels are particularly noticeable by Lovelock times (Loud and Harrington 1929). Apart from any supposed or actual relationship between the Northern Paiute of west-central Nevada and the carriers of Lovelock lifeways (Grosscup 1963; Heizer and Napton 1970), it is clear that the whole of this region of the western Great Basin has been involved in fishing complexes of various orders and varying degrees for several millennia. The ecological and technological relationships that characterize the region through time are part of an important adaptive pattern that deserves to be further explored and more tightly defined. Park's data help with the ethnographic definition.

Recently Discovered Accounts Concerning the "Lone Woman" of San Nicolas Island

For more than a century, the story of the "Lone Woman" of San Nicolas Island has captured the interest of scholars and laymen alike. The tale was popularized because of the romanticism of a Robinson Crusoe sort of existence by a woman abandoned (18367-1853) on a tiny island off the California coast. The details of her culture have been carefully sifted out to provide at least some understanding of the Nicoleno by such scholars as Kroeber (1925:633-635), Meighan and Eberhart (1953), and Heizer and Elsasser (1973), the latter researchers bringing together all of the important historic accounts concerning the woman's story.

The Little Lake Site, Pinto Points, and Obsidian Dating in the Great Basin

Analysis of obsidian dating for 60 points from Harrington's excavations at Little Lake (Stahl site), yields the following conclusions: Obsidian in the southwestern part of the Great Basin has a quite different (and faster) hydration rate than obsidian from the northern and eastern parts of the Great Basin. (2) The cultural assemblage at the Little Lake site is essentially uniform; while the site was used for at least 2000 years, there is no detectable culture change so far as the point types are concerned. The major occupation of the Little Lake site was not far from Harrington's original estimate of 3000-4000 years ago. Based on the variability of contemporaneous points in the Pinto assemblage at Little Lake (in size, form, and workmanship), overly refined point typologies in the Great Basin may prove to have descriptive value only, and may not have as much cultural significance as the archaeologists would hope for.

The Digger Indian Stereotype in California

In sum, the "Digger" stereotype, first applied to indigenous peoples in the Great Basin, soon came to refer to native Californians, particularly those in and around the mining areas. There, the stereotype became gradually elaborated to include a bundle of connotations, all of which were more or less derogatory. The "Digger" was, in fact, a local variant of the so-called "Ignoble Savage," the conception of which assisted the realization of Manifest Destiny, and exonerated the removal, chastisement, and extermination of native peoples from coast to coast. In California, the doctrine of Manifest Destiny was particularly volatile in the charged and unstable atmosphere of the mines. Lured to California by the promise of quick fortune, thousands were denied fulfillment. The native inhabitants, already perceived as degraded and barely human, provided ready scapegoats for their failure. With the initiation of violence against them, Indians became victims of a vicious cycle of action and perception that resulted in their complete stigmatization and nearly complete physical extinction.

The "Aquatic Motif" in Chumash Rock Art

Our purpose will be to explore the possible meanings and dating of the symbol based upon our study of some 29 examples of the form from 19 different rock-art sites, as well as its association with a stone pipe, by relying upon the available ethnographic data.

Rock Enclosures in Southern California

The combination of its characteristics with their ceremonial connotation and its association with other ceremonial features sets the danceground apart from other rock enclosures. If the characteristics are examined individually, however, there are only two unique ones, the triad of shallow mortars and an entryway to a passage. The opening to the north, the level ground surface, and the lack of midden and artifacts by themselves are not unusual with rock enclosures, and take on ceremonial significance only when considered together. Similarly, the co-occurrence of enclosures and of enclosures and pictographs have been reported at other sites. Their relationship and significance at Peexa Wiyaamay, however, are indicated by their proximity and location on the same small landform.

Late Period Cultural Sequences in the Northeastern Great Basin Subarea and their Implications for the Upper Snake and Salmon River Country

Clearly, the use of Great Basin Shoshonean lifeways and material culture as models for predicting or interpreting the lifeways and material culture remains found in the Northeastern Great Basin subarea during the greater part of the Late Period is questionable. Models derived from studies of late prehistoric Northern Plains materials would appear to be more applicable in this subarea, but it is also obvious that such models by themselves are unlikely to predict the emergence and persistence of such cultural systems as the Great Salt Lake Fremont in northern Utah and southern Idaho.

Pitted Rock Petroglyphs in Southern California

Because of a long-term research interest in pitted rock petroglyphs, we were interested and somewhat concerned several years ago when Minor (1975) published his paper "The Pit and Groove Petroglyph Style in Southern California". Our interest was in the description of the southern California examples, the distribution data, and the fact that someone was working with this material in a systematic way. Our concern was focused primarily on the proposal that a meaningful interpretation for the pitted rock features could be found in the extant Luiseno ethnographic literature.

To Sea or not to Sea: Further Notes on the "Oceangoing" Dugouts of North Coastal California

Rather than confirm or reject their model, this paper will attempt to expand it, based on direct experience in Chumash marine architecture, craft handling capabilities, and comments by two Santa Barbara master boat builders who took part in the reconstruction of our Chumash plank canoe, Helek (Hudson 1976, 1977; Hudson, Timbrook, and Rempe1978; Howorth 1980). Our experiences provide a slightly different view of the variables involved and their relative importance, but are offered constructively to clarify various aspects of the Jobson-Hildebrandt model. It will be shown that larger dugouts were not more seaworthy than smaller ones, and that the reasons for large dugout use in offshore waters were associated with their greater cargo capacity.


Radiocarbon Dates from the Bird Spring Site, Clark County, Nevada

Relatively few radiocarbon dates, particularly in an associated series from a single excavation unit, are available from southwestern Nevada. For this reason, the three dates from 26 Ckl should be of considerable interest to other researchers in this part of the Great Basin, where dating of sites has been based to a great extent on cross-dating of projectile points and ceramics with other regions (Brooks and Larson 1975:437; Hauck et al. 1979:14). The dates from Bird Spring are in accord with the accepted sequence for southern Nevada, providing a base date for the appearance of the Rose Spring and Eastgate series, as well as the pottery. Furthermore, the three dates present an internally consistent floruit which lends credibility to the dates themselves.

An Incised Tablet from Northern California

An unusual incised tablet was discovered during an archaeological survey of Walpert Ridge, a remote section of the Alameda County Ridgelands overlooking San Francisco Bay (Parkman, Watts, and Eisenlauer 1978). Location of the artifact's discovery has been recorded as Ala-397 with the California Archaeological Site Survey (Fig. 1).

Notes on a Portable Rock Art Piece from Western Nevada

As with all Great Basin carved effigies, the piece may be classed as rather crude and experimental. A best guess at its species would be mountain sheep, an assessment with which Tuohy (personal communication) is in accord. As Wellmann (1979:56) has noted, mountain sheep are by far the most common animal portrayed in petroglyphs of the Great Basin. They are also the most faithfully executed and accurately rendered of all the quadrupeds, allowing for their easy modern-day recognition. Most other petroglyphic portrayals of animals are more aptly described as amorphous zoomorphs. Such figures could represent abstractions of known species, totally mythical or imaginary "dream" species, or non-realistic composites of the above. Such terms could also be used to interpret the piece described herein. It is suggested that such pieces would receive more attention if they were perceived as a type of rock art. Although portable, and admittedly at the other end of the spectrum from pictographs, petroglyphs, and geoglyphs (intaglios), they are nevertheless made of stone and are generally felt to be functionally magico-religious. If placed under the rock-art rubric they might become more attractive as objects of serious interpretive efforts.


Library Announcement: Harrington Smithsonian Papers

The Library of the University of California, Riverside will be acquiring the microfilmed Papers of John Peabody Harrington in the Smithsonian Institution, 1907-1957. UCR will make the papers available via inter-library loan to other UC campuses in accordance with the UC Shared Purchase Program, which funded the acquisition. The first segment of microfilm covering the tribes of Alaska and the Northwest Coast has just been published, but the entire 350-reel collection will not be completed until the end of 1983. Edited by Elaine L. Mills and published by Kraus Microfilm, the collection contains more than 750,000 pages of field notes, slip-file dictionaries, unpublished grammars, drafts and manuscripts for published writings, photographs, sketches, maps, correspondence, and accounts of expenses. A detailed guidebook, which may be ordered separately from Kraus, will provide access to the collection.


Paul Langenwalter has called to my attention two flaws in our recent report "Ord Shelter," which appeared in Vol. 3, No. 1. We inadvertently referred to the wrapped jack rabbit jaw as a rodent jaw. This perpetuated an error that originally appeared on page 383 of Emil Haury's The Stratigraphy and Archeology of Ventana Cave, Arizona (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, and Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1950). We should have referred to the jack rabbit as a lagomorph rather than a rodent. Furthermore, we omitted referencing Haury's work.


Kroeber and Gifford: Karok Myths

Karok Myths. A. L. Kroeber and E. W. Gifford. Grace Buzaljko, ed. Foreword by Theodora Kroeber, Folkloristic Commentary by Alan Dundes. and Linguistic Index by William Bright. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980, xliv + 380 pp., $25.00.

Dobyns: From Fire to Flood: Historic Human Destruction of Sonoran Desert Riverine Oases

From Fire to Flood: Historic Human Destruction of Sonoran Desert Riverine Oases. Henry F. Dobyns. Socorro: Ballena Press Anthropological Papers No. 20. 222 pp., $11.95.

Brumgardt and Bowles: People of the Magic Waters

People of the Magic Waters. John R. Brumgardt and Larry L. Bowles. Palm Springs: ETC Publications, 1981, 122 pp., illustrations, $9.95 (hardbound).

Barnes, Naylor, and Polzer: Northern New Spain: A Research Guide

Northern New Spain: A Research Guide. Thomas C Barnes, Thomas H. Naylor. and Charles W. Polzer. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1981, 147 pp., illustrations, maps, $9.95 (paper).

Zigmond: Kawaiisu Ethnobotany

Kawaiisu Ethnobotany. Maurice L. Zigmond. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1981, 102 pp., 1 map, photos, $25.00 (paper).