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Human Impacts on Seals, Sea Lions, and Sea OttersIntegrating Archaeology and Ecology in the Northeast Pacific$
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Todd Braje

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267268

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267268.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

The Historical Ecology of Walrus Exploitation in the North Pacific

The Historical Ecology of Walrus Exploitation in the North Pacific

(p.41) 3 The Historical Ecology of Walrus Exploitation in the North Pacific
Human Impacts on Seals, Sea Lions, and Sea Otters

Erica Hill

University of California Press

This chapter examines the historical ecology of the Pacific walrus considering the association between human settlements and walrus migration routes along the North Pacific Coast on both sides of the Bering Strait. It also discusses how humans adapted their hunting strategies to deal with the habitat preferences of female and juvenile walruses. These observations have major implications for our understanding of how cooperative hunting developed along the coasts of the Bering and Chukchi seas. Hunting by large crews aboard umiat (large, open skin boats) is a strategy that has long been associated— exclusively—with whaling. But emerging archaeological evidence has the potential to demonstrate that North Pacific Eskimos around the Bering Strait lived and hunted in large, cooperative kin groups before whaling emerged as the preferred subsistence strategy.

Keywords:   Pacific Coast, Bering Strait, ecology, Pacific walrus, hunting, whaling, human settlements, migration, habitat preferences, Eskimos

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