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Twelve Millennia

Archaeology of the Upper Mississippi River Valley

James L. & Robert F. Theler & Boszhardt

Publication Year: 2003

The people of Taquile Island on the Peruvian side of beautiful Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the Americas, are renowned for the hand-woven textiles that they both wear and sell to outsiders. One thousand seven hundred Quechua-speaking peasant farmers, who depend on potatoes and the fish from the lake, host the forty thousand tourists who visit their island each year. Yet only twenty-five years ago, few tourists had even heard of Taquile. In Weaving a Future: Tourism, Cloth, and Culture on an Andean Island, Elayne Zorn documents the remarkable transformation of the isolated rocky island into a community-controlled enterprise that now provides a model for indigenous communities worldwide.

Over the course of three decades and nearly two years living on Taquile Island, Zorn, who is trained in both the arts and anthropology, learned to weave from Taquilean women. She also learned how gender structures both the traditional lifestyles and the changes that tourism and transnationalism have brought. In her comprehensive and accessible study, she reveals how Taquileans used their isolation, landownership, and communal organizations to negotiate the pitfalls of globalization and modernization and even to benefit from tourism. This multi-sited ethnography set in Peru, Washington, D.C., and New York City shows why and how cloth remains central to Andean society and how the marketing of textiles provided the experience and money for Taquilean initiatives in controlling tourism.

The first book about tourism in South America that centers on traditional arts as well as community control, Weaving a Future will be of great interest to anthropologists and scholars and practitioners of tourism, grassroots development, and the fiber arts.

Published by: University of Iowa Press

Front Matter

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pp. i-v


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xi

The story of pre-European people living in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, as told in the archaeological record, spans at least 12,000 years. To put that in perspective, envision a foot-long ruler with each inch representing a millennium. On that scale, Columbus would have reached the New World half an inch ago, the United States declared independence less than a quarter...

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pp. xiii-xiv

On any given day our phones ring or people from all walks of life stop in our offices to show us things they have found. Sometimes these collections consist of a few broken stone tools; other times we are presented with hundreds of artifacts. People come to ask us to identify their artifacts, and we share our...

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Chapter One

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pp. 1-17

Archaeologists study past human societies. Archaeologists do not study dinosaurs or fossils that date to geologic periods before our human ancestors. Paleontologists study ancient life forms before people and culture. Most of the materials made and used by past cultures have been lost to time. With...

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Chapter Two

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pp. 19-32

The portion of the Upper Mississippi River that cuts through the unglaciated Driftless Area (fig. 2.1) is a unique setting of rich and diverse natural habitats. The Driftless Area is an island of rugged ridges and valleys surrounded by more gently rolling terrain. While the Driftless Area was not plowed over by...

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Chapter Three

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pp. 33-37

The Pleistocene is a term given to that period of time between about 2 million and 11,000 years ago when the earth’s atmosphere cooled, permitting the development of huge amounts of glacial ice. During this Ice Age, portions of the earth’s Northern Hemisphere experienced several episodes of expansion...

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Chapter Four

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pp. 39-51

To understand how we know what we know about past cultures, it is useful to outline the history of archaeological research that has taken place in the Upper Mississippi Valley. Throughout this summary, the theme of salvaging remains in the face of site destruction is apparent, a situation that is even...

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Chapter Five

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pp. 53-68

The initial peopling of the Americas persists as the most publicized and controversial issue in all of American archaeology. Two facts seem clear: first, humans did not evolve in either North or South America but arrived in the Western Hemisphere as physically modern Homo sapiens sapiens. Second...

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Chapter Six

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pp. 69-83

The people living during the final phase of the Late Paleoindian period experienced an environment that was rapidly changing. By 10,000 years ago, the Pleistocene megafauna had become extinct, and the habitat of the Upper Mississippi River Valley was becoming essentially modern. These shifts mark the beginning of the Holocene era, which continues today...

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Chapter Seven

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pp. 85-95

The Late Archaic is the final portion of the long, preceramic Archaic tradition in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, dating from about 3,500 to 2,500 years ago. During the Late Archaic, bands of hunters and gatherers manufactured projectile point styles and practiced burial patterns that indicate distinct regional...

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Chapter Eight

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pp. 97-119

The Woodland tradition, like the preceding Archaic, has been divided into three stages based on technology and burial customs. It was once believed that three characteristics marked the transition from the Archaic to the Woodland tradition: the manufacture of pottery containers, construction of earthen...

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Chapter Nine

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pp. 121-139

The Hopewell phenomenon ended abruptly across eastern North America by A.D. 400. One example of the demise of Hopewell is the substantial simplification and reduction in the quantity of smoking pipes between A.D. 500 and 1200. During this relatively long period, pipes were small elbow forms (fig. 9.1). Some are made from Baraboo...

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Chapter Ten

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pp. 141-156

By A.D. 1000 the Upper Mississippi River Valley was ripe for another cultural revolution. The bow and arrow had become the weapon of choice, allowing greater deer harvest and tipping the scales in favor of year-round occupation of discrete territories marked by clan-symbol effigy mounds. In addition, corn had begun to be cultivated...

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Chapter Eleven

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pp. 157-172

The Oneota Culture was born of the marriage between Late Woodland people and Middle Mississippian ideas. Local groups appear to have selectively adopted Mississippian cultural aspects, such as intensified corn agriculture and shell-tempered pottery. The resulting Oneota are sometimes referred to as Upper Mississippian...

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Chapter Twelve

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pp. 173-187

While the people whom archaeologists call Oneota were thriving at La Crosse and other localities in the upper Midwest, Europeans were discovering, exploring, and settling the Atlantic seaboard. Within 30 years of Columbus’s initial voyage to the New World, Spanish armies had conquered the Aztec...

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pp. 189-192

Approximately 12,000 years ago the first people laid eyes on the Upper Mississippi River Valley. The landscape at that time would have been hardly recognizable to us. The region would have resembled the subarctic, and the people would have seen not only caribou and musk ox but also mastodons and...

Appendix A

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pp. 193-213

Appendix B

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pp. 215-227

Appendix C

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pp. 229-232

Recommended Readings and Sources

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pp. 233-243


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pp. 245-254

E-ISBN-13: 9781587294396

Publication Year: 2003