Literate New Englanders, captives, missionaries, and soldiers swept up in borderlands conflicts left numerous accounts of hunger dating from the start of King Philip's War (1675), to the end of the Seven Years' War (1763), when New England was at war more often than at peace. In the violent borderlands of New England, hunger produced cultural coping measures, or "hunger cultures," as Native peoples and English colonists conceptualized hunger differently. Hunger cultures also created practical strategies, or "hunger knowledges," used to survive the material realities of want. Northeastern woodlands Indians had broad and deep hunger knowledges that allowed them to cope with seasonal cycles of feast and famine. Because England was spared the scarcity that wracked much of the rest of Europe between the mid-seventeenth and mid-eighteenth centuries, English colonists brought to America a hunger culture characterized by a dearth of hunger knowledge. Despite encountering Native approaches to hunger, the majority of English colonists did not create new hunger cultures or knowledges in New England. The concepts of hunger culture and knowledge offer a framework for understanding hunger as a cultural actor in early America and beyond.


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pp. 255-281
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