The Umpqua Eden site : the people, their smoking pipes and tobacco cultivation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x346d872b

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  • Located on the central Oregon coast, the Umpqua Eden site (35D083) yielded an artifact assemblage which is one of the five largest assemblages from the Oregon coast. The first aspect of the site that I looked at is the people who lived at the site, the ancestors of the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw. In turn, I consulted with Patty Whereat, the Cultural Resources Director for the tribes, which resulted in a more holistic view of the site. Additionally, I attempted to uncover possible women's and men's activity areas of the Umpqua Eden site. A wealth of information on the native peoples of the Oregon coast was discovered, revealing that the sexual division of labor was not extremely rigid before Euro-American contact and the social category of "female" was expanded to more than two genders with consideration given to the two-spirited individual. I also attempted to engender the archaeological record by looking at the processes involved in the manufacture of smoking pipes and the cultivation of tobacco. During the ethnographic period, women were not smoking pipes; however, they were probably cultivating the tobacco and possibly gathering the clay for smoking pipes. I suggest that there was an agricultural element to the hunter-gatherer native populations of the central Oregon coast and challenge Western assumptions of individualism in precontact groups of the Oregon coast. I also provide a comparative analysis of clay, schist and steatite pipes of the Oregon coast. The smoking pipes are all straight and tubular (9% are shouldered) and the Umpqua Eden site pipes have the most artistic motifs. My analysis shows that the sandstone pipe dates to approximately 2,000 years ago and the clay smoking pipe may have replaced the sandstone pipe. Schist and steatite pipes were also used by the people of the Oregon coast and may have possibly been traded into the site from southern groups. Microscopic analysis of the pipes provided evidence that people were firing their clay pipes in a low temperature reducing atmosphere and using sand temper. In addition, I found a wide range of pipes being used on the Oregon coast given its relatively small geographic location. All of the this archaeological inquiry has helped in understanding the Umpqua Eden site and helped to give us a clearer picture of pre-contact Lower Umpqua life.
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