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Enduring Dimensions of Indigenous Foodways in the Southern Alta California Mountain Hinterlands
California Archaeology  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-11-23, DOI: 10.1080/1947461x.2021.1997515
Weronika Tomczyk, Nathan P. Acebo


Colonization dramatically impacted native ecosystems and Indigenous foodways in the Alta California coastal regions, but its impact in colonial hinterland landscapes remains poorly understood. This study contributes information on the indirect effects of colonial ecological transformations on hinterland Indigenous foodways by examining archaeofauna from the California Historical Landmark Black Star Canyon Puhú village (CHL#217; CA-ORA-132/317) in the Santa Ana Mountains of Orange County, California. In 1832 CE, the Indigenous residents of Puhú were allegedly subsisting off stolen livestock and were massacred in retaliation by colonists. Zooarchaeological analyses of the village revealed a continuation of montane endemic hunting traditions whereas livestock had a minimal, if not non-existent, impact on the community's foodways. We suggest that the outcome of postcolonial ecological change on food availability was variable in proximal hinterland areas, and for the Puhú village, potentially enhanced access to certain native faunal resources, which enabled a different mode of cultural persistence.