The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Winter 2018

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Campbell, Sarah K.

Second Advisor

Koetje, Todd A.

Third Advisor

Boxberger, Daniel L., 1950-


Bird remains are regularly found in archaeological deposits in the Salish Sea region. Predominant paradigms to explain the distribution of archaeological faunal remains primarily focus on diet. Yet, uses of bird remains for purposes other than food are also widely represented in ethnographies. The economic structure of the potlatch is an alternative model to account for the presence of archaeological avifauna. Avifaunal materials contribute to a continuous social system as both food and wealth objects. How avian resources were harvested, transformed into commodities, and used to signal rank and prestige in the context of the potlatch are considered. This study explores how these themes are reflected in the archaeological record over the last 3,500 years of occupation at the village of Xwe’Chi’eXen, 45WH1. A total of 2,109 bird bones were analyzed from two time components that generally correspond with the Locarno Beach and Marpole typological phases. Several patterns consistent with formalization of the gift economy over time were observed. A high frequency of duck wings, and evidence of butchery suggests that wings were intentionally removed, possibly for their flight feathers. Concentrations of bird remains at two locations may indicate potlatch or other ritual related deposition. Increases in frequency of naturally aggregating taxa, and changing patterns of avian diversity over time, are interpreted as increasing reliance on mass harvest hunting techniques. These lines of evidence are argued to represent intensification in the gift economy that result in the formalization of harvest locations as lineage property.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Bird remains (Archaeology)--Washington (State)--Cherry Point; Feathers--Utilization--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Potlatch--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Indians of North America--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)--Antiquities; Indians of North America--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)--Rites and ceremonies; Commerce, Prehistoric--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Excavations (Archaeology)--Washington (State)--Cherry Point

Geographic Coverage

Cherry Point (Wash.); Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Included in

Anthropology Commons