Coming to Shore


Coming to Shore

Northwest Coast Ethnology, Traditions, and Visions

Edited by Marie Mauzé, Michael E. Harkin, and Sergei Kan

508 pages
22 photographs, 2 figures, map, index


December 2004


$35.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

The Northwest Coast of North America was home to dozens of Native peoples at the time of its first contact with Europeans. The rich artistic, ceremonial, and oral traditions of these peoples and their preservation of cultural practices have made this region especially attractive for anthropological study. Coming to Shore provides a historical overview of the ethnology and ethnohistory of this region, with special attention given to contemporary, theoretically informed studies of communities and issues.

The first book to explore the role of the Northwest Coast in three distinct national traditions of anthropology— American, Canadian, and French—Coming to Shore gives particular consideration to the importance of Claude Lévi-Strauss and structuralism, as well as more recent social theory in the context of Northwest Coast anthropology. In addition contributors explore the blurring boundaries between theoretical and applied anthropology as well as contemporary issues such as land claims, criminal justice, environmentalism, economic development, and museum display. The contribution of Frederica de Laguna provides a historical background to the enterprise of Northwest Coast anthropology, as do the contributions of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Marie Mauzé.

Author Bio

Marie Mauzé is a senior researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Her books include Present Is Past: Some Uses of Tradition in Native Societies. Michael E. Harkin is a professor of anthropology at the University of Wyoming and the editor of Reassessing Revitalization Movements: Perspectives from North America and the Pacific Islands (Nebraska 2004). Sergei Kan is a professor of anthropology and Native American studies at Dartmouth College and author of Memory Eternal: Tlingit Culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity through Two Centuries.


“Those familiar with the region and the various cultures will find it not only useful, but stimulating. Throughout the papers, oral and written history, data, linguistics, and theory are all woven together in both the Lévi-Strauss and Boasian approaches to understanding people and their cultures. . . . I highly recommend Coming to Shore for any serious student of the Northwest Coast and its cultural history.”—Artic

"The chapters confirm the editors' introductory assertion that the North Pacific Coast is central to the history of anthropology for reasons that go beyond the fact that this was where Boas conducted his pioneering research. Taken together, the chapters reinforce both the extent of the Boasian legacy and the continuing vitality of research in the area."—Robert L. A. Hancock, BC Studies

“At once a history of Northwest Coast anthropology, a contribution to it, and a commentary on ethnographic practice. . . . Coming to Shore is most interesting in its presentation of a Northwest Coast ethnography that could be used ‘as a setting for a novel.’ It also presents a close look at the cultures of academic traditions in France and North America.”—Robin Ridington, Journal of Anthropological Research

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