Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Charles R. Cobb

Abstract

The Native Americans who occupied the Lowcountry of South Carolina during the period of European expansion have fallen victim to historical and anthropological assumptions regarding cultural decline and acculturation. These assumptions have been used by scholars to explain the `disappearance' of these Indians following the Yamasee War. Archaeologists believe the pottery produced by these people during this period is indicative of `cultural decline' and heralds the demise of the coastal tribes through the effects of European expansion. I assert that this is a subjective assumption, and that other, more complex processes account for the appearance of their pottery. The goals of this thesis are to expand our understanding of the Coastal Indian tribes through an analysis of Lowcountry Indian pottery, to explain through a temporal comparison of Coastal Indian ceramics how the Lowcountry Indians were maintaining a degree of craft standardization despite the consequences of European expansion, and to describe how the Native Americans persisted through the Colonial Period by transitioning into new economic roles as provisioners to the colonists. In conclusion I assert that the pottery produced by these Native people was the result of complex cultural accommodation, and the desire to maintain their unique ethnic boundaries and ties to their history during a period of uncertainty.

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