Historic Kanataq: One Central Alaska Peninsula Community’s Use of Subsistence Resources and Places

Patricia McClenahan

Abstract

The Alutiit of the Alaska Peninsula have been characterized as predominantly coastal dwellers with a “Modified Maritime” strategy, where coastal subsistence resources are primary, supplemented by land resources (Fitzhugh 1975:344; McCartney 1988:33). The Native residents of Kanataq, an historic Pacific coastal village, made broad use of, not only the diverse terrestrial and marine resources of the coastal region, but also other interior terrestrial resources. Historic Kanataq residents wintered amidst plentiful firewood, utilizing stored supplies portaged from the interior supplemented by coastal and maritime resources. They spent their spring and summer inland on Becharof Lake and in the Egegik River drainage, harvesting and preserving large quantities of salmon, gathering, and hunting large mammals for their winter stores. Did this pattern exist in prehistoric times as well?

  • Patricia McClenahan, Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage Field Office, 6881 Abbott Loop Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99507

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