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The Sea Is My CountryThe Maritime World of the Makahs$
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Joshua L Reid

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300209907

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300209907.001.0001

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“The Power of Wickaninnish Ends Here”

“The Power of Wickaninnish Ends Here”

(p.19) 1 “The Power of Wickaninnish Ends Here”
The Sea Is My Country

Joshua L. Reid

Yale University Press

This chapter opens with the 1788 encounter between Chief Tatoosh, the highest-ranked Makah titleholder at the time, and John Meares, a British maritime fur trader. Focusing on the web of regional trade and kinship ties, it explains that borderlands networks and related diplomatic protocols already existed when Europeans and Euro-Americans arrived in this corner of the Pacific. Indigenous networks and protocols shaped the initial period of Native and non-Native interactions on the Northwest Coast from the late eighteenth century into the 1800s. Makahs used customary marine practices, such as hunting sea otters and fishing, to engage expanding networks of exchange. Providing sea otter pelts and provisioning ships were the first examples of this pattern that recurs throughout Makah history. By exploiting networks of trade and kinship, Native chiefs controlled spaces on their own terms and frustrated imperial processes. Their ability to do so reveals that the broader processes of encounter, resistance, and conquest reshaped the indigenous world.

Keywords:   Makahs, indigenous peoples, Chief Tatoosh, John Meares, maritime fur trade, borderlands networks, regional trade networks, kinship, indigenous networks, hunting

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