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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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“An Anomaly in the Indian Service”

“An Anomaly in the Indian Service”

(p.164) 5 “An Anomaly in the Indian Service”
The Sea Is My Country

Joshua L. Reid

Yale University Press

With their access and rights protected in the Treaty of Neah Bay, Makah whalers and sealers continued to bring wealth to their people during the second half of the nineteenth century. This chapter focuses on these industries, demonstrating that Makahs pursued a “moditional economy” (a combination of modern and traditional) by combining customary marine practices and indigenous borderlands networks with modern technology and opportunities to succeed at a time when many American Indian communities had fallen into poverty. Their successes and capital investments in North Pacific extractive industries allowed Makahs to mitigate some of the worst assimilation efforts while expanding access to marine space. Wealthy Makah sealers bought schooners, began hunting seals as far abroad as northern California and the Bering Sea, and made large profits, which, in turn, they invested in regional industries and used to finance cultural practices that federal officials were trying to prohibit.

Keywords:   1855 Treaty of Neah Bay, whaling, whalers, sealers, Makahs, indigenous peoples, traditional economy, modern economy

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