Date of Award
Campus Access Thesis
Master of Arts (MA)
Stephen W. Silliman
Nedra K. Lee
This multi-scalar project examines economic patterns and foodways related to Native American ceramic use on the Eastern Pequot reservation in North Stonington, Connecticut. Engagement with local Euro-American markets by the Eastern Pequot was necessary during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Analysis of ceramic assemblages focusing on ware type, vessel form, and decoration inform how the Eastern Pequot negotiated these markets and utilized ceramics.
The three sites from the reservation examined in this study date to different time periods, allowing for a diachronic study of Eastern Pequot ceramic use and associated household practices. The analysis of ceramics lends insight into consumer and social practices on the Eastern Pequot reservation. Using additional supplemental data such as faunal and comparative site analysis, this study provides a unique addition to the discussion of indigenous experiences during colonialism through a focus on market engagement and foodways. In order to solidify these interpretations, the three sites are then compared to nearby Anglo sites at Lake of Isles in southeastern Connecticut and the Nipmuc site of the Sarah Boston farmstead in Grafton, Massachusetts.
Through the examination of these ceramics, it is clear that the Eastern Pequot were able to somewhat keep in line with ceramic trends. Yet, upon comparison to neighboring Anglo sites, the ceramic assemblages from the reservation contain fewer matching sets, and when compared to the Sarah Boston Farmstead, the ceramics were of a higher economic quality. Such patterns suggest that the Eastern Pequot were obtaining their ceramics through smaller and perhaps multiple purchases at a store or receiving them as forms of payment or through informal exchange.
Sheridan, Kelton M., "A Century of Ceramics: A Study of Economic Engagement on the Eastern Pequot Reservation in the 18th and 19th Centuries" (2018). Graduate Masters Theses. 515.