Cross-Cultural Approaches to Apprenticing in Western North America

Jeanne Arnold, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, and Visiting Research Associate, SAR

Colloquium, SAR Boardroom

Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

The Island Chumash of California’s Channel Islands were engaged in North America’s most intensive shell-working crafts from the AD 1100s–1800s. Recently, evidence has emerged shedding light on the expert-novice learning process associated with the centerpiece craft, specialized bead-making. Analyzing the voluminous evidence recovered from village middens, Dr. Arnold’s challenge has been to distinguish the work of skilled workers and novices apprenticing into the craft industry. In this presentation, she highlights the history of Channel Islands archaeology and the major specializations. Cross-culturally, apprenticing behavior and the contributions made by novice/young participants are widely overlooked in archaeological practice.

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