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The structure of fur trade relations Tanner, Adrian 1965

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THE STRUCTURE OP FUR TRADE RELATIONS by ADRIAN TANNER B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1964  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M.A. in the Department of ANTHROPOLOGY  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December, 1965  In p r e s e n t i n g the  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an  British  Columbia,  available for mission  representatives,,  cation  of  w i t h o u t my  Department  this  study.  by  the  of  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a  Columbia  of  University  of  s h a l l make i t  thesis  Head o f my  permission.  fulfilment  I f u r t h e r agree that  this  for financial  the  Library  It i s understood  thesis  written  the  copying of  granted  in p a r t i a l  advanced degree at  r e f e r e n c e and  be  thesis  I agree that  for extensive  p u r p o s e s may his  this  copying or  shall  not  per-  scholarly  Department o r  that  gain  for  freely  be  by publi-  allowed  li  TABLE OE CONTENTS Chapter I  II  Page INTRODUCTION  1  Theoretical Premises  1  Geography  8  Wildlife  10  Native Groups  12  PARTNERSHIP TRADE  16  Trade i n Native Commodities  16  Early Trade i n European Goods  22  Conclusions  33  III  TRADING CHIEFS  37  IV  MONOPOLY TRADE  44  MARKET TRADE  58  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS  72  BIBLIOGRAPHY  93  V VI  iii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I would l i k e to make the following acknowledgements. My work i n the Yukon was supported by the Northern Co-ordinat i o n and Research Center, Ottawa, and aided considerably by Mr. Jim Lotz, Co-ordinator of the Yukon Research Project. I received guidance i n the thesis by Professors C.S. Belshaw and W.E. Willmott. Others who have taught me anthropology at U.B.C. include Professors H.B. Hawthorn, R.W. Dunning, and Dr. M.G-. Whisson.  V  Source: Adapted from a map by C. McClellan, published i n Slobodin, 1962, p. 6f.  ABSTRACT  The history of trade among Indian groups of the Canadian Yukon has included changes i n the quantity and type of goods involved and, more importantly, changes i n the s o c i a l relations between the people who conducted this trade.  These  relations were between d i s t i n c t native groups at f i r s t , and l a t e r d i r e c t l y between Indians and White traders.  In t h i s  study h i s t o r i c a l data on the changes i n trade i s organized into convenient stages by identifying types of trade i n s t i t u tions.  Four such stages are described and analyzed with  reference to the major conditioning factors f o r trade i n the area and at the time.  These stages are (1) I n t e r - t r i b a l  trade, when exchanges were conducted between partners of different native groups; (2) Trading chief trade, m  which  an Indian group leader handled relations with White traders; (3) Monopoly trade, i n which a quasi-debt relationship handled trade between traders and individual trappers; and (4) Market trade, i n which trade i s handled through separate fur market and r e t a i l market i n s t i t u t i o n s .  Institutions are treated i n  t h i s study as having a set of several purposes related to the complementary aims of participants.  Changes between one stage  and the next are seen as a regrouping of these purposes into new sets, which become the focus of hew i n s t i t u t i o n s .  This  view of i n s t i t u t i o n a l change arises from an analysis of the  vii changes i n trade relations i n the Yukon, and i s compared with a somewhat similar analysis of s o c i a l change developed "by Talcott Parsons and N e i l Smelser.  w. E. W i l l m o t t , Supervisor.  f  CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION  Theoretical Premises H i s t o r i c a l l y , the fur industry of Canada has been one of the few organizational forms which has linked various groups to the rest of the country.  Indian  This economic integration  has resulted from the organization of Indians as fur producers, and a system of exchanges between these producing groups and a number of traders or middlemen.  It remains useful, however, to  distinguish the Indian sector of this economic system from the 'fur trade*, as the term i s commonly used.  The fur trade  refers to a market-oriented mercantile business, including the c o l l e c t i o n , transportation, commodity marketing, manufacture and r e t a i l d i s t r i b u t i o n of f u r .  The section of the fur  industry conducted by Indian trappers, on the other hand, deals with the organization of trapping, and of the exchanges which take place through middlemen up to the point when fur reaches the trader. This d i s t i n c t i o n i s b a s i c a l l y a d i s c i p l i n a r y  one.  Economists and historians have done a large amount of work on the fur trade i n Canada, but have treated the organization and methods of Indian fur production and trade mainly as peripheral factors which help explain the p o l i c i e s or practices of the traders.  Because of the viewpoint of most of these studies,  analysis tends to end at the l i m i t s of the market-oriented business establishments,  that i s , at the trading posts.  Anthropologists, p a r t i c u l a r l y those studying changes within Indian groups, have dealt more thoroughly with the organization of production and trade by Indians.  A number of  studies have investigated how changes i n Indian culture or s o c i a l organization have been causally related, at least i n part, to trade with other cultures (e.g. B a l i k c i , 1964; Lewis, 1942; McClellan, 1950; Murphy and Steward, 1956; Service, 1962).  One of the most general of these i s the  attempt of Murphy and Steward (1956) to show that trade involving f u r brought about the loss of band autonomy and the disappearance of a l l s o c i a l groups larger than the nuclear family, i n u n s t r a t i f i e d Indian bands.  Like most studies of  acculturation Murphy and Steward's paper focuses attention on a cultural unit.  The trader and the rest of the fur trade are  outside t h i s unit, and are seen as external causal factors. This treatment of the f u r trade as an external causal factor i s common i n many anthropological studies on the subject. It i s not the burden of this thesis to c r i t i c i z e those studies i n which the fur trade and Indian economics are separated, with each being seen as a factor influencing the change or continuity of the other.  Attention, however, w i l l be  focused on a t h i r d system which may be conceptually between these two sectors.  introduced  Malinowski has pointed out that  culture contact over a period of time results i n the creation of a set of new i n s t i t u t i o n s , involving individuals from both  3 cultures, which cannot he understood either as a d i f f u s i o n from one of them, or a mixture of elements from both (Malinowski, 1945, p. 65.).  It i s cross-cultural institutions  such as these which have handled the exchange of f u r for imported goods between Canadian Indian groups and traders. Other examples of new i n s t i t u t i o n s which have developed between Indians and Whites include r e l i g i o n and administration. While the summation of a l l cross-cultural i n s t i t u t i o n s does not constitute a society or a culture, the writer holds that they can be f r u i t f u l l y studied i n the same way as institutions within.a society. The present study concerns the trade i n s t i t u t i o n s of the Northern Athapaskans  of the Upper Yukon River drainage.  At any point i n the post-contact history of this area fur has been exchanged f o r imported goods by some i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d method, either between Indian groups, or d i r e c t l y with White traders. Because this trade i s cross-cultural, i t s methods must be examined from two points of view.  The trade i n s t i t u t i o n i s  conceptualized by the fur-producing group i n terms of i t s aims, values and world view.  However, i t also i s seen separately by  a second culture as conforming to a second set of aims, values and conceptions of the world.  In t h i s thesis the trade  i n s t i t u t i o n i s often presented outside both i t s c u l t u r a l contexts.  This technique i s one of abstraction, and must be  c l e a r l y recognized as such.  4 The present study w i l l tend to concentrate a separate i n s t i t u t i o n .  on trade as  The writer believes the study of cross-  c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , as opposed to those of 'contact  institu-  tions' which appear firmly based i n one of the interacting cultures, to be a useful and neglected approach.  An adequate  consideration of both interacting cultures w i l l not be possible, because of the serious lack of ethnographic data about the groups under study.  This shortage was pointed out i n 1950  by  McClellan (1950, passim), and since then l i t t l e additional material has become available, except on the Kutchin. I f the cross-cultural trade i n s t i t u t i o n of the Yukon  r  i s viewed from a h i s t o r i c a l perspective, i t w i l l be noticed that substantial changes have taken place i n the methods of trading.  A useful way  to organize this material i s to identify  stages within the period of change.  I f these stages are to be  seen as s t r u c t u r a l types they must be i d e n t i f i e d by c r i t e r i a which are i n conformity both with the d e f i n i t i o n of i n s t i t u t i o n and with an understanding as to what constitutes s t r u c t u r a l change.  F i r t h states that structural change involves change  i n the basic relations between the members of the society. This i s contrasted with the l e s s r a d i c a l organizational change ( F i r t h , 1951,  p. 84.).  Beattie has c r i t i c i z e d F i r t h ' s d i s t i n c -  t i o n between organizational and s t r u c t u r a l change as being of degree, rather than of kind, and for this reason to some extent a r b i t r a r y (Beattie, 1964,  p. 247.).  Can the idea of s t r u c t u r a l change be more r i g i d l y defined i f i t s application i s limited to i n s t i t u t i o n s ? An  one  5 i n s t i t u t i o n w i l l be taken to mean a standardized pattern of coa c t i v i t y which i s rule-governed, sanctioned and thus predictable. The constituent behaviour i s recognized by the participants as being meaningfully  related to a p a r t i c u l a r set of aims.  Such a  behaviour pattern may be more or l e s s i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d , to the extent to which individual variations of the pattern are permitted.  Using this d e f i n i t i o n of i n s t i t u t i o n , one kind of  structural change can be pointed out, and f a i r l y r i g i d l y defined, by reference to the purpose of the i n s t i t u t i o n .  This  kind of change occurs when the set of aims of an i n s t i t u t i o n becomes divided into two or more new new  behaviour pattern.  sets, each with i t s own  Similarly, structural change takes  place when an i n s t i t u t i o n i s dropped from society because at least part of i t s purpose no longer f i t s i n with the values  of  that society. While the foregoing method of a diachronic comparison of i n s t i t u t i o n s within a society can determine whether or not structural change of this p a r t i c u l a r type has taken place, the determination  of the precise point of change must s t i l l  be a r b i t r a r y . On the subject of s o c i a l change, Parsons and Smelser have produced a useful theory of 'structural d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , 1  by which certain cases of s t r u c t u r a l change can be (Parsons and Smelser, 1956,  pp. 254ff.)«  analysed  According to this  theory, an organization i n society, which can be  represented  as a system i n equilibrium, can be influenced by factors outside i t s system.  These may  take the form of new  opportunities  6 f o r achieving the purpose of the organization, or d i s s a t i s f a c tions due to the i n a b i l i t y to attain goals.  The resultant  tensions bring about new ideas for action, and f i n a l l y two new systems of action become i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d .  The new organiza-  tions " d i f f e r from each other i n structure and i n function f o r the system, but ... together are i n certain respects 'funct i o n a l l y equivalent'-to the e a r l i e r less differentiated  unit."  ( i b i d . , pp. 255-256.). Structural d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , when applied to the i n s t i t u t i o n , i s a process of specialization essentially  similar  to the type previously mentioned, i n which the purposes of a single i n s t i t u t i o n become separated into a number of sets of aims, each with i t s own more or less i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d behavioural pattern.  For t h i s reason Parsons and Smelser's  theory w i l l be used as a framework of ideas, when the diachronic variations  i n the trading  i n s t i t u t i o n s of Yukon Indian bands  are considered." " 1  The material to be used i n the account of trade i n s t i t u t i o n s which i s to follow contains many gaps, p a r t i c u l a r l y  1 With reference to s o c i a l change, Jarvie has contrasted explanations from 'situational l o g i c ' with structural-funct i o n a l explanations, and has severely c r i t i c i s e d the l a t t e r (Jarvie, 1964, p. 159.). Some structural explanations, such as those put forward i n t h i s thesis, include an account of the re-ordering of the set of aims served by the i n s t i t u t i o n i n question. This re-ordering of aims can be seen as the breaking down of the l o g i c a l or pragmatic l i n k s which Uadel has pointed out j o i n the aims of an i n s t i t u t i o n (Nadel, 1951, p. 107.). From the point of view of participants i n the i n s t i t u t i o n this kind of re-ordering, or d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , of aims might well be included i n the s i t u a t i o n a l l o g i c . Structural and s i t u a t i o n a l l o g i c explanations may not be i r r e c o n c i l a b l e .  7 with respect to the tribes of the central part of the Yukon. The data from the proto-contact period i s also generally very thin.  The work of trained ethnographers i n the area - Osgood,  McClellan, Slobodin and B a l i k c i - has been conducted within the l a s t t h i r t y f i v e years, so that t h e i r data on the early period has been mainly oral history.  Much of the e a r l i e r  material i s from traders, and explorers of various kinds.  The  material i s most detailed with respect to White-Indian i n t e r actions, of which trade was p a r t i c u l a r l y important.  However,  to give anywhere near a f u l l account of early trade i s not possible, and the facts which do come out are often open to various interpretations. Surprisingly, there has been less contemporary ethnographic work done i n the central and southern Yukon since the Gold Rush than there have been among the few northern groups, t h i s despite (or because of) the fact that widespread White settlement has taken place only i n the central and southern parts.  McClellan s published results of her work 1  in the southern Yukon were mainly concerned with history.  In  the summer of 1964 the author v i s i t e d most settlements of the central and southern Yukon, while c o l l e c t i n g material f o r a report on the trapping, hunting and f i s h i n g industries of the Territory (Tanner, 1965.).  However, not enough time was spent  i n any location to permit intensive ethnographic f i e l d work, outside the subjects of trade, and economic organization. As was pointed out e a r l i e r , this shortage of ethnographic material on native groups of the Yukon i s not the disadvantage to the  8 present study that i t might be.  The i n s t i t u t i o n s of trade have  been the direct concern of both the students of the fur trade and the traders themselves.  Many of the l a t t e r have published  accounts of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s , and present-day traders i n the Yukon are only too w i l l i n g to explain the trade i n s t i t u t i o n . This admittedly gives a one-sided picture, and the rest must be f i l l e d i n as well as possible from a careful review of what data i s available on the trading behaviour of trappers. Geography The Yukon can r e f e r to a r i v e r , a region or a p o l i t i c a l T e r r i t o r y of Canada. a h i s t o r i c a l one.  The d i s t i n c t i o n between the l a t t e r two i s  P r i o r to the Alaska purchase m  1867  the  region can be considered to have included the drainage area of the Yukon River and i t s t r i b u t a r i e s above Port Yukon.  After  t h i s date the boundary with Alaska became important.  The  growth of T e r r i t o r i a l government since 1898 has added to the integration of the area, p a r t i c u l a r l y with respect to trade. However, the area north of the Ogilvie Mountains remains somewhat isolated from the rest of the region, and frieght must be transported v i a the Alaska section of the Yukon and Porcupine Rivers.  The administration of Indians i n the northern section  has only recently changed from the Aklavic agency, i n the Mackenzie delta, to the Whitehorse agency.  From the point of  view of the history of trade, there were two regions; the north (Kutchin) was supplied from the Mackenzie, and the south (Inland T l i n g i t ) from the P a c i f i c .  Since the building of the  9 White Pass Railway i n the south, the northern part has become, i n effect, a trading hinterland of the rest of the Territory. Geographically, what has been referred to as the Yukon region consists of high plateau land of the Western C o r d i l l e r a sandwiched between the Coast Mountains and the Mackenzxe Mountains.  I t can be sub-divided into (1) the Porcupine Plain,  separated from the A r c t i c l i t t o r a l by the Richardson Mountains; (2) the Yukon Plateau, consisting of the Stewart, Whxte and P e l l y River drainages, and separated from the Porcupine Plain by the Ogilvie Mountains; (3) the Lake D i s t r i c t , containing a s t r i n g of lakes at the foot of the Coast Mountains, named KLuane, Aishihik, Kusawa, Laberge, Bennett, Tagish, A t l i n and Teslin.  Most of these lakes feed the Yukon River system, while  Aishihik and A t l i n drain through the Coast mountains i n the P a c i f i c (See Map I, p. i v . ) . The climate i s d i s t i n c t l y continental-cold, dry winters and warm, dry summers.  For long periods xn the wxnter the  weather i s calm, with sub-zero temperatures, which are ended by the passage of a f r o n t a l system, either from Alaska, or less often from the P a c i f i c .  In mid-winter there i s l i t t l e or,  North of the Ogilvie Mountains, no daylight., Breakup~is>around the beginning of May, and the July average temperature i s usually around 60 degrees farenheit.  Precipitation varies  from 10 to 16 inches a year, with no wet season; about half i s i n the form of snow.  There i s a region of heavier p r e c i p i t a -  t i o n close to the Coast Mountains.  Generally speaking, tem-  peratures are cooler with an increase i n altitude or latitude,  10 but i n very cold, calm weather the coldest a i r collects i n lowl y i n g pockets.  For t h i s reason the record minimum temperature  of -81.0 degrees was recorded not xn the north, but at Snag i n the southwest.  Such very cold weather prevents a l l travel,  human or animal. The vegetation pattern i s affected both by climate and topography,  South of the Ogilvxe Mountains trees of limited  growth cover a l l but the land over 4,000 to 5,000 feet (Rowe, 1959, p. 30.).  The Porcupine Plaxn has only stunted trees,  and i s located between the tundra of the Ogilvie Mountains to the south, and a sxmilar tundra of the Richardson Mountains to the north. Wildlife The w i l d l i f e of the Yukon (Rand, 1945) i s of major importance to the economy of the Indian population. Moose are found at the lower elevations as f a r north as the Porcupine River, and caribou inhabit the h i l l s .  The only large herds of  Stone caribou are found i n the Porcupine and Peel River headwaters, and west of Dawson.  In the southern Yukon the Osbom  caribou are not migratory, and l i v e i n small herds of about f i f t e e n animals.  Important fur bearing animals include the  beaver, muskrat, mink, marten and s q u i r r e l .  The beaver was  xmportant as a source of food before the fur trade, and xn fact was not traded i n the southern Yukon u n t i l the late nineteenth century, because i t s weight made i t a d i f f i c u l t fur to transport.  Very few beaver are found as f a r north as the  11 Porcupine River.  Mink, beaver and muskrat l i v e close t o water,  the l a t t e r being p a r t i c u l a r l y p l e n t i f u l a t Crow F l a t s , near the Yunta Kutchin v i l l a g e of Old Crow.  Marten inhabit the  wooded uplands. F i s h are of two major types; lake f i s h and salmon. Lakes are found i n most parts of the T e r r i t o r y containing many edible species,the most important of which are whitefish and lake trout.  The salmon of the Yukon River are of two v a r i e t i e s ,  the King salmon which averages f i f t e e n pounds, and the Dog salmon which average s i x pounds.  The f i r s t salmon reach the  Upper Yukon early i n July, and f i s h i n g continues September.  until  Yukon River salmon are caught as f a r upstream as  Marsh Lake, near Whitehorse, Teslin Lake, Ross River, Mayo, on the Stewart River, and Old Crow, on the Porcupine River. Sockeye salmon reach the s o u t h e r n Yukon d i r e c t l y from the P a c i f i c , and are caught by Champagne S o u t h e r n Tutchone) Indians a t Klukshu. This w i l d l i f e pattern affected the s o c i a l organization of native groups i n the Yukon.  Those bands which exploited  the large herds of caribou (Kutchin and Han) and the Salmon (Kutchin, Han, V/estern Tutchone and the Champagne band of the Southern Tutchone) had production groups larger than the nuclear family, and c a p i t a l equipment, l i k e caribou surrounds and f i s h traps.  Other groups, dependent on moose or n o n -  migratory caribou required less organized production groups.  12 Native Groups Because of the small amount of ethnographic  f i e l d work  which has been conducted i n the Yukon, there has been considerable v a r i a t i o n i n accounts of the l o c a t i o n and identity of t r i b a l groups.  The most accurate pre-contact ethnographic  map  of the area i s by McClellan (1950), and i s reproduced on page v.  However, the d i s t i n c t i o n between the Tutchone and  Southern Tutchone i s tentative, and based largely on l i n g u i s t i c considerations ( i b i d . , p. 32.). The d i s t r i b u t i o n of the Kutchin was studied by Osgood (1934), which added considerably to the e a r l i e r information of Ross, Hardisty and Jones (1866).  Osgood  i d e n t i f i e d eight  Kutchin groups, which he called tribes, each inhabiting a major river valley.  In the present work the term t r i b e w i l l be  reserved for the language groups of the Northern Athapaskans, such as Kutchin, and, following Slobodin (1962, p. 66.), the term band w i l l refer to major t r i b a l sub-divisions. The sub-division into tribes and bands of those  Indians  i n the areas labeled Han and Tutchone i s rather tentative, because of the lack of l i n g u i s t i c and early ethnographic search.  re-  The f i r s t explorer i n the Tutchone area, Campbell,  referred to the Indians he met on the P e l l y River as "Knife" Indians, and those around Fort Selkirk as "Wood" Indians (Campbell, 1883, River i n 1883,  p. 439.).  Schwatka, who descended the Yukon  referred to the Fort Selkirk people as "Ayans",  and described their t e r r i t o r y as l y i n g along the Yukon River between what i s now Minto and the mouth of the Steward River,  13 and up the P e l l y River as f a r as the lakes (Schwatka, 1885, p. 227.). In 1913 the trader F i e l d i d e n t i f i e d two groups of Indians within the area considered as Tutchone.  Below Ross  River, i n the P e l l y River valley and t r i b u t a r i e s , were the L i t t l e Salmon Indians.  The Ross and Upper Pelly River valleys  were inhabited by P e l l y Indians, a group of former "Center" (Kaska) Indians from the Liard River, who had moved northwest a f t e r the former inhabitants of the Upper Pelly River had been massacred by Mountain Indians i n 1886  (Field, 1957,  p. 49.).  The P e l l y Indians made annual trading t r i p s to posts on the Liard River u n t i l the Ross River post was opened around  1900.  It should be noted that t h i s survey of information on early Tutchone groups contains a gap with respect to the inhabitants of the Stewart andMacmillan Rivers, of which there must have been a considerable number. p  The groups of the southern Yukon  - the Southern Tutchone,  Tagish, A t l i n and T e s l i n - have been termed the 'Inland T l i n g i t ' by McClellan, because of the aspects of T l i n g i t culture, such as clans, crests and, i n some cases, language, which they share. The T e s l i n were o r i g i n a l l y a T l i n g i t group from the Taku v a l l e y who moved inland early i n the nineteenth century, possibly absorbing an e a r l i e r Athapaskan resident group.  However, the  economy of these groups i s Athapaskan i n orientation. 2 The Kaska of the southeast Yukon have not been included i n t h i s study.  14 The simplest d i v i s i o n of the native peoples of the Yukon would be between ( l ) the Kutchin, (2) the Central bands, and (3) the Inland T l i n g i t .  The t e r r i t o r y of these three groups  corresponds to the three geographic divisions already outlined, that i s , the Porcupine Plain, the Yukon Plateau and the Lake District.  There are no sharp divisions between these geographic  areas, but rather intermediate zones or mountain areas.  In a  similar way, i t i s doubtful whether there was any idea among the groups of sharp t e r r i t o r i a l boundaries between them.  This  is a misleading suggestion of the ethnographic map, and i t i s more l i k e l y that there were regions of what Slobodin c a l l s "neutral ground"  (1962, p . 23.).between the areas where most  of the group lived and hunted. Each of the following four chapters are on one of the four structural types of trade, which are seen by the writer as s i g n i f i c a n t stages i n the development of trade.  The focus  of the examination of each type w i l l be the roles through which exchanges are made.  In the f i r s t case these are i n t e r -  t r i b a l trading partners; i n the second, the trading Chief; i n the t h i r d , the particular trader and several i n d i v i d u a l trappers, linked by a system of delayed exchange; f i n a l l y , there i s a role system of competing fur buyers, r e t a i l suppliers and individual trappers, linked by money.  This  f i n a l stage awaits f u l l i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n i n most l o c a l i ties.  15 The foregoing stages are not presented as a necessary sequence, and did not occur at the same time with a l l Yukon groups.  For instance, there i s no evidence that the 'Inland- ^  T l i n g i t ' ever had trading chiefs, and almost nothing i s known of Tutchone trade u n t i l they were dealing d i r e c t l y with the traders, under the conditions of the third stage. After a consideration of the four trade i n s t i t u t i o n s , the process of i n s t i t u t i o n a l change as i t applies to this data w i l l be discussed.  CHAPTER II PARTNERSHIP TRADE  Trade i n Native Commodities Trade between groups of people, unlike g i f t - g i v i n g , i s to a large extent dependent on differences i n the resources available to each group, together with the many other factors which affect t h e i r productive c a p a b i l i t i e s .  In the Yukon,  such differences are associated with the sharp  environmental  contrast between the high inland plateau and the sea coast, both of the A r c t i c Ocean and of the P a c i f i c .  A second, less  sharp, contrast i n human habitats exists between the lowland alongside r i v e r s and lakes, and the more rugged higher land. Pre-contact trade i n native commodities was largely a r e f l e c t i o n of these resource d i f f e r e n t i a l s .  Eor instance, the pre--  contact Kutchin-Eskimo trade involved uniquely inland products and uniquely coastal ones.  Similarly, the mainland T l i n g i t  trade with several Northern Athapaskan groups consisted mainly m  sea products f o r land products.  The T l i n g i t traded sea-  weed, seal o i l and Chilkat blankets f o r inland furs. The present study i s concerned with the trade of Indian groups i n the h i s t o r i c period, that i s , within the past hundred and sixty years or so. I n t e r - t r i b a l trade which took place before the introduction of European goods cannot be considered alongside more recent trade, because of  17 the general lack of pre-historic data.'  However, i t w i l l be  useful to be aware i f and where such trade did exist, based 1  on available evidence, as the characteristics of t h i s trade could have shaped to some extent the trade pattern which l a t e r emerged to handle the exchange and d i s t r i b u t i o n of European goods and f u r . Some writers assert that i n t e r - t r i b a l trade p r i o r to the appearance of European goods was along roughly the same routes as l a t e r trade, except that less quantity was involved. Slobodin notes that the Kutcha Kutchin had a t r a d i t i o n of large trading parties with high ranking leaders.  These  parties traveled south to trade with Indians on or near the P a c i f i c coast.  Purs and skins were exchanged for dentalium  s h e l l s , copper work and, " l a t e r " , European goods (Slobodin, I960, p. 91.).  Similarly, Stefansson notes that the Eskimo  in the v i c i n i t y of Barter Island traded with Indians from south of the mountains towards the Yukon River (Kutchin) for wolf, wolverine and, " l a t e r " , commercial furs (Stefansson, 1914, p. 10.).  Pre-historic trade i s also presumed to have  taken place between the Eastern Kutchin and Mackenzie Eskimo (Slobodin, I960, p. 92.), between the Natsit Kutchin and the Eskimo (Murray, 1910, p. 11.), and, i n northern B r i t i s h  1 This i s d i s t i n c t from pre-contact trade. European goods, from both Russia and the traders i n the P a c i f i c , reached a l l parts of the Yukon long before the f i r s t White men entered this region.  Columbia, between the Tahltan. and the Taku T l i n g i t  (Tiet,  1956, p. 97.). Evidence of trade i n native commodities observed some time a f t e r White contact can, i n many cases, indicate a trade pattern which must have existed i n pre-historic times.  For  instance, i n North Alaska two groups of Eskimo, the inland nunamiut and the coastal taremiut met annually to exchange furs and caribou skins for seal o i l and seal and walrus skins (Spencer, 1959,  pp. 201-205.).  This trade was v i t a l to the  existence of these people i n this environment, and thus must have preceded the a r r i v a l of European goods.  The trade route  along the Yukon River, by which furs "taken high up on the Youkon" passed through the hands of at least six t r i b a l units to be exchanged f o r skin clothing, o i l and bone from the Eskimo of Bering S t r a i t s , was i n operation as l a t e as (Whymper, 1869,  pp. 168-169.).  1867  This was f i f t y years a f t e r  Russian trade entered from the west, and twenty years a f t e r the establishment of Fort Yukon by the Hudson's Bay Company. Whymper also observed a l i v e l y trade i n dentalium s h e l l s , which were highly valued by a l l Indians along the Yukon River, as well as by the Tanana.  This trade was at the time  conducted  by both the Russian American Company and the H.B.C., but i t must have been handled previously by i n t e r - t r i b a l trade from the coast.  McClellan, who  has<collected evidence of pre-  h i s t o r i c trade i n the southern Yukon from h i s t o r i c a l and archeological sources, as well as from l o c a l mythology (McClellan, 1950,  pp. 156-165.), observes that, while seaweed  and Chilkat blankets were not necessary f o r the existence of  19 the Northern Athapaskans, they were s t x l l bartered f o r with the T l i n g i t s ( i b i d . , p. 7.).  Cadzow points out that the  Kutcha Kutchin, who inhabit the Yukon Flats, had no caribou in t h e i r t e r r i t o r y , and thus traded with t h e i r neighbors f o r the skins (Cadzow, 1925, p. 174.).  Presumably they traded  dried salmon and moose hides, commodities  of theirs not shared  by Indians l i v i n g i n higher lands. Further a f i e l d , the Tanania of south Alaska were divided into bands which traded between themselves.  Those  bands at the mouth of Cook Inlet traded with those at the head. The Tanania also had war-trade relations with the Eskimo to the west (Osgood, 1933, p. 702.).  One of the f i r s t White traders  to v i s i t the Carrier of Central B r i t i s h Columbia observed that the natives wore oyster s h e l l and copper nose ornaments, as well as those made of dentalium s h e l l s .  The dentalia were  acquired from coastal people v i a a middleman group, and were "a kind of c i r c u l a t i n g medium, l i k e the money of c i v i l i z e d countries" (Harmon, 1957, p. 244.). There i s l i t t l e evidence of trade taking place, either before or a f t e r the appearance of European goods, between the tribes of the upper Yukon River drainage and those of the Mackenzie River.  The lack of t r a d i t i o n a l trade seems to have  adversely affected the development of trade i n European goods and furs, a f t e r the traders reached the Mackenzie i n 1789. For  the following f i f t y years a program of development along  the Mackenzie was conducted by the traders, with posts being opened, f i r s t by the North West Company, and l a t e r by the  20 Hudson's. Bay Company.  Only when Fort McPherson, at the edge +  of Kutchin t e r r i t o r y , was opened i n 1840 dxd Yukon furs begin to be traded to the men who had travelled "from Canada by land."  Not only were the Mackenzie Mountains something of a  barrier, but the prices at the Mackenzie posts could not compete with those of goods obtained v i a middlemen from traders on the P a c i f i c coast.  In fact, some trade took place  i n the opposite direction (McClellan, i b i d . , p. 148, and footnote 210.).  There was also a t r a d i t i o n of h o s t i l i t i e s  across the mountains.  As l a t e as 1886 a raiding party of  Mountain Indians i s reported to have wiped out almost  an  entire band of Pelly River (Tutchone) Indians (Field, 1957, pp. 48-49.). When European goods f i r s t arrived among Indian groups t h e i r d i s t r i b u t i o n sometimes ignored t r a d i t i o n a l trade routes. The case of the coexistence of separate trade f a c i l i t i e s f o r native commodities and European goods along the Yukon River, which has already been noted, i s an example of t h i s .  More  often, however, i n periods of monopoly by a p a r t i c u l a r trading company, the native trade f a c i l i t i e s were u t i l i z e d to d i s tribute European goods, as t h i s helped to avoid the cost and the danger of the establishment of many isolated posts.  In  the area under study, i n t e r - t r i b a l trade carried European goods from the Mackenzie River across the divide and down the Porcupine River to the Indians along the Yukon River.  In  1848, however, competition from Russian traders i n Alaska was i  f e l t , so that the Hudson's Bay Company moved west to establish  21 Fort Yukon.  Murray notes that this was opposed by the Vanta  Kutchin, since i t took away t h e i r lucrative position as fur trade middlemen (Murray, 1910,  pp. 27, 28, 32, 47.).  In the  southern Yukon, i n t e r - t r i b a l trade handled the exchange of European goods f o r inland fur f o r almost a hundred years before competition between free traders and prospectors on the P a c i f i c coast led to expeditions inland, and the eventual 2 breakdown of the middleman trade. There i s l i t t l e indication given, i n the cases of i n t e r - t r i b a l trade i n native products to which reference has been made, of the extent of these exchanges.  Meetings be-  tween Eskimo trade partners i n north Alaska took place annually. Trading parties of T l i n g i t s v i s i t e d inland Indians annually also, although before the European f u r trade t r i p s may have been less frequent.  Where i n t e r - t r i b a l i n s t i t u t i o n s existed,  such as partnerships, potlatches, or kinship structures, i t t  i s l i k e l y that trade was conducted on a regular basis. Potlatch and s i b organizations connected the various Kutchin bands.  The sibs and crests now  common to both the T l i n g i t and  Athapaskans of the southern Yukon were adopted by the inland people a f t e r trade became i n t e n s i f i e d by the introduction of 2 Lewis has noted a similar d i s t i n c t i o n between monopoly and competition i n the fur trade with the Blackfoot, where competition "took the trade to the t i p i door" (Lewis, 1942, p. 42.). He traces the effect of competition i n breaking down the indigenous leadership and status system, which had, i n monopoly times, been given added importance by the fur trade.  22 European goods.  However, the same moiety system was  by both groups p r i o r to t h i s time.  shared  Regular trade i s more  s i g n i f i c a n t , s o c i a l l y , than trade on a casual basis for which there i s l i t t l e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d pattern.  As Beattie puts  i t , "Sociologically, the important thing i s that by habitually exchanging goods and services with one another individuals constantly put themselves, as i t were, i n the hands of others." (1964, p. 201.). Early Trade i n European Goods Pre-contact i n t e r - t r i b a l trade i n the Upper Yukon was conducted l a r g e l y through the Trading Party.  European goods  made up an increasingly large part of t h i s trade f o r some time before actual contact between Indians and traders was established.  The two major l i t e r a r y sources on trading  parties i n the Yukon are McClellan (1950), and Slobodin (1962). McClellan deals with the trading parties of those T l i n g i t s controlled passes through the Coast Mountains.  who  These groups  traded with the Tagish, T e s l i n and Southern Tutchone groups of the Southern Yukon, who  i n turn formed trading parties to  carry the trade to the Tutchone groups further inland. Slobodin writes s p e c i f i c a l l y about Eastern Kutchin-Tutchone trade (Slobodin, 1962,  p. 15.), as well as trade between the  Kutchin and the Mackenzie Eskimo (Ibid,, p. 18.).  His data on  trading parties appears to refer also to inter-band trade among the Kutchin.  23 Peel River Kutchin trading parties were a " r e l a t i v e l y large" c o l l e c t i o n of families ( i b i d . , p. 73.), or occasionally the t o t a l band assembly of 50 to 70 families ( i b i d . , p. 60.). The party moved into the t e r r i t o r y of a neighboring group and attempted to establish f r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s .  This required care,  since the v i s i t o r s might be taken for raiders. Trade was conducted between trade 'friends' or partners, men who were members of the same s i b .  The leader of a trading party was  also the leader of the ceremony, the feasting, dancing and singing, which was a part of these inter-band exchanges. The funeral potlatch i s the major inter-band ceremony mentioned by Slobodin.  Before European contact the potlatch  was an i n s t i t u t i o n mainly of the Western Kutchin, while the Peel River people, i f they were present, tended to be unsophisticated onlookers  ( i b i d . , p. 33-34.).  Although sib  a f f i l i a t i o n was i d e a l l y the basis of the organization of the potlatch, Slobodin states that band a f f i l i a t i o n took precedence among the Kutchin ( i b i d . , p. 34.).  This being the case, i t i s  possible that potlatch distributions were very much l i k e trade, i n that valued goods passed between geographically distant groups.  Osgood, i n his description of the Kutchin  potlatch, states that g i f t s were chosen with regard to the needs of the recipients, and could be exchanged at the time of presentation with something of equal value (Osgood, 1936, p. 127.).  K a t s i t Kutchin were given wolverine skins, which  they required to trade subsequently  with the Eskimo ( l o c . c i t . ) .  Further evidence that the Kutchin potlatch was i n some sense a  24 ceremonialized trade i n s t i t u t i o n comes from Osgood's statements that one h a l f the value of a l l .potlatch g i f t s received had to be returned to the potlatch-giver at some convenient time ( i b i d . , pp. 127, 139.). Kutchin-Eskimo trade was not conducted through potlatches or sib-based partnerships.  Osgood notes a special  Kutchin term r e f e r r i n g to a special friend i n another t r i b e , most commonly used i n reference to Eskimos.  The relationship  involved mutual aid and respect, and almost certainly trade, although t h i s i s not s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned by Osgood (1936, p. 132.). L i t t l e has been written on the role of the leaders of pre-contact trading parties.  They were organizers of the  ceremonial, and they directed the trade a c t i v i t y (Slobodin, 1962,  p. 59.).  This position was adapted l a t e r to that of  the Trading Chief, the man who mediated i n the i n i t i a l trade relations between his group and the V/hite traders. In the southern Yukon, proto-contact trade was dominated by the coastal T l i n g i t groups.  It i s not known i f  t h i s domination obtained i n Tlingit-Athapaskan trade relations p r i o r to the appearance of European goods. Ecological and c u l t u r a l conditions suggest that the T l i n g i t s had been f a r wealthier than the inland Indians for some time before their a q u i s i t i o n of European goods.  Also, the T l i n g i t s had a  monopoly of the sea-coast items of native trade, whereas they were not dependent on the Athapaskans for supplies of inland furs.  Some of the same species of fur were also trapped by  25 the T l i n g i t s within t h e i r own t e r r i t o r y (Garfield, p. 628.).  1945,  It i s probable, therefore, that the T l i n g i t s  controlled the trade relations with inland groups before t h e i r monopoly of European goods added to this power. The advantages of guns, woolen blankets and over native equivalents were immediately land Indians.  cloth  obvious to the i n -  Certain factors suggest that the trade was act-  i v e l y promoted by T l i n g i t s , and encouraged by White traders. (1) The wealth obtained from the f u r trade was u t i l i z e d by the T l i n g i t s to a large extent, within the t r a d i t i o n a l status system to increase the prestige of groups and individuals, by means of the potlatch and other ceremonials.  P r o f i t from the  trade with inland bands provided an opportunity f o r ambitious men to gain prestige and position.  McClellan refers to the  role of generosity i n T l i n g i t ceremonial f o r s o c i a l mobility (1954, pp. 93-94.), as well as to the practice of s i b chiefs sending t h e i r nephews to foreign tribes to learn the language and the methods of trading.  This was done p a r t i a l l y for  economic usefulness, and also to "... dazzle [potlatch] guest sibs as well." ( i b i d . , p. 95.).  (2) By the middle of the  nineteenth century inland furs were being actively sought by White traders on the P a c i f i c , i n p a r t i c u l a r the Hudson's Bay Company.  Prior to about 1840 there was  open competition for  trade i n Alaskan waters between the Russians, B r i t i s h , Americans and others, but a f t e r that date the Hudson's Bay Company had a v i r t u a l monopoly on trade with the T l i n g i t coast through the lease i t obtained from the Russians of the main-  26 land section of the Alaska Panhandle. competition  As long as there  was  on the P a c i f i c f o r the fur trade of the inland  Athapaskan peoples, t h i s trade was also sought by traders from Canada.  overland  F i r s t to arrive was the'-North ^West_Company,  and l a t e r , a f t e r amalgamation i n 1821, A f t e r the coastal monopoly was  the Hudson's Bay Company.  established, some posts i n  Tahltan and Kaska t e r r i t o r y were closed, since t h i s trade reached Hudson's Bay Company traders i n any case, v i a the T l i n g i t middlemen.  In the cases of Fort Frances and Fort  Selkirk, the posts were abandoned due to the attacks of h o s t i l e Tlingits.  The promotion of the inland trade by the P a c i f i c  traders was also due to the serious drop i n fur seal catches by the middle of the nineteenth  Qentury.  The T l i n g i t s prevented the inland Indians from v i s i t i n g the coast p a r t i a l l y i n order to maintain t h e i r t e r r i t o r i a l integrity, and also to protect their position as middlemen. Direct trade between Whites and inland Indians was  easy to  prevent since the T l i n g i t s controlled a l l passes through the coast mountains. The T l i n g i t trading parties which crossed these passes were predominantly male.  They arrived i n spring and some-  times stayed for a few months.  The Southern Tutchone remember  them as being large - a "hundred people" (McClellan, p. 126.).  Each man  carried a pack of a hundred pounds or more,  with the exception of the headmen.  Their trade goods were  carried by four or f i v e packers, who may slaves.  1950,  have been nephews, or  These headmen were the senior men  of sibs, or of  27 lineages within the sib (de Laguna, 1952,  p. 4.).  Each  trading party had a head trader (McClellan, l o c . c i t . ) , i t i s not made clear how t h i s position was defined.  although  He prob-  ably ranked high i n the T l i n g i t class system, i n which case he might have been the headman of the highest ranking lineage. The rights to use a trade route were held by the dominant s i b of the qwan, or d i s t r i c t , so that the leader was probably the ranking chief i n his l o c a l i t y .  Other participants i n the  trading party were from the same localized sib (de laguna, 1952,  p. 3.). Trading took place at several established locations,  a l l well within Athapaskan t e r r i t o r y , and often at Athapaskan villages.  The head trader of the T l i n g i t trading party stayed  in the house of the l o c a l chief.  A f t e r trading at one loca-  tion, some T l i n g i t s would continue to other trading places further inland.  Some stayed a l l the following winter and  trapped with t h e i r Athapaskan partners. A l l trade was conducted through trade partners.  An  inland Indian had one partner, and l o y a l t y prevented him from disposing of any of his f u r before this man arrived p. 139.).  (ibid.,  The evidence indicates that the T l i n g i t s had several  partners, since each brought between one and f i v e hundred pounds of trade goods with him. one location, however.  Not a l l the partners were at  During the actual trading procedure the  T l i n g i t s l a i d out t h e i r goods on the ground around them for display, and the partner chose what he wanted and what he  28 could "buy with his f u r ( i b i d . , p. 139.)."^  The choice was at  times limited by T l i n g i t insistence that certain trade goods in strong demand should be exchanged f o r p a r t i c u l a r kinds of fur; for instance, s i l v e r fox might be demanded for guns (McClellan, op.cit., pp. 138-139.).  Trade was by direct  barter, but apparently l i t t l e haggling was involved.  Standard  rates of exchange, i n terms of particular skins, often marten, are mentioned  (McClellan, op.cit., p. 138.).  It i s d i f f i c u l t to get a clear picture of the structure of partnerships from the l i t e r a t u r e , and p a r t i c u l a r l y how, i f at a l l , i t relates to those features of T l i n g i t s o c i a l organization which were taken up by the inland Indians as a result of trade interaction.  In McClellan s view these 1  c u l t u r a l borrowings, such as sibs, lineages and crests, resulted from i n t e r - t r i b a l marriages.  The marriages them-  selves were due to the personal contacts which were made and developed i n the course of trade.  The richer, more dazzling  T l i n g i t culture increased the status of the v i s i t o r s i n Athapaskan eyes ( i b i d . , p. 220.), and thus i t was the T l i n g i t s o c i a l system that was used as a model f o r the inland culture, as i t developed.  The development  i t s e l f was f a c i l i t a t e d by  the new wealth of the southern Yukon Athapaskans, gained from  3 c.f. procedure of North Alaskan Eskimo trading partnerships, where one partner estimates the other's requirements and makes a suitable presentation. There i s no bargaining (Spencer, 1959, p. 169.).  29 t h e i r aquisition of European goods, and t h e i r middleman a c t i v i t i e s with the Tutchone and Han Indians further inland. This argument of McClellan's accounting for the adopt i o n of T l i n g i t s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i s cited here only because i t concerns the structure of partnerships.  However, i t turns  on the point that marriages took place between T l i n g i t s and Athapaskans; or more importantly, that T l i n g i t women married Athapaskan men, since women are s t r u c t u r a l l y more relevant i n the matrilin.eal T l i n g i t kinship system.  Such marriages were  both more numerous than the other kind ( i b i d . , p. 61.), and more important and enduring, since the practice of T l i n g i t men marrying inland women was associated with other temporary liasons, such as the stealing or borrowing of women, which took place during the trading expeditions.  Those men who did  marry inland did not take t h e i r wives back with them, and thus they rarely saw them ( i b i d . , p. 202.). Relations between the T l i n g i t and southern Yukon Athapaskans was almost e n t i r e l y concerned with trade.  There  was mainly a? suppressed h o s t i l i t y rather than violence. The T l i n g i t considered the Athapaskans as i n f e r i o r s .  A Tlingit  t o l d a nineteenth century missionary, "They are only wild. They are not men ..." (quoted i n McClellan, 1950,  p. 199.).  A T l i n g i t would start a f i g h t , however, i f he found that his Athapaskan partner had traded with anyone else before he arrived ( i b i d . , p. 129.).  This indicates that an important  purpose of the partnership was the control of trade by the Tlingit.  Partnerships of t h i s kind eliminated competition  30 between T l i n g i t traders.  The accumulation of wealth was an  important aspect of the competitive nature of T l i n g i t life.  social  Thus i t was necessary to eliminate such competition  between traders i n order to maintain control over prices, and a general dominance over relations with the Athapaskans. Outside the sphere of trade, Tlingit-Athapaskan relations were concerned with ceremonial, and h o s p i t a l i t y . The f i r s t of these was handled on a group l e v e l , with a feast of welcome, i n t e r - t r i b a l games and ceremonies. partner might provide accomodation  for  The inland  his T l i n g i t trader,  and i n some cases the two of them trapped together inland a l l the following winter.  T l i n g i t s who stayed inland during the  winter were as helpless as children i n the harsh  environment,  according to Athapaskans ( i b i d . , p. 98.). Because of the wide economic and cultural  differential  between the Athapaskans and the T l i n g i t , i t cannot be assumed • that both saw the partnership i n the same l i g h t .  The T l i n g i t  view of society was bounded by considerations of status and kinship.  These two factors were related, and they dominated  a l l relations with other T l i n g i t .  Cross-cousin marriage served  to interconnect the various l o c a l matrilineages.  The society  was s t r a t i f i e d both within and between these lineages by the potlatch i n s t i t u t i o n . and foreigners.  Outside t h i s s o c i a l system were slaves  These people were without membership i n the  sibs, and thus completely without status.  However, on the  broadest l e v e l of s o c i a l organization, the moiety (or phratry, since the southern T l i n g i t recognized three) organization extended to include foreigners.  31 The Athapaskans, as foreigners without any wealth, were treated with derision.  However, i n order to exploit them i t  was necessary f o r the T l i n g i t to have s o c i a l relations with them.  They could not, moreover, treat them as slaves, since  the T l i n g i t had no wish to remain inland a l l winter to oversee the production of f u r . There was considerable variation i n the amount of furs traded by different Athapaskan groups.  In addition there was  v a r i a t i o n i n trapping production between individuals.  Some  men traded extensively i n t h e i r own right with other tribes further inland.  McClellan has demonstrated that there were  only three inland groups which had marriage t i e s with coastal T l i n g i t s ; the Champagne band of the Southern Tutchone, the Tagish and the Teslin ( i b i d . , pp. 138, 144, 153ff).  The  Champagne band was located at the head of the Chilkat Pass, and owned most of the houses i n Neskatahin, the v i l l a g e where the i n i t i a l trading of the Chilkats was conducted each year. The Tagish were at the head of the Chilkoot Pass, and the T e s l i n at the head of the Taku Pass.  (See Map  I, page iv)  It was these three bands which formed annual expeditions to trade f o r fur with Tutchone bands, mainly those along the P e l l y River.  In other words there i s a correlation between  the Athapaskan bands which conducted middleman trade and those bands which had marriage l i n k s with the coast.  McClellan  explains t h i s with the hypothesis that these marriages were "connections resulting from trade" ( i b i d . , p. 94. my  emphasis).  32 However, regular annual trade was also conducted between the T l i n g i t and the other Southern Tutchone bands, but McClellan points out that marriages did not result from these connections ( i b i d . , p. 53.).  Some further explanation of the cross-  c u l t u r a l marriage pattern i s required, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n view of the sharp contradiction any marriage with an Athapaskan would have caused; a contradiction, that i s , between the T l i n g i t view of inland people as outside t h e i r status system, and the importance attached by the T l i n g i t to the a f f i n a l lineage (Eggan, 1955, p. 539.). The answer seems to l i e i n the commercial interests of the T l i n g i t with regard to the middleman traders from the three inland groups.  Some of these men were r i c h enough to employ  several packers; a Tagish middleman would use his nephews (McClellan, 1950, p. 144.).  This means that these men would  trade enough f u r for several hundred pounds of trade goods each spring, and would thus make a desireable partner f o r any ambitious T l i n g i t .  Marriages were probably arranged to secure  the trade of these men i n a more binding, and f o r the Athapaskan more rewarding, way than partnerships. T l i n g i t relations with affines were close and binding, while relations with Athapaskans were distant, h o s t i l e and of unequal status.  These two attitudes were brought into c o n f l i c t  by marriages between the two groups, and this role c o n f l i c t was s t i l l evident at the time of McClellan's f i e l d work i n 1948 and 1949.  33 Those members of the Champagne band who  could trace  kinship connections with T l i n g i t l i v i n g i n the coastal v i l l a g e of Klukwan were proud of t h i s l i n k .  It was stated that they  could use t h i s l i n k to get h o s p i t a l i t y whenever they v i s i t e d the coast.  However, at Klukwan McClellan found that none of  the T l i n g i t would think of admitting the relationship. remained a strong contempt f o r inland people.  There  This was at  least sixty years a f t e r trade and intermarriage between the coast and the inland had ended. Conclusions The Kutchin-Eskimo trading partnerships have to be seen i n the context of general Kutchin-Eskimo r e l a t i o n s .  These  were often hostile^" and involved lengthy blood feuds (Slobodin, I960, passim.).  Revenge, rather than plunder, was the main  motive of raiding parties.  Trading partnership continued  throughout a period of c o n f l i c t ( i b i d . , p. 86.).  The  institu-  t i o n provided a means f o r trade to continue despite h o s t i l i t i e s . The taboo on k i l l i n g a partner m respect (Osgood, 1936,  war i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n this  p. 132.).  Relations between Kutchin bands were conducted through several i n s t i t u t i o n s .  The sib organizations united sections of  each band, and thus cut across the t e r r i t o r i a l organization. They provided the t r a v e l l e r with the assurance of aid i n  4 Eor the recorded clashes of Mackenzie Eskimo with the Eastern Kutchin, see Slobodin, 1962, p. 24-25.  34 distant bands ( B a l i k c i , 1963,  p. 24.).  The funeral potlatch,  which appears to have been organized partly on t e r r i t o r i a l and partly on s i b p r i n c i p l e s , provided occasionswhen distant bands could gather together, and also functioned as an exchange i n s t i t u t i o n . at  Trade between bands was also conducted  such meetings through the chiefs, and through g i f t  changes between leading men  (Slobodin, 1962,  p. 69.).  exFrom  Slobodin's evidence of the T a t l i t Kutchin, i t appears that band intermarriage was common.  In the 1890's there were  several kinship links with a l l other Kutchin bands ( i b i d . , p. 67.).  It i s probable that during the period when i n t e r -  band trade was  important,  were also common.  such kinship links through marriage  It appears that the trading partnerships  between Kutchin bands were s t r i c t l y instrumental trading arrangements, and not the more diffuse mutual protection agreements such as held between the Kutchin and the Eskimo. Partnerships were of greatest importance m  handling  trade i n a predictable manner between tribes that were cont i n u a l l y h o s t i l e to each other. Kutchin-Eskimo partnerships.  This i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n the  To the south, Kutchin relations  with the Tutchone tended to be h o s t i l e , but there was  little  contact between the two groups, owing to the Ogilvie Mountains and the Han t r i b e .  Relations between the Han and the Tutchone  of the Port Selkirk area were unfriendly when the f i r s t White man  contacted them (Campbell, 1883,  p. 439.).  McClellan finds l i t t l e evidence that partnerships existed between Tutchone bands, or that feuds between them were  35 at a l l frequent  (McClellan, 1950, p. 214.).  of t h i s century an ethnographically-minded  In the early part  trader at Ross  River noted that the P e l l y River Tutchone had partnerships with the Mountain Indians.  The i n s t i t u t i o n involved g i f t ex-  changes and mutual aid, and i t s purpose was to control h o s t i l i t i e s (Field, 1957, pp. 58-59.). tioned.  Trading i s not men-  With or without trade, partnerships appear to be  important between h o s t i l e groups. The c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n t i a l between the Southern Yukon  ^  Athapaskan and the coastal T l i n g i t i s about as wide as that between the Kutchin and the Eskimo, i f such a concept as culture can be used comparatively.  Relations between the  groups were unfriendly, but not openly h o s t i l e .  This was due  p a r t i a l l y to the superior power and status position of the T l i n g i t , and p a r t i a l l y to the mountain b a r r i e r between them. The annual encounters were mainly f o r the purpose of trade. Organization was a feature of the T l i n g i t trading parties, which were made up of members of a lineage under a head trader, and which claimed exclusive rights to the trade route.  The  organization of exchanges was the s p e c i f i c purpose of the partnerships, and they were not peace-making i n s t i t u t i o n s . For the T l i n g i t s the partnerships also provided some h o s p i t a l i t y and support i n a foreign community.  For the Athapaskans i t  appears probable that a man could achieve prestige, and possibly marriage and s i b relations with the coast through his partner. These links formed a basis f o r the development of the 'Inland Tlingit  1  status system.  36 The material from the Yukon on partnership trade i s very sketchy, so that very l i t t l e m  the way of s o l i d conclusions  can be drawn on the partnership i n s t i t u t i o n .  I t was most  highly i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d where otherwise hostile relations existed between the groups, and where the trade i t s e l f was of particular importance to both groups.  It was also most  highly sanctioned i n those cases where i t was the exclusive form of trade.  For instance, Tlingit-Athapaskan partnerships  were sanctioned mainly by the use of force by the T l i n g i t s . Kutchin taboo on k i l l i n g Eskimo partners suggests that to some extent supernatural sanctions operated to control behaviour i n the context of this trade.  CHAPTER I I I TRADING CHIEFS  In the l a s t chapter i t was shown that much i n t e r - t r i b a l trade was carried on at meetings between trading parties. Trading parties were also a feature of the i n i t i a l direct dealings with White traders.  Parties of Indians would period-  i c a l l y v i s i t the trading posts, or i n the case of the more distant nomadic bands, trade goods were sent out with a clerk, known as a 'tripper', and trade would take place at the Indian camp.  In both cases a l l trade was conducted through a group  representative.  These trading chiefs were responsible for  stimulating trapping a c t i v i t y , c o l l e c t i n g the f u r , bargaining with the traders, and d i s t r i b u t i n g the trade goods.  They were  appointed and rewarded by the trader, and served to bridge the gap - c u l t u r a l , s o c i a l , economic, and geographic - between the trader and his customers.  As such, the role of a trading  chief was t r a n s i t i o n a l and, among the Vunta Kutchin at least, disappeared when direct dealing between traders and individual trappers began a f t e r 1894 ( B a l i k c i , 1963, p. 50.). A description of post-contact (1899) Peel River Kutchin trading party i s to be found i n unexpected d e t a i l i n a popular account of the attempt of a gold prospector, George Mitchell, to reach the Klondike (Graham, 1935, pp. 103-104, 286-292.). Although t h i s took place a f t e r the commencement of individual trade at Fort McPherson,  i t i s probably t y p i c a l of some of the  38 e a r l i e s t post-contact trading parties.  On the journey to Fort  McPherson the party made the l a s t stop at a cache, where caribou skin clothing was changed f o r cast-off European garments.  M i t c h e l l thought that this non-descript dress was  intended to give an a i r of penitence and poverty, and he offers his own interpretation of t h i s ( i b i d . , p. 90.).  It appears  l i k e l y that such dress was ceremonial, and symbolic of the entry into a White-dominated context, p a r t i c u l a r l y since they also "... a l l wore splendid coloured s a s h e s " " b e s t smoke-bags with tassels hanging out", small beaded velvet caps and their handsomest beaded moccasins ( i b i d . , p. 286.).  As the canoes  approached the fort they formed a single l i n e , the chief's boat at the head.  Guns sounded at the fort, and the Union  Jack and Hudson's Bay Company f l a g were hoisted.  The Indians  approached i n complete silence to mark the solemnity of the occasion.  The Hudson's Bay Company factor waited at the door-  way of the trading-room to shake hands "very formally with the leading Indians" ( i b i d . , p. 288.). Elaborate trading ceremonies were part of a l l early trade contacts between Whites and Indians.  They were used by  the traders to reward t h e i r l o y a l trading chiefs.  The trader  presenting a chief with g i f t s of food (and at times liquor) to be redistributed among h i s party i n a feast.  This served as  1 Possibly these were native copies of the Assumption sashes, three of which had been presented by the Hudson's Bay Company to Peel River trading chiefs as marks of o f f i c e (Slobodin, 1962, p. 72.).  39 an encouragement to distant Indians to make the annual journeyto the post, and stimulated the trading chief i n his efforts to make up large trading parties.  This reliance by the traders  on presents and ceremonies to get distant Indians to v i s i t the posts was part of the policy of monopoly trade. points out that Samuel Hearne and some of his  Rich  contemporaries  used arguments against attempting to have distant Indians v i s i t the trading posts, because of the long journeys involved, the small amount of trade which each Indian conducted, and the expense of feeding the Indians while they were at the posts (Rich, 1959,  pp. 47, 57.).  Instead, "... a class of trading  middlemen" were encouraged from the tribes closest to the post, who "... would get a certain s o c i a l standing", as well as a p r o f i t from their endeavors ( i b i d . , p. 57.).  However, by  1869 the Hudson's Bay Company had l o s t i t s o f f i c i a l monopoly, and i n the Upper Yukon, trade was i n danger of being lost at f i r s t to Russian, and l a t e r to American traders from Alaska. For t h i s reason direct trade with as many Indian groups as possible was encouraged.  The gaining of the l o y a l t y of chiefs  was an i n i t i a l step i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n .  The role of trading  chief among the Kutchin was different from any t r a d i t i o n a l leadership roles, since the post was created by the traders. Trading chiefs came into existence at the same time as t r a d i t i o n a l chiefs disappeared  ( B a l i k c i , 1963,  p. 49.).  However,  native s o c i a l structure had some influence on the appointments.  Slobodin states that they were chosen from among high-  ranking Kutchin (Slobodin, 1962,  p. 72.),  while a l l Vunta  40 Kutchin trading chiefs were from the same sib ( B a l i k c i , l o c . cit.).  This was  i n contrast to the T l i n g i t situation, where  the t r a d i t i o n a l leadership was able to maintain control of the trade with outlying groups, mainly by t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l ownership of the trade routes, and control of transportation f a c i l i t i e s such as slaves and kinsmen, who were employed as 2 packers.  While monopoly trade increased the power of t r a d i -  t i o n a l T l i n g i t leadership, among the Kutchin i t created a  new  class of leaders, who drew their status, and ultimately their authority, from outside Kutchin society. By dealing with a group of Indians e n t i r e l y through t h e i r trading chief, the trader was able to gain his business aims, i n the way  of fur and a market for manufactured goods,  while disturbing as l i t t l e as possible the Indian way life.  of  The p o l i c y of l a i s s e z - f a i r e could sum up the Hudson's  Bay Company's attitude to Indian s o c i a l l i f e , beyond the development of trapping enterprise and a consumer market. the southern Yukon, however, direct trade was number of small traders, and prospectors, who sideline.  These men  In  i n i t i a t e d by a traded only as a  saw no advantage i n operating through  Indian leaders, or preserving the status quo, and i n d i v i d u a l 2 This emphasis of t r a d i t i o n a l leadership also took place among the Blackfoot under monopoly trade. In t h i s case the leaders controlled transport by means of their horses as well as t h e i r men (Lewis, 1942, p. 42.). 3 For a discussion of the role of the trader as a conservative force i n culture contact situations, see Adams, 1963, pp. 298-307.  41 trade, including that of a wife trading her own f u r separately from her husband, began soon after trading stores were established (McGleLlan, 1950, was  p. 148.).  The use of trading chxefs  the effect of the p o l i c y of a large, highly organized  trading company, rather than a practice which developed of necessity out of the existing Indian s o c i a l structure. Trading chiefs did become part of Indian s o c i a l l i f e . While the fur trade entrepreneurs  used them as something between  foremen and middlemen, to the Indians the trading chiefs were p o l i t i c a l intermediaries with the White men.  I n i t i a l direct  dealings with the traders were over p o l i t i c a l matters; the control of h o s t i l i t i e s , the right to establish a post, the right to trade.^  These dealings, l i k e trade i t s e l f , had to be  conducted by a group leader.  When the i n s t i t u t i o n had become  established, the trading chief acted as a trade broker.  He  complained about i n f e r i o r goods and haggled with the trader over the t t . a n f f which determined the exchange rate of furs f o r goods. ... the Company's trader and the chief agreed upon a scale of prices from which the amount due to each Indian followed automatically when the skins had been counted and graded. But the process was not r e a l l y quite automatic as an Indian could always put forward some plea for special treatment, supposing, f o r example, that he had been handicapped by i l l n e s s or accident, or had had to support a widow or had l o s t h i s traps or furs. Or again  4 For one Northern Athapaskan t r i b e , the Carrier of Central B r i t i s h Columbia, i n i t i a l relations with the traders had supernatural overtones, for the Indians took the White men to be gods (Harmon, 1957, p. 252.).  42 he might have taken some particularlyvaluable skins, for which the trader could allow him a special rate. (Graham, 1935, pp. 289-290.). It was the trading chief who presented  these s p e c i a l pleas.  The above account from Fort McPherson took place a f t e r trading had begun to be conducted by individual debt account, rather than v i a the trading chief, and i l l u s t r a t e s even at this late date the importance of the trading chief as an intermediary. The granting of such pleas was not merely benevolence; i n cases of genuine need the trapper would be unable to bring i n much fur the following year without assistance.  To the Indian  trapper, the trading chief was a person who had p o l i t i c a l influence, both over his own people and over the trader ( B a l i k c i , 1963, p. 50.). As an organizer of production, the trading chief was only effective as long as trapping was conducted by a large party of a l l the trappers f o r whom he traded.  The trapping  party of the T a t l i t Kutchm consisted of from four to eight families, and was only used when trapping highland fur, such as marten (Slobodin, 1962, p. 73. )> since this type of group trapping could be augmented with caribou hunting.  Balikci  has traced the results of the introduction of the r i f l e on Vunta Kutchin hunting organization.  There was a "gradual  r e s t r i c t i o n i n size of the main collaborative u n i t s . " ( B a l i k c i , 1963, p. 152.).^  As the new technology of trapping  5 For the same author's account of a similar reduction i n the size of productive groups among Arviligjuarmiut Eskimo, for s i m i l a r reasons, see B a l i k c i , 1964, passim, esp. pp. 104105.).  took hold, the trapping group became smaller, and the trading chief was  ineffective i n his task of stimulating production.  CHAPTER I? MONOPOLY TRADE  The adoption of the i n d i v i d u a l debt system of trade came about i n part as a result of an expansion by traders into the Yukon.  The use of middlemen, whether entire groups, l i k e  the T l i n g i t traders or the Vunta Kutchin, or trading chiefs, had three major disadvantages, compared with direct trade. F i r s t , there was a maximum volume of trade which could be carried by the limited transportation f a c i l i t i e s of the middlemen.  Second, the threat of competition  influenced trading  companies to protect their monopoly at i t s source, by setting up outposts within the t e r r i t o r y of isolated bands.  Third,  the method of debt trading, which gave the trader the greatest control over his customers, demanded that there was a personal relationship between the trader and every trapper who  received  credit. In Kutchin t e r r i t o r y the Hudson's Bay Company expanded west to Fort Yukon i n 1848,  where by 1867  trade was being con-  ducted i n d i v i d u a l l y with Indians from a l l the nearby Kutchin bands, including the Vunta Kutchin, and also, the Tanana, Han and Tutchone (Dall, 1898,  p. 109.).  There was a large popula-  t i o n within travelling distance, and occasionally f i v e hundred Indians were camped there at one time, a l l waiting to trade (Whymper, 1869,  p. 177.).  G i f t - g i v i n g by the trader was  no  45 longer directed through the chief but was on a s t r i c t l y i n d i vidual and equal basis.  Each Indian got a plug of tobacco, a  pipe and a d a i l y ration of moose meat (loc. c i t . ) .  Apparently  t h i s egalitarianism was to prevent jelousies between bands. The debt system of trade was i n use at Port Yukon at this time. Competitive trade appeared among the Eastern Kutchin about the turn of the century, f i r s t from the whalers of Herschel Island, and l a t e r from several private traders."'" However, the debt system survived, and at present there are more or less monopoly conditions at the Vunta Kutchin v i l l a g e of Old Crow. The expansion of trading posts into Tutchone t e r r i t o r y from Northern B r i t i s h Columbia was conducted  for the Hudson's  Bay Company by Robert Campbell who had established Fort Frances P e l l y Banks, and Fort Selkirk by 1848.  However, the sparse  population, a d i f f i c u l t supply route and T l i n g i t h o s t i l i t i e s resulted i n the abandonment of a l l these posts by 1852.  After  the Alaska purchase, several traders, equipped by the Alaska Commercial Company, moved into the central Yukon from Alaska, and by 1891 a post was opened near the s i t e of Fort Selkirk. After the Klondike gold rush this expansion continued along the Yukon River and up the t r i b u t a r i e s by both major trading companies i n the area, the Northern Commercial Company and  1 For a more detailed history of trade i n the area, see B a l i k c i , 1963, p. 35.  46 Taylor and Drury Ltd., as well as by several private trappertraders.  In the southern Yukon posts were opened on the  supply routes through the coast mountains, most of them by private traders. The expansion of trade f a c i l i t i e s enabled almost a l l Indians to make the annual journey to the post.  In the  northern Yukon, where trade with the Hudson's Bay Company was i n i t i a l l y through trading chiefs, individual trade began primarily i n order to get goods on c r e d i t .  Credit was given  f i r s t to the trading chiefs, and l a t e r to some of the other more prosperous Indians.  The main c r i t e r i a for an Indian to  get credit were that he be well known at the post, and could be trusted to trade there every year.  Thus a personal r e l a -  tionship with the trader was a necessary part of obtaining credit.  Every trapper was obliged to make the annual journey  to the post i n order to get c r e d i t . The obtaining of credit marked an important change i n the economic l i f e of a trapper.  I t indicated a long-term  commitment to trapping as the major winter productive a c t i v i t y , and to dealing with a single trader, i n order to exchange the results of this a c t i v i t y f o r some valued end. A trapper needed credit for two basic reasons.  First,  he needed i t to s t a b i l i z e h i s economic relations with the trader.  The introduction of f u r trading added further risks  in the form of price fluctuations of both f u r and supplies to an already unstable economy based on the capture of wild animals (Knight, 1965,  p. 36.).  Credit absorbed some of these  47 r i s k s , since i t could be drawn upon i n face of needs and paid back as conditions improved.  short-term  Also the practice  of 'writing o f f unpaid debts was followed i n some cases of genuine misfortune by the Hudson's Bay Company, The trading company's purpose was to enable a trapper with  impossible  debts to equip himself f o r further trapping, since i t was from fur that much of the p r o f i t was made. A second motive for seeking credit was i n order to c a p i t a l i z e a coming winter's trapping venture.  As trapping  techniques became modernized larger amounts of supplies were needed at the beginning of each season.  Also, trapping tended  to replace food-getting a c t i v i t i e s , l i k e hunting and fishing, at least to some extent.  The trapping outfit had to include  supplies of food, as well as tea and tobacco, which became necessities. Not only trappers found credit useful. able to use i t for a number of purposes.  Traders were  It was used to  promote spending, i n much the same way as r e t a i l credit operates in modern Canadian society.  This also had the effect of  stimulating trapping, i n order to pay for these purchases. Before i n d i v i d u a l trade was of sales and trapping was  the common practice, the promotion  conducted through the trading chief.  Credit established personal relations between the trader and his trappers, and gave the trader the advantage of having the trappers under an obligation to him.  Through t h i s r e l a t i o n -  ship he was able to d i r e c t l y influence their economic l i f e by personal intervention, and discourage a c t i v i t i e s which conflicted  48 with trapping, such as winter hunting and f i s h i n g . Credit was also used by traders to control the sort of goods which were purchased.  Generally speaking, since one  of the purposes of credit was to stimulate trapping, only those supplies which the trader considered necessary to a trapping expedition were issued on c r e d i t .  The Hudson's Bay  Company trader Murray notes that soon a f t e r the founding of Fort Yukon he issued credit to a few Indians, but would only allow them to take ammunition (Murray, 1910,  p. 57.).  This  practice can be taken as implying a disapproval of native spending.  Travelers of the period have remarked on the Kutchin,  Han and Tanana love of beads and dentalia.  Whymper mentions  that a f t e r the few hardware needs of those Indians trading into Fort Yukon had been s a t i s f i e d , the richest of them accumulated immense p i l e s of beads (Whymper, 1869» pp.  177-  178.), and that dentalia ornaments, some worth several hundred marten skins, were worn by many Indians.  These dentalia were  sold by both the Hudson's Bay Company and the Russian American Trading Company, and had previously been obtained by these Indians through i n t e r - t r i b a l trade from the coast pp. 173, 178.).  In 1851  (ibid.,  the Hudson's Bay Company trader  Campbell found that the Indians around Fort Selkirk demanded dentalia from him f o r t h e i r furs (McClellan, 1950, Schwatka, i n 1883,  p. 182.).  also noted the limited market for hardware  items along the Yukon River.  He indicates that below the  junction with the Pelly a l l the Indians wanted to trade only for tea or tobacco (Schwatka, 1885,  pp. 226-227, 247.).  49 By allowing only certain goods to be purchased on credit a trader was able to do more than just influence the buying habits of Indians along what he thought to be more prudent l i n e s .  He was also able to stress the importance of  - - trapping as an a c t i v i t y , by allowing only those supplies needed for a trapping expedition on credit.  In t h i s way  he  ultimately could increase the fur harvest of his d i s t r i c t , on which most of his p r o f i t could be made.  This resulted i n  a tendency to eliminate luxuries, p a r t i c u l a r l y those used i n ceremony, or f o r display.  One of the central purposes of the  potlatch i n Kutchin society was the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the dead man's high status property, such as his dentalium (Osgood, 1936,  p. 137.).  shells  The ownership of dentalium  shells,  and l a t e r beads, was the main c r i t e r i o n of membership i n the highest Kutchin s o c i a l class ( B a l i k c i , 1963,  p. 26.).  Beads  were the required medium for the payment of blood vengeance among the Kutchin (Osgood, 1936,  p. 124.).  There were other  factors i n the breakdown of Kutchin s i b organization, potlatching and s o c i a l classes, but the gradual elimination of ceremonial valuables was a major one. Traders could also control purchases by refusing to trade a p a r t i c u l a r item which was  i n strong demand f o r any-  thing but a p a r t i c u l a r species of fur (McClellan, 1950, In t h i s way  p. 140.).  the trader was able to influence the trapper^s  productive a c t i v i t i e s , by d i r e c t i n g his efforts towards trapping p a r t i c u l a r furbearers.  The fact that t h i s method  was used i n addition to price inducements suggests that trappers  50 were reluctant to trap certain species, whatever the price, either because of "taboos, such as those held "by the Tutchone of the P e l l y and L i t t l e Salmon Rivers against k i l l i n g mink or otter (Field, 1957,  p. 52), or because of u n f a m i l i a r i t y with  successful methods of trapping the p a r t i c u l a r species. Individual trade employing credit was normally used only when a trader had a monopoly i n a d i s t r i c t ,  or had agree-  ments with other traders that none of them would deal with Indians who had refused to repay the credit of another trader. Competition did appear along the Yukon River, from Fort Yukon downstream, after 1867,  between the Alaska Commercial Company  and the Northern Trading Company,  However, this was a special,  temporary sort of competition, the practice of which was designed to establish the monopoly of one or the other contestants.  Each company a c t i v e l y attempted to put the  other out of business, by f a i r means or f o u l .  In this s i t u a -  t i o n credit was used to capture the l o y a l t y of p a r t i c u l a r Indians without regard for the 'normal' rules of credit allowance.  The competitors t r i e d to undermine t h i s l o y a l t y .  Fur prices rose, prices of goods f e l l to less than wholesale, 2 and credit became available i n large quantities 1885,  p. 268.).  (Schwatka,  When the Alaska Commercial Company had succeeded  i n reestablishing i t s monopoly i t was faced with the d i f f i c u l t 2 Godsell describes a s i m i l a r case of cutthroat competition i n the fur trade, on the Mackenzie River around 1920 (Godsell, 1943, chap. 17, and chap. 25.).  51 task of reinstating 'normal' prices and credit policy and honest dealings.  Schwatka describes the dishonest t a c t i c s  used by Indians at Fort Yukon i n 1883 to get the better of the trader (Schwatka, 1885, pp. 284-285.). Genuine competition i n the fur trade reached the Upper Yukon drainage with the Klondike gold rush of 1896-98. Many of the prospectors were also part-time trappers and traders. Trade stores established to supply the miners were also open to f u r trade with Indian and White trappers, although prices in the Dawson area became p r o h i b i t i v e .  In the southern Yukon  a railroad was b u i l t between the P a c i f i c coast and Whitehorse, and along the Yukon River between there and Dawson there were established several settlements, both woodstops for the r i v e r steamers, and roadhouses f o r the winter stage l i n e .  In  areas away from the goldfields and the Yukon River t r a v e l was more d i f f i c u l t , and traders managed to maintain a monopoly in t h e i r d i s t r i c t s .  One means of beating out competition was  to a r t i f i c i a l l y boost the buying price of fur, and also set the prices of r e t a i l merchandise so that a p r o f i t was made on the whole transaction. This practice was used by Taylor and Drury, Ltd., a l o c a l company founded during the Gold Rush, which at one time maintained about twenty trading posts i n the Yukon T e r r i t o r y .  Those trappers who  sold f u r to this  company were paid only i n goods, or i n coin-like trading tokens, marked i n multiples and fractions of a d o l l a r , and useable only at that company's stores.  One writer noted  these tokens being carried by Kaska Indians of Frances Lake,  52 i n the early 1920's.  The tokens were obtained at the Taylor  and Drury outpost at P e l l y Banks, where the Indians made a yearly trading t r i p (Hunter, 1924, 'p. 66.).^  Trading tokens  were also used by the Hudson's Bay Company, by Dalton's Post i n the southern Yukon, established i n 1894, and at Haines, Alaska, where the post was opened i n 1880 (McClellan, 1950, pp. 129, 198.). A second method used by some traders to maintain t h e i r trade monopolies with particular groups of trappers was by means of the account which each man had with the store. At most times this account provided a record of the debt owed by the trapper (called his 'jawbone' i n the central and southern Yukon).  A good trader could estimate a trapper's  earning potential, and allow credit up to t h i s .  I f the  trapper was able to pay off this debt before the end of a trapping season, the surplus value was normally spent as soon as the fur was traded.  However, at times, p a r t i c u l a r l y when  f u r prices were r i s i n g rapidly, a trader's supplies might run short.  In such a case he might credit this value to the  trapper's account, to be paid i n goods some time i n the future when they arrived.  Cash, where i t d i d appear, was not used as  an all-purpose money, but r e s t r i c t e d to a c t i v i t i e s l i k e gambling.  3 Honigmann points out that these Indians had o r i g i n a l l y l e f t the Lower Post area to trap around Frances Lake m order to trade at the newly established post at Ross River (about 1900), and had been drawn by the low price of goods (Honigmann, 1949, p. 23.).  53 Each trapper had his own account with the trader. Even i n cases where married women trapped alongside their husbands they usually traded the f u r themselves, and separate accounts. credit sales.  had  Accounts were"not only used to record  A l l fur traded by a trapper was recorded, as  were a l l trade goods which a trapper bought.  In this way a  s t a t i s t i c a l evaluation over a number of seasons of an Indian's trading record could be made.  Moreover, t h i s evalua-  t i o n could be passed on to succeeding managers who the same post.  traded at  Thus, while trading, and p a r t i c u l a r l y credit,  depended on a personal relationship between the trapper and the trader, the relationship was of a narrow and instrumental kind.  It also depended on impersonal factors, such as past  records of trading, factors which were outside the trapper's power to manipulate for his own  favour.  It was by means of his accounts that the trader was able to categorize trading into the three a c t i v i t i e s of buying fur, s e l l i n g supplies, and providing credit, i n the customary manner of a market exchange systemr. . For the trapper, however, without such accounts, there were not three a c t i v i t i e s of trading, but one.  Trade goods were advanced by the trader  up to a customary l i m i t , and were l a t e r returned by fur.  It  was a system of direct barter. The rate at which furs were bartered for supplies .was subject to adjustment, i n response to world market prices. With a large, complex organization l i k e the Hudson's Bay Company i t was possible to maintain a degree of i s o l a t i o n  54 between the exchange rate at a post and unstable prices.  'outside'  Smaller trading companies sold at regional 'commission  houses', or public auctions, and did not have the  resources  to protect the s t a b i l i t y of the barter system from outside changes.  Most fur trading i n the Yukon since the Gold Rush  has been done by medium and small size companies.  There has  thus been l i t t l e protection for the trapper from the several price drops of this century.  Some haggling over prices took  place at Hudson's Bay Company Post at Fort McPherson around 1899  (Graham, op.cit,\ but this was probably the effect of  competition  from whalers at Herschel Island.  In general the  trader dictated the terms of trade, and i t was up to the trapper continuously to revise his ideas of what constituted reciprocity. The connection between fur and supplies was l o g i c a l one.  a  It was not possible to obtain supplies without  fur, or to u t i l i z e fur without obtaining supplies from one trader.  Thus, even though obtaining supplies was  often done  at a different time than bringing i n fur, the two  activities  were necessary parts of a single i n s t i t u t i o n of exchange. Credit and savings were also b u i l t i n parts of monopoly trade.  Credit was no more than the delay which was  permitted  between the obtaining of supplies and the reciprocal return of furs.  Saving was not a regular part of monopoly trade,  but"at times, p a r t i c u l a r l y when fur prices were r i s i n g , supplies at a post became exhausted before a l l furs were traded.  Trading tokens were given f o r t h i s surplus fur to  55 be exchanged for supplies at some l a t e r time.  It was  necessary that fur was traded during the same season i t was caught, since i t could not be stored by Indians during the summer. As a means of organizing trapping, monopoly trade worked i n a similar manner to another system of pre-industrial organization of production, called the Putting Out system, or Trader Capitalism.^  This i n s t i t u t i o n was used i n the English  woolen industry before factories were introduced. an entrepreneur,  who  organized the production of numerous  individual cottage spinners, weavers etc. provided much of the c a p i t a l . to the worker, who  It included  Raw  The entrepreneur  materials were consigned  returned the material after his particular  process was completed.  On paper the materials were 'sold' to  the worker, and products were 'bought' by the  entrepreneur,  but there was no market, and the only money that changed hands was the worker's commission. It i s clear that monopoly trade i s a barter system, in which the notions of buying and s e l l i n g have only a limited application.  The idea of credit or debt also requires  q u a l i f i c a t i o n i n this context. i s only a p o l i t e way  Ward has stated that credit  of saying debt (Ward, I960, p. 152.).  The politeness results from the fact that credit implies a trust m  the debtor's a b i l i t y and intention to repay, while  4 Por a d e f i n i t i o n of 'Putting Out', pp. 382-383.  see C sselman, a  1949,  56 debt implies an obligation to repay (see entries under 'credit' and  'debt', Webster's Hew Collegiate dictionary, s i x t h  edition).  Under the conditions of monopoly trade, however,  there can only be trust expressed i n a trapper's  ability.  Trust i n his intention would be irrelevant, since fur must be taken to the one trader, and the relationship with the trader must be maintained m  order to obtain necessities.  The trapper  i s under an obligation to make the return, not i n the cont r a c t u a l sense, but i n the p r a c t i c a l sense of needing a further advance from the trader the following year.  The  motive for the return of 'debt' i s t i g h t l y bound up with the motive for trade i t s e l f .  There i s no moral obligation, since  the debt i s not legitimized i n Indian society.  As an a l t e r -  native to using the terms 'debt' or 'credit', the term 'jawbone', which i s u n i v e r s a l l y used i n central and southern Yukon, might be employed. •Jawbone' i s that part of the barter on which repayment i s delayed.  As was noted above, i t i s an expression by  the trader of a trapper's a b i l i t y to repay, and thus of his a b i l i t y as a trapperI  Trappers and traders think of each  other to a large extent i n terms of 'jawbone'.  That i s , a  trader speaks about trappers i n a number of graded categories. "Good r u s t l e r s " are the men who can get maximum c r e d i t .  Below  t h i s there are various orders of disapproval, according to how industrious or honest the trapper i s . Trappers are more secretive about the amount of 'jawbone' they are allowed. Indian at Ross River quoted me a figure which turned  One  out to be  57 i n excess of his t o t a l earnings from fur for either of the two previous years.  B a l i k c i states that at Old Crow close  kin from the same household often do not know the extent of each other's debt (Balikcx, 1963, p. 9 9 . ) .  The reason f o r  t h i s secrecy and exaggeration i s that jawbone i s a measure of status.  Not only i s i t an expression of a trapper's  a b i l i t y on the traplme, but i t i s also considered as wealth which a man has i n reserve.  This status i s recognized by the  trader, and by other Indians, since trading i s an a c t i v i t y which brings prestige ( B a l i k c i , 1963, p. 1 0 3 . ) . In summary, the quasi-debt relationship of monopoly trade gave the trader more power than the trapper.  With  conditions i n his favour he usually resisted any factors which tended to disrupt the system.  \  CHAPTER V MARKET TRADE  The breakdown of the system of monopoly trade xs not completed i n the Yukon.  The  'credxt system  1  s t i l l operates at  the Vunta Kutchin v i l l a g e of Old Crow, where a trapper can get up to a thousand dollars' worth of supplxes on credit, i f he has a good record.  At Ross River, which l i k e Old Crow was  isolated i n wxnter p r i o r to 1964,  the condxtxons existed f o r  monopoly trade, but the credit supply, as well as the earnxng from fur, have been very low (Tanner, 1965,  p. 23.).  At the other fur trading communxtxes i n the Yukon there xs some chance for competition between traders.  Only  Dawson, P e l l y Crossing, Haines Junctxon and T e s l i n have no more than one trader each, but a l l these places are on all-weather roads, so that they are not completely cut off from other traders.  Whitehorse xs the location most emancipated from  the monopoly system.  Credxt i s not available to any of the  trappers without l e g a l security.  Trapping xs s t i l l practxced  in the area by at least ten Indians, some making over $500 a year from f u r . The rapid increase i n the number of traders i n the Yukon, which followed the discovery of gold and the consequent influx of s e t t l e r s , brought direct trade f o r the fxrst time to many Tutchone and southern Yukon Athapaskans.  It was only at  59 f i r s t i n the mining area that competition existed.  Indians  s  from as f a r away a# Port McPherson journeyed to the Yukon River settlements to trade f u r . Although prices of supplies were very high f o r the f i r s t year or so at Dawson, the setting up of a transportation system, consisting of a railway through the coastal mountains from the P a c i f i c , and steamboats down the Yukon River, reduced costs a f t e r 1900.  It was v i a this  route that goods were carried into Kutchin t e r r i t o r y by private traders, forcing the Hudson's Bay Company to abandon i t s posts west of the Mackenzie. This process was hastened by competit i o n from the whaler-traders who were stationed at Herschel Island during this period.  Since the route to the P a c i f i c  was not controlled by a single trading company, competition grew along the Yukon River.  The Hudson's Bay Company took  part i n this trade during the 1930's and '40's, with posts at Port Selkirk and Stewart River.  These were abandoned when  r i v e r transportation began to close down i n the 1950's. The major trading companies i n the t e r r i t o r y since the Gold Rush have been Taylor and Drury Ltd. and the Northern Commercial Company.  Many of the posts operated by these companies have  been abandoned, and others have been taken over by private traders.  In 1962 the Hudson's Bay Company again entered the  Yukon, building a large store at Whitehorse, which competes a c t i v e l y f o r f u r with Taylor and Drury. Many of the White trappers who entered the Yukon i n t h i s century also traded with isolated Indian groups.  By the  1920's some measure of control was introduced by a Yukon  60 T e r r i t o r i a l Ordinance prohibiting unlicenced traders, and traders who operated without a place of business, such as a trading post.  The annual licence fee for non-resident traders  by 1927 was $150, as against $25 for residents.  I t must be  remembered that law and order had been well established by the R.C.M.P. during the Gold Rush, so that the kind of lawless cutthroat competition i n the fur trade which had e a r l i e r taken place i n Alaska, and which took place i n other parts of Canada during the boom i n fur prices a f t e r 1919, did not take place in the Yukon to the same extent. Monopoly trade was broken down i n some cases by the trend of Indians to l i v e i n permanent settlements, some of which had more than one trader.  These settlements were located  with reference to the transportation routes; f i r s t the railway and the Yukon River, and a f t e r 1944, the Alaska Highway and the road from Whitehorse to Mayo and Dawson.  For the Tutchone  Indians east of the Yukon River, as well as the T e s l i n , this involved a migration roughly to the southwest.  Most of the  groups i n this area think of t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l trapping grounds as i n the northeast, and the pattern of traplme r e f l e c t s this orientation.  registrations  A similar process of consolidation  into permanent settlements took place among the Kutchin.  There  was a large contingent of Kutchin at Moosehide, a large Indian v i l l a g e near Dawson, early i n the century (Slobodin, 1963, passim.).  At present the three main population centers are  Fort McPherson, N.¥.T.,01d Crow, Y.T., and at Fort Yukon and a few nearby v i l l a g e s , i n Alaska.  61 The introduction of a choice between traders was onlyone form of competition.  Another was the introduction of  alternative markets f o r f u r , quite apart from the l o c a l traders.  These included traders at other settlements.  Transportation enabled a trapper to leave his d i s t r i c t with his  fur, or to send the f u r by commercial c a r r i e r .  Whitehorse i s a trade center for outlying trappers.  At present Trappers  from as f a r as eighty miles away regularly make trading t r i p s , some i n old vehicles, some "catching a ride" (hitch-hiking), and some by bus. trappers.  One man may make the t r i p for a number of  For instance, i n December 1963, a f t e r l i t t l e more  than a month of trapping, one man  from T e s l i n traded over $1,000  worth"of f u r with a Whitehorse buyer. - Other markets apart from the l o c a l trader were the commission houses and public fur auctions of southern Canada. Innis has pointed out that White trappers tend to s e l l to these markets i n favour of the l o c a l private traders and small trading companies, which themselves s e l l t h e i r fur on the same markets and under the same terms (Innis, 1927,  p. 136.).  Recent data from the Yukon confirms t h i s (Tanner, 1965, 37.).  pp. 35,  Indians learned of the higher prices at these outside  markets, and perhaps have an exaggerated opinion of the advantage to be gained.  Indians have been unable to make substantial  use of this market, however.  At f i r s t the services were needed  of some White man who did not mind offending the l o c a l trader, by sending the Indians' fur for them.  More recently the  problem has been for the trapper to find the c a p i t a l to send  62 the fur, pay the T e r r i t o r i a l export tax, and maintain himself and his family u n t i l the money was returned.  A public fur  auction w i l l decide the minimum price i t should get f o r a batch of fur, and w i l l hold the fur u n t i l t h i s price i s bid.  This may take months.  At various times agencies have  advanced the Indian part value f o r his fur, and marketed i t for him, paying him the balance when i t was received.  In  recent years this has been done by both a bank and a grocery store i n Dawson, and i n a limited way,  by the Indian A f f a i r s  Branch. At the same time as a competitive fur economy was developing, an alternative economy was being b u i l t up, based on mining. ly.  Indians thus were able to leave trapping entire-  Slobodin gives a good idea of the sort of jobs which  those Indians who did leave trapping could get around Dawson from 1900 to 1915: woodcutters,  commercial salmon fishermen, packers,  deck-hands, stevedores, and scow p i l o t s (Slobodin,  1962, p. 32.).  This l i s t was l a t e r expanded to include guid-  ing for hunters, cutting mine timbers, mining (underground work at the coalmine at Carmacks) and road construction and maintenance.  Most labouring jobs have since been eliminated,  and those that remain, together with guiding, are most often on a casual basis.  The Indian population i s , by inclination,  a large potential casual labour force for the 'developing' industries - mining, transportation, and tourism.  Most of  t h e i r time, however, i s spent i n the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' occupations -  63 trapping, and subsistence hunting and f i s h i n g .  1  The various forms of competition with which f u r traders were faced destroyed the l o g i c a l relationship between fur and trade goods.  I t became possible to 'trade* fur to a distant  buyer and not have to take goods i n return.  It also became  possible to obtain supplies without using fur.  This was  f a c i l i t a t e d by the introduction of money, and of the separate concepts of buying and s e l l i n g .  'Jawbone' had to be dropped  in favour of a t h i r d concept of c r e d i t .  Credit now has to be  given on trust or under obligation. In a sense, monopoly conditions s t i l l apply to credit. If a trapper refuses to repay i t , his reputation gets around to  other l o c a l traders, who w i l l also cut him o f f .  Credit i s  s t i l l based on a personal relationship and i s therefore strictly local.  Thus the trapper can get credit nowhere u n t i l  he pays up. However, i t i s s t i l l possible for a person to avoid paying a debt, at least f o r a very long time, and mdefmately,  i f wage employment can be obtained.  The trader  keeps credit down to an"amount he can afford to write off as a bad debt.  In most cases this i s between $25 and $50.  1 Elsewhere I have argued that there i s a c o n f l i c t between the wildlife-based and the casual wage economies, due to the fact that the former requires commitment to an annual cycle of a c t i v i t i e s , and longer term commitment of c a p i t a l and trapping r i g h t s . The current orientation of trappers to casual labour ('development'), while attempting to continue as trappers 'traditional'),makes success i n either d i f f i c u l t to achieve Tanner, 1965, p. 73.).  64 As a result, trapping i s conducted i n short forays into the bush, usually l a s t i n g no more than a few weeks.  Much time  i s spent t r a v e l l i n g back and forth, and there i s thus a premium on nearby traplines.  Some traplines more than sixty  miles or so from a settlement are only v i s i t e d during the spring beaver or muskrat season.  Normally, a trapper's wife  and family remain i n the settlement during the trapping tion.  expedi-  Because of the low l i m i t on credit, and the fact that  l o c a l stores do not often s e l l expensive capital items, purchasing  i n the l o c a l store i s largely r e s t r i c t e d to  groceries and dry goods.  The larger items, such as expensive  r i f l e s , toboggans, boats, outboard motors or motor vehicles must be purchased by getting a job and saving the money over a period of months or years. The organization of trade i n the Yukon i s now by modern Western market-oriented  institutions.  dominated  The exchange  of fur for supplies, p a r t i c u l a r l y as conducted by Indian trappers, has been adapted to f i t crudely into a more competi t i v e economic system.  Fur i s s t i l l seen, by both Whites and  Indians, as part of the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' economy. are taken f o r granted i n 'modern* occupations to the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' context.  Principles which  often do not  apply  For instance, a trapper i s never  sued for non-payment of a debt.  The separation of buying fur  and s e l l i n g supplies i s forbidden by T e r r i t o r i a l regulations since each trader i s required to have a store i n which he conducts his business.  Independent f i n a n c i a l services are not  available i n most trapping communities.  The trader often  65 receives a l l the government cheques f o r his customers - welfare, family allowance, pensions, etc..  He may be the bus, freight  and Post Office agent, so that a l l fur sent to markets outp  side the T e r r i t o r y must go through him. The  ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' - 'modern' dichotomy even applies to  the enforcement of the game laws.  Yukon Indians have no  treaty, apart from some Kutchin trading into Port McPherson, and the only special provision i n the Yukon Game ordinance for'natives'are f o r those'living north of the A r c t i c Circle.' Many game department personnel and game wardens are of the opinion that Indians, as much as Whites, are obligated to keep the game laws.  However, trappers are only warned about  infractions, never prosecuted.  O f f i c i a l s state that this i s  in order to conform with a ruling concerning Indians made by a judge recently i n the Northwest T e r r i t o r i e s .  However, a  White trapper who follows the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' economy subsistence hunting and fishing, and trading his furs l o c a l l y - would not be prosecuted either.  Por instance,  there i s a notorious White trapper married to an Indian who openly claims that he shoots one moose a month, and \ always a female i f he can get one. The l o c a l game warden i s even sympathetic  to this man's subsistence needs, and says he  w i l l only arrest him i f he has t o .  2 For d e t a i l s of how a trader i n a modern Navaho community uses his a n c i l l a r y roles i n order to saturate the credit market and eliminate competition, see Adams, 1963, pp. 188-195.  66 One often hears the d i s t i n c t i o n made between the • t r a d i t i o n a l ' and 'modern' sectors of the economy by people i n the Yukon i n terms of the White-Indian dichotomy.  Whites ,  Metis, and even Indians are considered more or less 'Indian! ' to the extent to which they take part i n the hunting-trappingf i s h i n g economy.  This does not r e f l e c t the r e a l i t y of the  s o c i a l organization of the different groups which take part i n these a c t i v i t i e s .  However, i t does indicate how closely the  White conception of the Indian i s guided by the conception of the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' economy.  This image, as expressed  particularly  by traders, i s that the Indian i s a c h i l d with respect to economic planning, spending money, and f i n a n c i a l obligations. The trader sees himself as the benevolent manager of the market aspect of the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' economy. Despite the image of the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' economy which many Whites hold, trade between Indian trappers and fur traders today i s a different  i n s t i t u t i o n from the monopoly fur trade.  The difference has resulted from the emergence of buying and s e l l i n g as separate a c t i v i t i e s . by the introduction of money.  This has been made possible  Many Whites i n the Yukon argue  i n favour of keeping money out of the hands of Indians. A Game Department O f f i c i a l told me he opposed the introduction of wolf bounties p a r t i a l l y for this reason.  Opposition has  been expressed to the policy of giving cheques, rather than rations, f o r Indians drawing public assistance.  The ordinance  preventing anyone from trading without a store, while o r i g i n a l l y intended to protect the Indian from unscrupulous fur buyers, i s defended now by reference to the danger of  67 allowing Indians to get cash for a l l t h e i r f u r . However, cash plays an important part i n trading today.  Most Indian trappers  i n the central and southern Yukon no longer exchange furs d i r e c t l y for trade goods.  Important purchases may be made at  the time that f u r i s traded, but cash i s used f o r most day to day expenses.  Cash i s used exclusively i n fur-buying i n  Whitehorse and Teslin, and i n these places at least, buying is impersonal and a separate i n s t i t u t i o n from that of s e l l i n g supplies. The l i t t l e credit which i s available, however, i s not i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d , and i s not legitimized by the Indian society. Many Indians have delinquent credit accounts with their l o c a l traders, and they go outside the community to trade their fur in order to avoid s e t t l i n g t h e i r accounts. extra income from the trader.  Others conceal  At Ross River the trader  complained that ragged, starving children would be brought to the store by some Indians who owed money, i n order to soften the trader's resolve not to extend any further c r e d i t .  Almost  every trader with whom I spoke had some story about an Indian obtaining credit under false pretenses, or shamelessly refusing to repay debt even when i t was obvious  he,/ had the means to  do so. Speck, i n Labrador, and Godsell, i n the Mackenzie d i s t r i c t , note similar behaviour by Indian trappers, which they explain as originating i n response to dishonest or cutthroat trading practices of Whites (Speck, 1933, PP. 590-594, Godsell, 1943, pp. 299-301.).  In the Yukon, however, the  practice i s not directed to traders alone.  An a i r l i n e at  68 T e s l i n began f l y i n g trappers to t h e i r lines i n the winter of 1963, on condition that the fare would be repaid from the fur that was brought i n . In July, 1964, three quarters of the trappers who flew with the a i r l i n e that season s t i l l owed an average of $42 each, and the a i r l i n e owner claimed that he knew that many could afford to repay him.  Big game hunting out-  f i t t e r s , who hire Indians as guides, complain that they w i l l make agreements with Indians to work f o r them, s t a r t i n g at a particular date, and attempt to secure the agreement by paying the guides' licence fees and giving them an advance on t h e i r wages.  Later they may find an Indian has made similar arrange-  ments with other o u t f i t t e r s , or that he just does not turn up. Most other 'contact agents' report similar trickery, although not always concerned with c r e d i t . wider context of White-Indian,  Credit must be seen i n the  relations.  E a r l i e r i t was pointed out that the basic security for credit was the refusal to extend further credit u n t i l an account was paid up.  However, accounts do not stay delinquent i n -  d e f i n i t e l y i f they go unpaid.  They are either written o f f ,  or forgotten when one trader replaces another.  This can be  shown by the fact that no traders have unpaid accounts reaching back more than a year or so, and that most Indians have credit accounts f o r at least some amount.  The credit relationship i s  a battle of wits which the trader cannot possibly win.  He w i l l  t r y public cajoling to get payment, but this can never be effective i n lowering the trapper's prestige i n his own society. I f , when the trapper brings fur to trade, the trader i n s i s t s  69 that f u l l payment of debt i s made, the trapper may his  simply take  furs outside the community, i n most cases to Whitehorse.  Whitehorse i s a p a r t i c u l a r threat to outlying traders since the trapper w i l l also take the opportunity to get supplies there,,at stores and supermarkets with prices 2Qffo to 40$ below those at smaller centers.  I f , on the other hand, the trader  waits u n t i l the trapper needs more credit to t e l l him that he is  'cut off* u n t i l the old debt i s paid, he i n effect cuts  the trapper o f f from the opportunity of earning any more money by going trapping. capital.  Even a small trapping expedition requires  A compromise must be reached, and the trader writes  off part of the debt to keep the Indian trapping and trading within that community.  Many traders stated that they lose.  a substantial sum each year from bad debts, although I did not have the opportunity to examine t h e i r accounts. The Indian trapper offers a peculiar kind of ambivalence to questions of income and c r e d i t .  On the one hand he  presents  himself as an enterprising trapper, despite the efforts of a mean trader, o f f i c i a l r e s t r i c t i o n s , and the i l l w i l l of White people i n general.  On the other hand, he w i l l make fun of the  aquisitive c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of White people.  "Why  three meals a day, and that's a l l that matters."  work?  However, the  Carmacks man who made the above statement wants a car. Indians who  I get  Those  take casual jobs often do so because they have  s p e c i f i c large purchases i n mind; this was also found by B a l i k c i at Old Crow ( B a l i k c i , 1963,  p. 103.).  One of the  loudest objections from Indians to the practice of building  70 Indian houses some distance from a White settlement i s that they are unable to have e l e c t r i c i t y i n s t a l l e d . A recent study made i n a Saskatchewan community reveals a similar ambivalence i n Indian values (Braroe, 1965.).  While  an Indian may lead White people to believe that he values the 'traditional*  (non-White) way of l i f e , Braroe found that his  behaviour i n many ways demonstrates that he i n fact regards the Whites as a positive reference group.  In t h i s case the  ambivalence i s resolved by the Indian's presentation of hims e l f to other Indians as an a r t f u l and successful exploiter of White peopler(ibid., p. 173*)•  In the Yukon, the Indian  attitude to credit has the appearance of such exploitation. In the same a r t i c l e , Braroe discusses why the White people continually permit themselves to be "conned" by the Indians. His explanation i s that the Whites' treatment of Indians i s i n c o n f l i c t with t h e i r own ideas about humanity.  In order to  minimize t h i s c o n f l i c t , Whites avoid contact with Indians, or accept the trickery as evidence that Indians are, m  fact,  irresponsible children from whom one must expect such behaviour ( i b i d . , p. 172.).  Braroe suggests that White acceptance of  t h e i r "conning" practices allows the Indians to adjust psychol o g i c a l l y to t h e i r f a i l u r e to achieve White c u l t u r a l values ( i b i d . , p. 176.). The situation i n the Yukon of White traders continually losing money to delinquent debtors seems to be similar to Braroe's case of Indians continually "conning" Whites.  However,  I, believe that the e a r l i e r analysis indicates that traders  71 permit t h i s a c t i v i t y to continue f o r economic reasons. the process of losing money each year m  That i s ,  had debts i s an  a  i n t e g r a l part' of the exchange relationship between trapper and trader.  It i s the price the trader pays to keep his c l i e n t e l e ,  and to keep them trapping.  CHAPTER VII SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS  From the four previous chapters have emerged descriptions of four cross-cultural exchange i n s t i t u t i o n s .  The  s i g n i f i c a n t d i s t i n c t i o n s between them can now be brought into focus through an examination of the structure of each. The f i r s t i n s t i t u t i o n which was examined involves members of two geographically, economically, and to some degree c u l t u r a l l y separate groups.  Exchanges between these groups are  conducted through several pairs of partners. i s a durable non-kinship a s s o c i a t i o n .  1  The partnership  Periodic meetings of  partners take place, i n some cases by means of organized trading parties, and a r t i c l e s are bartered without  haggling.  Inter-group relations at these meetings of trading parties express h o s t i l i t y and r i v a l r y , through r i t u a l performances 2 such as games, dancing and singing.  Partnership relations,  on the other hand, express s o l i d a r i t y , and include such nontrade a c t i v i t i e s as h o s p i t a l i t y (which i n the Southern Tutchone1 The degree of d u r a b i l i t y of partnerships, and way by which new partnerships are formed can only be guessed. Also i n the area of speculation i s the suggestion that partners would be of an equivalent s o c i a l status. Some support to this suggest i o n i s given by the argument that since a r i c h man would tend to trade more he would require a r i c h partner. 2 Slobodin notes the ambivalence i n the meaning expressed by the dances and songs at Kutchin interband and i n t e r t r i b a l events. "... dances and songs ... honoured the v i s i t o r s and at the same time expressed a threatening or defiant tone." (Slobodin, 1962, p. 69.).  73 T l i n g i t case includes commensality (McClellan, 1950,  p. 127.d\  mutual protection, and g i f t exchange. The characteristic aims of partnership trade must he understood i n the l i g h t of the conditions under which i t takes place.  The two groups tend to be h o s t i l e ,  non-intermarrying,  nomadic and separated by natural barriers to t r a v e l .  These  factors present two qualifying conditions for trade.  (1) A  man  from group A who wishes to trade must know that there i s  someone i n group B with the desire and the means to trade with him, arid* who  can be contacted within a reasonable  period of time.  (2) He must be assured that he w i l l not be k i l l e d or robbed while i n foreign t e r r i t o r y .  These two points can be expressed  by stating that there i s a problem of trading security.  The  durable nature of partnerships permits the planning of trade, and partnership loyalty ensures" that trade goods  are set aside  f o r these planned meetings. Mutual protection of partners, as well as the practice of using trading parties, • a^re measures which met problem.  the security  The o v e r - a l l purpose of partnership trade can be  summarized as the organization and protection of trade. The trading chief i n s t i t u t i o n involves exchanges between two d i s t i n c t cultures.  The two cultures involved are  that of an Athapaskan band ( a l l the material considered here refers to Kutchin bands) and that of the Euro-American traders.  Exchanges are made between representatives of the  two groups, the trading chief and the resident trader.  The  trading chief gathers i n the fur and distributes imported  goods which are obtained from the trader.  He promotes trapping  among his group on behalf of the trader, and i s i n charge of trading party ceremonies at which g i f t s provided by the trader are d i s t r i b u t e d . As leader of a trapping and trading group the trading chief organizes the annual trading party, haggles with the trader over rates of exchange, and t r i e s to get special concessions.  Relations between trappers and the trader i n the  context of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d trade are conducted as i f a l l trappers were the same.  Through the trading chief they act as  a group, and are treated by the trader as a group. The trading chief i n s t i t u t i o n , l i k e the trading partnership?, maintains durable relations between people. In the case of the trading partnership t h i s  ^s to counteract  the effects of various kinds of separation between the trading groups.  In the case of Indian-White relations, these  f i r s t concerned mainly with trade.  are at  Factors which make trade  uncertain ^ r e systematically eliminated by the traders. Posts ^. are located on convenient t r a v e l routes, and a?re always open f o r business. is  One of the f i r s t aims of traders  to eliminate f i g h t i n g between native groups.  A binding  relationship with a trapping group through i t s trading chief i s formed not merely to make trade possible, but to actively expand trade and cut out any possible competition. chief, m  The trading  his role as representative of the trader with respect  to these business aims, receives his power and the symbols of his authority from the trader.  However, i n order to be able  to organize and promote the production of fur his position as  75 a leader must be legitimized to some extent by the trapping group.  This l e g i t i m i z a t i o n comes from the fact that he i s  also a representative for the interests of the group, interests, l i k e bargaining and organizing the trading party, which are pragmatically related to the interests of the trader. In the case of monopoly trade, the trader has an individual relationship with each trapper. for supplies without haggling.  Furs are bartered  Trapping supplies are advanced  at the beginning of the season, and a complete return i s expected before the end of the season.  This 'debt' r e l a t i o n -  ship emphasizes the d i s t i n c t i o n between trappers, i n terms of t h e i r productive capacities. The 'debt' relationship i s manipulated to promote increased trapping production on the individual, instead of on the group l e v e l .  Where several  bands or t r i b a l groups trade at a single post, debt trading i s associated with a de-emphasis of groups and group leadership. Groups of trappers may continue to exist, however. Among the T a t l i t Kutchin Slobodin i d e n t i f i e d f i v e kinds of groups which have continued to function a f t e r f i f t y years of individual debt trade (Slobodin, 1962, pp. 73-74.).  Produc-  t i o n groups remained f o r such purposes as caribou hunting and fishing.  Groups of cross-cultural significance include  r e s i d e n t i a l groups, and 'bands', as defined by the Indian A f f a i r s Branch.  These are administrative units, and their  leaders, which are rewarded by the Indian A f f a i r s Branch, are intermediaries i n much the same way that trading chiefs rare.  76 One task formerly handled by the trading chief which is now done by the trader i s the promotion of f u r production. This -.is conducted on an i n d i v i d u a l basis by means of the 'jawbone* account, which - i s also the means by which exchanges are made.  This method of l i n k i n g production to a debt-like  obligation makes the trader i n effect the organizer of production, a position he inherits from the former trading chief. In a sense the trader becomes a p o l i t i c a l leader. Productive a c t i v i t i e s i n the monopoly trade s i t u a t i o n are seen as two d i s t i n c t spheres of interest.  Pur production  i s an i n d i v i d u a l enterprise, conducted to obtain imported trade goods, and l a r g e l y controlled by the trader, through his use of 'credit*.  Subsistence  production i s without the same  cross-cultural implications, and i s considered  'traditional'.  This d i s t i n c t i o n can be seen i n Slobodin's account of a Kutchin hunting and trapping expedition m  1947. No trapping was done  on a Sunday, but.hunting was continued, since,""Moose do not have a Lord's Day ""(Slobodin, 1962, p. 51.).  Fur and game  were subject to two separate principles of d i s t r i b u t i o n . Fur caught by the party was distributed according to who set the trap, while game was distributed "among the heads of families on the basis of family s i z e " ( i b i d . , p. 52.). The fourth cross-cultural trade i n s t i t u t i o n i s described as market trade, a term which indicates that to some extent competition between different traders exists.  This competi-  tion, and the introduction of money,have s p l i t the role of the trader into that of a f u r buyer and a r e t a i l supplier.  77 Where credit i s no longer given by traders, such as  • those  i n Whitehorse, t h i s separation of roles i s quite apparent, although they may continue to be held by the same individual. In other locations where some r e t a i l goods are given on credit the role of r e t a i l e r i s confused with that of fur buyer, since credit i s given partly i n the expectation of a return of f u r . A second form of competition, although i t i s not seen by trappers or traders as such, i s from wage work.  The obtain-  ing of such work i s the goal of most trappers, and i s encouraged by the traders to the extent that, outside Whitehorse, a man with steady wage work can get credit up to a l i m i t of his monthly salary.  Wage work, however, i s scarce.  Market trade i s characterized by a separation of the i n s t i t u t i o n s of fur buying from those of r e t a i l supply.  This  separation occurs i n a large center l i k e Whitehorse, where the relationship between fur buyers or r e t a i l e r s and their customers i s impersonal, and many customers are not l o c a l residents.  The separation occurs elsewhere when customers are  wage earners.  For this reason one cannot plot the geographic  d i s t r i b u t i o n of market trade, since i t depends to some extent on the customers.  For instance, at Carmacks, where some  Indians are employed i n a coal mine, some trade i s based on fur, and the trader's role as fur buyer influences his role as r e t a i l e r and credit supplyer.  Market trade factors l i k e money  and competition are less important f o r the trapper than for the wage earner, who uses cash, or l i b e r a l amounts of c r e d i t . In some cases outside Whitehorse trappers do business with  78 separate f u r buyers and r e t a i l e r s . who  These include trappers  send fur to buyers or auctions outside the Territory.  T e s l i n trappers s e l l to a l o c a l fur buyer who pays cash and i s not connected with the l o c a l store. is handled by the storekeeper.  In this case credit  To determine how much debt  he w i l l allow he uses his knowledge of his customers as credit r i s k s , rather than their past performance on the trapline. Diagram 1, on page 79, i l l u s t r a t e s the main structural changes i n cross-cultural trade i n s t i t u t i o n s of the Yukon. Each of the boxes represents an i n s t i t u t i o n , and each contains an outline of i t s general purposes.  Social change i n  t h i s situation involves a regrouping of the purposes of the institutions.  Other sorts of changes are involved, of course.  As Belshaw has stated, with reference to multi-stage economic change i n New  Guinea, "At each point of change a new culture  is formed, with new quantities and kinds of consumption and production." (Belshaw, I960, p. 95.).  However, m  the  present analysis, attention i s focused on changes i n the kinds of i n s t i t u t i o n a l aims, and the relations between them. Diagram 1 .  shows that the trading chieftainship took  over some functions of two e a r l i e r i n s t i t u t i o n s , trade partnership and t r a d i t i o n a l leadership (in i t s various forms).  Traditional leaders of the Kutchin included band  chiefs, sib leaders, war leaders, economic leaders (owners of caribou surrounds), shamans and l o c a l residence group  DIAGRAM 1.  STRUCTURAL DIFFERENTIATION  OF TRADE  Historical PARTNERSHIP 1. Inter-tribal Trade  LEADERSHIP  Organization of Exchange  Organization of .^Production•  TRADING  2.  Exchange: Fur and Supplies  Trading chief Trade  Organization o f Group ^JRelations  CHIEFTAINSHIP  Organization of Production  Organization o f Group Relations  ^7" INDIVIDUAL ' JAWBONE  1  3, MonopolyTrade  ACCOUNT  \ BAND LEADERSHIP  [  Supply of Credit  ) Exchange: F u r and , Supplies 1  , ' \  Organization of Production j  Organization o f Group Relations  GAME LAWS 4. Market Trade  n Supply of Credit  "~ Exchange: Supplies and Money  Exchange: Fur and Money  Organization of Production  ELECTED LEADERSHIP Organization o f Group Relations  80 leaders.  These forms of leadership and t h e i r purposes have  been lumped together i n the diagram f o r the sake of s i m p l i c i t y . leadership i n the i n t e r - t r i b a l trade stage organized the production of both food and furs.  Among the Kutchin, r i c h  men who owned caribou surrounds directed the rest of the hunting group.  Some men,  as well as women and boys, ran behind  the herd; a second group guided them into the surround entrance; and a third group ambushed the animals i n the c o r r a l . surround owner supervised the sharing of the meat.  The  The band  chief was the other individual who had most to do with the organization of production.  He made decisions and gave advice  i n matters of hunting and trapping ( B a l i k c i , 1953» p. 26.) Although salmon fishing using a f i s h trap was a complicated productive venture by a large group, according to B a l i k c i there was no fish-camp leader ( i b i d . , p. 18.).  L i t t l e data i s  available on the productive groups of the 'Inland T l i n g i t ' . There i s some evidence for the existence of large hunting groups.  The large herd of Stone caribou located west of Dawson  migrated regularly each winter as f a r south as Klukshu and Aishihik i n Southern Tutchone t e r r i t o r y i n the nineteenth century, although this i s no longer the case (McClellan, 1950, p. 13.).  This same herd was also hunted by the Tagish Indians.  In these cases large group production under leaders was probably important.  However, as trade with the T l i n g i t be-  came important, so did the fur production by small groups. The ecology of the region, p a r t i c u l a r l y with respect to moose and Osborne caribou, which tend to be widely distributed and  81 are not herding or migratory animals, suggests that small group extended families were the major productive unit i n winter.  Certainly the leading male traded a l l the f u r pro-  duced by his family group ( i b i d . , p. 147.).  In summer, f i s h -  ing was a major group productive a c t i v i t y , but only the Champagne band of the Southern Tutchone had s i t e s where traps were used.  To sum up, i t appears that, as f a r as the organiza-  t i o n of production goes, leadership was of some importance during the i n t e r - t r i b a l trade period, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the case of the Kutchin. External relations were a second important leadership.  Among the Kutchin the important  purpose of  leaders i n this  respect were the sib leaders who organized potlatches and were also war leaders.  There i s an apparent suggestion by B a l i k c i  that these two roles were separately i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d ( B a l i k c i , 1963, p. 48.).  In f r i e n d l y meetings with strangers  the band chief was p r i n c i p a l host and gave the f i r s t meal to a l l newcomers (Osgood, 1936, p. 108.).  Among the Inland  T l i n g i t there were apparently strong band chiefs, who led" war parties i n inter-band raids; one had the authority, for instance, to forbid band members to act as guides to an early party of White explorers (McClellan, 1950, p. 28.). After the adoption of trading chiefs by the Kutchin most of the general purposes of trading partnerships and leadership which remained were absorbed by the trading chieftainship.  Some i n t e r - t r i b a l partnership trade may have con-  tinued, an instance being the case cited on page 18 of such  82 trade along the Yukon River some time a f t e r direct contact bytraders.  It i s probable that leadership of productive groups  other than trappers remained i n the hands of separate leaders, although trapping must have been coordinated with, or a n c i l l a r y to, the other main winter a c t i v i t y , caribou hunting.  In the  f i e l d of group relations with outsiders, the White trader became the dominant influence, and to a large extent eliminated h o s t i l i t y between bands trading into one post.  Hostility  between bands did, however, increase i n t h i s period, i n cases where one group had an actual or potential middleman monopoly. Two  such cases are the Vunta Kutchin p r i o r to the founding of  Port Yukon, and the mutual raiding between the T a t l i t  Kutchin  and the Mackenzie Eskimo, a f t e r the founding of Fort McPherson. In such cases where h o s t i l i t y was  caused by trade, the trading  chief would be d i r e c t l y concerned with the organization of  war.  In rare cases war between bands was d i r e c t l y fostered by traders.  Murray, the f i r s t trader at Fort Yukon, notes i n  his journal that i t was his policy to encourage enmity between the l o c a l Kutcha Kutchin and tribes further down the Yukon River, i n order to prevent f u r from the Fort Yukon area reaching Russian traders, v i a i n t e r - t r i b a l trade (Murray, p. 97.).  1910,  He could only have encouraged this h o s t i l i t y at that  time by influencing his trading chiefs.  This again emphasizes  the point that trading chiefs became important as organizers of external relations of t h e i r groups. We have seen that i n addition to a c t i v i t i e s d i r e c t l y connected with trade, such as the c o l l e c t i o n of fur, bargain-  83 mg  over rates of exchange, and the d i s t r i b u t i o n of trade  goods, the trading chief i n s t i t u t i o n also handled other tasks, which can be loosely termed the organization of production, and the organization of group r e l a t i o n s .  Trade and also produc-  tion, were conducted by groups; the trading chief was the group manager.  When the individual 'jawbone' account was introduced,  however, trade could no longer be a group a c t i v i t y .  It was'  conducted between individual trappers and the monopoly trader. At the same time as individual trade began, technical innovations i n productive a c t i v i t i e s were being introduced. By the time trappers were receiving individual 'debt', there were enough guns, s t e e l traps, dog-pulled toboggans, and f i s h t  nets i n the area - a l l of which had been introduced by the traders - to bring about'a considerable reduction i n the size of production groups.  There was also, i n several Kutchin  l o c a l i t i e s , the introduction of annual muskrat trapping.  This  did not become important u n t i l 1917 when the price of muskrats began to r i s e f o r the f i r s t time.  Muskrat ..trapping i s pre-  eminently a small group occupation, and cannot be conducted an adjunct to large group hunting or f i s h i n g .  as  Kutchin t e r r i t o r y  has three excellent muskrat areas: part'of the Mackenzie delta, the Crow Plats i n Vunta Kutchin t e r r i t o r y , and the Yukon Plats, around Fort Yukon, so that every Kutchin group was within t r a v e l l i n g distance of one of these areas.  Trapping and caribou  hunting i n large groups continued i n some areas, but, as I have shown e a r l i e r i n t h i s chapter, trapping i n the context of such groups was mainly controlled by the individual.  Even i n extra-  84 f a m i l i a l trapping groups l i k e trapping partnerships, individual ownership of traps assured a system of i n d i v i d u a l production i n most respects.  In other words, trapping partnerships and  trapping parties might pool resources i n order to t r a v e l together, hut the c r u c i a l productive a c t i v i t i e s were i n d i v i d u a l l y handled.  This i s s i g n i f i c a n t because of the introduction of  the repayment of i n d i v i d u a l 'credit' as a motivation for economic activity.  An i n d i v i d u a l Indian was no longer motivated and  controlled i n his fur-productive a c t i v i t i e s by matters of group p a r t i c i p a t i o n or the sanctioning influence of a group leader, but solely by his own co-resident family group (the unit of consumption), and, through the 'jawbone' relationship, by the trader,  The trader was a continual influence to increase  fur production. Thus the i n d i v i d u a l 'jawbone' relationship became the i n s t i t u t i o n which handled both the organization of trade and the organization of most forms of production  (certainly a l l  production which was included i n t h i s trade), and handled them without going through any leaders of groups larger than the co-resident family group.  I t also handled the newly-introduced  purpose of supplying c r e d i t .  However, the organization of  external group relations required that leadership be maintained. Among the Vunta Kutchin, according to B a l i k c i , there was no formal leader for over twenty years a f t e r the band's trading chiefs died out. (Balikci, 1963, p. 50.).  Among the T a t l i t  Kutchin a f t e r the introduction of i n d i v i d u a l trade, band chiefs of a t r a d i t i o n a l type remained, and continued m  a roughly  85 genealogical succession u n t i l 1949  (Slobodin, 1962,  p. 71.).  Trading chiefs continued as organizers of the annual trading parties and as spokesmen for t h e i r group members i n seeking trading concessions. agent was  V/hen administration by an Indian A f f a i r s  introduced i n 1921  the two trading chiefs m  office  were automatically considered " t r i b a l councillors" ( i b i d . , p. 72.).  Among the Inland T l i n g i t chieftainship was  with sib leadership.  To the present day sib r i v a l r y i s  organized mainly on the basis of t e r r i t o r i a l i t y . context of the new  associated  external administration,  Thus i n the  'traditional'  leaders were absorbed into a system of leaders of governmentdefined bands, and began to act as administrative intermediaries for those bands.  A few scattered references may be found to  ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' chiefs among the Tutchone during the monopoly trade period, but generally speaking band leadership, even where formal elections are held, does not have s i g n i f i c a n t authority among present day Tutchone bands. The separate institutionalization of trade and leadership which the diagram shows as occurring i n the Monopoly Trade period can be seen as the separation between the external economic interests and external p o l i t i c a l interests of trapping groups.  This separation took place because trade became an  individual a c t i v i t y , while p o l i t i c a l interests, of their nature, had to remain on the group l e v e l .  The dashed arrows i n Diagram I  joining i n s t i t u t i o n s of the i n t e r - t r i b a l trade stage with i n s t i t u t i o n s of the monopoly trade stage represents the Inland T l i n g i t case, i n which the trading chief stage did not  occur.  86 The f i n a l point of change i n the cross-cultural economic i n s t i t u t i o n s of the Yukon was when the individual 'debt' trade broke down into the three separate i n s t i t u t i o n s of the r e t a i l market, which also handles credit, the fur market, and the Game laws, which now organizes production. The point has been made that individual credit was used by the trader to attempt to increase fur production.  Competition  brought about a lowering of the amount of credit available and a general lessening of the influence of the l o c a l trader over the economic l i v e s of trappers.  Attempts to increase the fur  harvest are now matters of T e r r i t o r i a l and Federal government action.  The T e r r i t o r i a l Game laws are administered by the  Department of Game who have Game Wardens throughout the Yukon. The organization of game production i s not the only purpose of the Game laws, but i s the one which has been taken over from the traders.  Conservation was the f i r s t task of this  l e g i s l a t i o n and measures included the licencing of trappers, a record of annual w i l d l i f e k i l l , bag l i m i t s , seasons, and closures.  In 1950 group and individual trapping areas began  to be licensed, and with current low harvests of fur, the policy of the Game Department i s to encourage individual trappers to increase t h e i r trapping e f f o r t .  Production of  fur i s also encouraged by the Indian A f f a i r s Branch, most recently through the appointment of economic development officers. The foregoing account of changes i n the organization of trade has° referred to structural changes.  In this s o c i a l  87 change model the units of structure were cross-cultural institutions.  As i n s t i t u t i o n s , they are considered  to have  undergone change when there has been some basic rearrangement m  the sets of purposes.  purposes w i l l be considered paragraph.  The question of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i n more d e t a i l i n the following  The change model contains  four parts,  equivalent  to h i s t o r i c a l stages, each of which represents a system i n stable equilibrium.  The system i s not sharply delimited from  other s o c i a l interaction, and i n fact i t contains roles i n two cultural units.  It i s more useful to think of each stage not  as a self-contained s o c i a l system, but a context of general interaction to which several i n s t i t u t i o n s are more or less relevant. The view of s o c i a l change which has been presented here i s similar i n many ways to that contained Smelser's theory of Structural D i f f e r e n t i a t i o n .  i n Parsons and However, where  Parsons and Smelser speak of a d i v i s i o n of a unit of s o c i a l structure into two new  functional units, I have instead  spoken of the regrouping of s o c i a l purposes and the creation of new  s o c i a l i n s t i t u i o n s around these new  sets of purposes.  My avoidance of the notion of function i s simply because the  3 No assumption is made that such a reorganization of purposes i s the only c r i t e r i o n for i n s t i t u t i o n a l change. The example given by E.R. Leach of a p o l i t i c a l system composed of equalitarian lineage segments which i s replaced by a ranked hierarchy of a feudal type (Leach, 1954, p. 5.) i s another kind of s t r u c t u r a l change. Change, i n the value system i s a t h i r d kind.  88 analysis offered here i s of a f a i r l y low order of abstraction. The structural-functional analysis of society by such theorists as Parsons, which i s i m p l i c i t i n the structural d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n theory, i s designed for theories of wide generality. While I hope to show that the principles of s o c i a l change analysis used i n this thesis can have a wider a p p l i c a b i l i t y , they are b a s i c a l l y dealing with structural categories which are recognized by the people involved.  The notion of purpose,  however, does not refer to the motivations or goals of any individual acting within these s t r u c t u r a l categories. a simple example, one of the goals implicit m  To give  the role of  trader i s to obtain fur; for a trapper, one of h i s goals i s to obtain supplies.  The  i n s t i t u t i o n a l purpose, however, i s  not fur or supplies, but exchange or trade.  The purpose of  an i n s t i t u t i o n , as I use the term, i s not a species of i n d i vidual or group motivation, but a generalization of the constituent complementary sets of motivations of participants. Yet this notion of purpose i s s t i l l far from the l e v e l of abstraction involved i n the notion of function, where the l a t t e r refers to the significance which an i n s t i t u t i o n has for the maintenance of s t a b i l i t y and  the integration of a  larger s o c i a l system (Parsons, 1951,  pp. 21-22, R a d c l i f f e -  Brown, 1952,  p. 180.).  The results of t h i s study lead i n two directions: the one concerned with matters of ethnohistory,  culture change and  the development of trade; the other concerned with the  89 implications an analytic method such as was used i n t h i s study might have f o r anthropological theory. Some of the interpretations of the data which were raised along the way might be phrased as hypotheses, other as open questions. More data i s required before the status of Tlingit-Athapaskan marriages can be understood, but I believe that evidence has been shown that these marriages may have been methods of creating trading obligations more binding than the trading partnership.  Another important question which was  raised i s concerned with the role of 'debt' i n the breakdown of Indian groups larger than the co-residential group.  Most  arguments explaining the disappearance of these groups rely on such factors as changes i n technology which permitted smaller production groups, changes i n animal ecology, or changes  m  the numbers and d i s t r i b u t i o n of population due to wars and disease.  In the Yukon the 'debt* relationship with the trader  shifted the whole motivation f o r f u r production away from the group, since f u r production became a matter of the return of an advance for each individual.  The argument that r i f l e s ,  s t e e l traps, etc. reduced the size of trapping groups also applies here, but the 'debt' factor has been overlooked by most anthropologists. The argument i n this thesis has sought to explain cont i n u i t i e s and changes i n patterns of trade r e l a t i o n s . inquiry has been carried on at two l e v e l s .  This  At one l e v e l of  analysis an examination was made of the causal or l i m i t i n g factors affecting trade relations.  At the structural l e v e l ,  90 a set of i n s t i t u t i o n s were considered, i n which roles are held by members of two c u l t u r a l groups.  The ' h o l i s t i c * method of  considering trade i n s t i t u t i o n s as parts of a 'society* of functionally inter-dependent structural units was forgotten, in order to concentrate on the context of c u l t u r a l interaction. The technological, ecological and demographic factors of the f i r s t l e v e l of analysis only enter the structural l e v e l as a set of i n i t i a l conditions.  In an e n t i r e l y different example  of structural change analysis they are summed up as 'new opportunities to achieve aims and/or d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s with the way aims are achieved' (Parsons and Smelser, 1956, p. 270.). Aims, by this analysis, are not thought of as subject to sudden change when an i n s t i t u t i o n becomes unworkable.  Parsons and  Smelser's model s p e c i f i c a l l y assumes that the value system remains constant (Parsons and Smelser, 1956, p. 256.). The second l e v e l of explanations of changes which the model represents indicates that, when understandable circumstances arise which cause the unworkability  of one system ( d i s s a t i s f a c -  tions and alternative opportunities), interested individuals and groups w i l l 'bargain' and compromise i n setting up new i n s t i t u t i o n s to handle aims and tasks which have been i n some sense a continuous factor throughout the period of change. While the schedule of aims (the value system) and the r e l a t i v e bargaining  positions (the p o l i t i c a l system) are con-  sidered steady factors at each point of change, they themselves are involved i n change.  Questions of new choices be-  tween several individual and group aims, and the introduction  91 of new sources of p o l i t i c a l power, are part of the conditions under which the reformed system of i n s t i t u t i o n s emerges.  Thus  i n s t i t u t i o n a l change may very well he accompanied by changes i n the value system or the p o l i t i c a l structure. Consider the implications which the introduction of 'debt' had to the p o l i t i c a l status of the trading chief, not only i n the context of trader-Indian relations, but also within h i s own  society.  Or consider the new opportunities for action and the new schedule of values which can arise when competition i s introduced to a situation of monopoly trade. Thus t h i s study suggests that there i s a need f o r other interpretations of the h i s t o r i c a l data which do not emphasize the continuity of values and the regrouping of general purposes into new  i n s t i t u t i o n a l contexts, but analyze  the changes i n value patterns, as reflected by changing havioural orientations.  be-  Similarly, work i s needed on the  emergence of new power structures. Unfortunately, I do not believe the available h i s t o r i c a l data from the Yukon to be capable of such handling, but these sort of studies would seem to follow from this description of trade i n s t i t u t i o n s . The cross-cultural nature of the institutions i n this study has been stressed at various points.  This factor i s  most s i g n i f i c a n t i n the e a r l i e s t stages of trade development. In White-Indian relations, for instance, i n e a r l i e s t times most interaction was channeled through the few cross-cultural institutions.  Interests of one c u l t u r a l group with the other  92 were few and s p e c i f i c .  Communication between them was limited.  Today the study of Indians as societies, or as one or a number of c u l t u r a l e n t i t i e s , i s becoming u n r e a l i s t i c .  With t h i s i n  mind i t seems that h i s t o r i c a l studies should more often 'see ahead' to the contemporary position of Indians as ethnic minorities within a larger societies.  H i s t o r i c a l studies  - which take Indian groups as their focus of study, and treat non-Indians as outside causal factors, tend to paint  themselves  into a corner by treating as a self-contained system >afj s o c i a l relations a group whose primary raison d'etre comes from outside .  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Adams, William Y., 1963. Shonto; A Study of the Role of the Trader i n a Modern Navaho Oommunity. Washington, Bureau of American Ethnology, B u l l e t i n 188. B a l i k c i , Asen, 1963. Vunta Kutchin Social Change. 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New York, Philosophi c a l Library. D a l l , William H., 1898. 'Travels on the Yukon and i n the Yukon T e r r i t o r y i n 1866-1868'. In D a l l , William H., George M. Dawson, and William Ogilvie, 1898. The Yukon T e r r i t o r y . London, Downey and Company. de Laguna, Frederica, 1952. 'Some Dynamic Forces i n T l i n g i t Society'. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 1-12. Eggan, Fred, 1955. 'Social Anthropology: Methods and Results'. In Eggan, Fred, 1955. Social Anthropology of North American Tribes. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.  94 F i e l d , Poole, 1957. 'The Poole F i e l d l e t t e r s ' , edited by MacNeish, June Helm. Anthropologica, Vol. 4, pp. 4760. F i r t h , Raymond, 1951. Elements of Social Organization. London, Watts and Co.. Garfield, V i o l a , 1945. 'A Research Problem i n North West Indian Economies'. American Anthropologist, Vol. 47, pp. 626-628. Godsell, P h i l i p H., 1943. A r c t i c Trader. 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Ottawa, Publications of the Canadian Archives, No. 4. Nadel, Siegfried F., 1951. The Foundations of Social Anthropology. London, Cohen and West. Osgood, Cornelius, 1934. 'Kutchin T r i b a l Distribution and Nomenclature'. American Anthropologist, V o l . 36, pp. 168-179. Osgood, Cornelius, 1936. Contributions to the Ethnography of the Kutchin. New Haven, Yale University Publications in Anthropology, No. 14. Parsons, Talcott, 1951. The Social System. Glencoe, The Free Press. Parsons, Talcott, and Smelser, N i e l J . , 1956. Economy and Society. London, Rout ledge and Kegan Paul. Radcliffe-Brown, A.R., 1952. Structure and Function i n Primitive Society. London, Cohen and West. Rand, A.L., 1945. Mammals of Yukon, Canada. Ottawa, National Museum of Canada, B u l l e t i n No. 100. Rich, Edwin E., 1959. The History of the Hudson's Bay Company, 1670-1870. Volume 11. 1764-1870. London, Hudson's Bay Record Society. Ross, Bernard, Hardisty, William L., and Jones, Strachan, 1866. 'Notes on the Tinneh or Chepewyan Indians of B r i t i s h and Russian North America'. Smithsonian Institute Annual Report. 1866, pp. 304-327. Rowe, J.S., 1959. Forest Regions of Canada. Ottawa, Department of Northern A f f a i r s and National Resources, Forestry Branch, B u l l e t i n No. 123.  96 Service, Elman R.,- 1962. Primitive Social Organization. New York, Random House. Schwatka, Frederick, 1885. Along Alaska's Great River. New York, Cassel and Co. Slobodin, Richard, I960. 'Eastern Kutchin Warfare'. Anthropologica. Vol. 2 (n.s.) pp. 76-94. Slobodin, Richard, 1962. Band Organization of the Peel River Kutchin. Ottawa, National Museum of Canada, B u l l e t i n No. 179. Speck, Prank G., 1933. 'Labrador Ethics'. American Anthropologist, V o l . 3 5 , pp. 559-594. Spencer, Robert P., 1959. The North Alaskan Eskimo, a Study in Ecology and Society. Washington, Bureau of American Ethnology, B u l l e t i n No. 171. Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1914. 'Prehistoric and Present Commerce among the A r c t i c Coast Eskimo'. National Museum of Canada, Anthropological Series. B u l l e t i n No. 3» Tanner, Adrian, 1965. Trappers, Hunters and Fishermen. Unpublished report prepared for the Northern Co-ordination and Research Center, Ottawa. T i e t , James, 1956. 'Field Notes on the Tahltan and Kaska Indians'. Anthropologica, Vol. 3, pp. 40-171. Van Velsen, J . , 1964. The P o l i t i c s of Kinship. Manchester, Manchester University Press. Ward, Barbara E., I960. 'Cash or Credit Crops?' Economic Development and Cultural Change. Vol. 8, pp. 148-163. Whymper, Frederick, 1869. 'The Native Peoples of the Yukon River and Adjacent Country*. Transactions of the Ethnological Society of London. Vol. 7, pp. 107-185.  


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