The Northwest Coast of North America was home to dozens of Native peoples at the time of its first contact with Europeans. The rich artistic, ceremonial, and oral traditions of these peoples and their preservation of cultural practices have made this region especially attractive for anthropological study. Coming to Shore provides a historical overview of the ethnology and ethnohistory of this region, with special attention given to contemporary, theoretically informed studies of communities and issues.
The first book to explore the role of the Northwest Coast in three distinct national traditions of anthropology— American, Canadian, and French—Coming to Shore gives particular consideration to the importance of Claude Lévi-Strauss and structuralism, as well as more recent social theory in the context of Northwest Coast anthropology. In addition, contributors explore the blurring boundaries between theoretical and applied anthropology as well as contemporary issues such as land claims, criminal justice, environmentalism, economic development, and museum display.
The contribution of Frederica de Laguna provides a historical background to the enterprise of Northwest Coast anthropology, as do the contributions of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Marie Mauzé.