Bella Coola

Bella Coola, BC V0T, Canada

First Contact:

20
50
30
gather% / fish % / hunt %
fat % / protein % / carb%

A rough estimate to help us understand how carnivorous and how ketogenic these people were before being exposed to western civilization

1/0

Click this Slide deck Gallery to see high quality images of the tribe, daily life, diet, hunting and gathering or recipes

About the Tribe

The reason for the deficiency in figures on subsistence is not hard to find. The purely aboriginal way of life had been greatly altered in most parts of the Northwest coast by the end of the last century and quantitative data are, as Kroeber pointed out ( 1939, p. 3 ) , not ordinarily recoverable by the method of ethno­ graphic reconstruction we must use in western North America. The reasons for the scant attention often paid to subsistence techniques are also easy to find. Some of the techniques had disappeared by the beginning of this century or had survived in forms altered by the introduction of European goods. But, also, the very complexity of social forms and richness of art and ceremony that draw attention to the area are likely to draw attention away from mere subsistence. Thus when McIlwraith ( 1948) had the opportunity to play a part himself in the Bella Coola winter ceremonies, he did so and the results form a good part of his two-volume work on that people. I find this quite understandable, but still wish we had more on Bella Coola salmon fishing than the pluses and minuses in Drucker's ( 1950) element list. Another reason for the neglect of subsistence probably lies in the assumption that the habitat was so rich that subsistence simply was not a problem.

Importance of Animal Products

Importance of Plants

Transition to Industrialized Food Products

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