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Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 4:30pm
Goldwin Smith Hall, G22
232 East Ave, Central Campus
The Work Captives Did: The Consequences of Captive’s Labor in Small Scale Societies
Catherine M. Cameron
University of Colorado, Boulder
Captives, mostly women and children, were common in small-scale societies in the past, but archaeologists have tended to ignore them and the impacts they had on the societies they joined. My worldwide study of captive-taking brings these stolen people out of the shadows and explores the work they did in ancient societies. Using ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and historic accounts of captive-taking and enslavement in small-scale societies I have found that they were an economically valuable resource to their captors, gathering or growing food, processing it, creating craft goods for trade, building houses and canoes, and taking part in virtually every sort of task available among the groups in which they were held. I explore the gendered division of labor in these societies and the ways that captive labor was “de-gendered.” Taken during raids or warfare, these unwilling migrants were widely traded and served as an item of wealth themselves.