Persistence of Traditional Lifeways by Early Chinese Immigrants: Faunal Evidence from the High Lung Laundry (CA-SBA-2752H) Santa Barbara, California

Persistence of Traditional Lifeways by Early Chinese Immigrants: Faunal Evidence from the High... Analysis of 41,000 faunal specimens from a family-run nineteenth-century Chinese laundry in Santa Barbara, California, reveals the tenacity with which these early Asian immigrants retained their traditional lifeways. Over three decades, the meat portion of the laundrymen’s diet consisted largely of Sus scrofa (swine) (85%) with lesser quantities of beef, fish, and barnyard fowl. Invertebrate seafood, cat, and turtle added to the distinctly Chinese menu. These findings are much like those from numerous other coeval immigrant sites in California and other western states. While dietary pattern is a strong indicator of ethnic identity, it is only one way to assess cultural integration. Nevertheless, the protracted retention of this traditional diet suggests limited assimilation into the social context of Santa Barbara while at the same time the immigrant laundrymen performed an important economic function within the community. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Historical Archaeology Springer Journals

Persistence of Traditional Lifeways by Early Chinese Immigrants: Faunal Evidence from the High Lung Laundry (CA-SBA-2752H) Santa Barbara, California

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Social Sciences; Archaeology
ISSN
1092-7697
eISSN
1573-7748
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10761-016-0383-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Analysis of 41,000 faunal specimens from a family-run nineteenth-century Chinese laundry in Santa Barbara, California, reveals the tenacity with which these early Asian immigrants retained their traditional lifeways. Over three decades, the meat portion of the laundrymen’s diet consisted largely of Sus scrofa (swine) (85%) with lesser quantities of beef, fish, and barnyard fowl. Invertebrate seafood, cat, and turtle added to the distinctly Chinese menu. These findings are much like those from numerous other coeval immigrant sites in California and other western states. While dietary pattern is a strong indicator of ethnic identity, it is only one way to assess cultural integration. Nevertheless, the protracted retention of this traditional diet suggests limited assimilation into the social context of Santa Barbara while at the same time the immigrant laundrymen performed an important economic function within the community.

Journal

International Journal of Historical ArchaeologySpringer Journals

Published: Nov 25, 2016

References

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