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Natale A. Zappia
Whittier College (Whittier, CA 90601-4446)
Food Frontiers: Indigenous and Euro-American Ecologies in Early America

This study explores the evolution of food systems in the early American West. It closely examines the transformations that helped create new food systems across vast distances of continental North America. Within this region, food systems required myriad supporting components, including infrastructure, producers, consumers, and irrigation. In similar ways, Natives and Euro-Americans employed varying agricultural techniques over a period of three centuries, ultimately converging on complex, overlapping systems of grass management by the early 1800s. As in the Great Plains, grass supported large herbivores like livestock (especially horses, mules, sheep, and cattle) that simultaneously fueled regional and global markets for hides, wool, tallow, and slaves. By closely examining the intimate connections between families, villages, and land use that stitched together indigenous and Euro-American food systems, we can better understand the forces that paved the way for the modern West.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Economic History; Native American Studies; U.S. History

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 1/31/2016