This research explores continuity and change in foraging patterns over time by comparing data from ancient, historic, and contemporary time periods for the Makah Indians, a Pacific Northwest coast tribe. Zooarchaeological evidence from the late-prehistoric Ozette village middens is compared to quantitative data from a foraging harvest survey conducted with contemporary tribal members. The intervening historic-period foraging pattern is interpreted from ethnographic accounts. The data indicate both continuity and change. A comparison by resource type shows that 56% of faunal resources found in the Ozette middens continue to be used today, with the use of 87% of fish taxa and 84% of shellfish taxa continuing through the 500 year period. Resources which are no longer used and resources which appear to be newly exploited are reviewed and explained in terms of historical ecology or methodological factors. Relative contribution to the diet by resource category (fish, shellfish, terrestrial mammals, marine mammals, birds, and commercial meats) is compared between circa 1500 and 1998. The data provide a perspective of greater time depth for contextualizing contemporary subsistence issues such as whaling, and help explain changes in productive practices since colonial contact as effects of long-term processes influenced by ecological and historical factors.
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