Ancient Indigenous Communication: An Exploratory Multidisciplinary Model

By Jean-Charles Cachon.

Published by The International Journal of Diverse Identities

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Writing and communication prior to European contact is unexplored in the Americas and in most of the world. Cave paintings rock carvings are mostly referred to as "art": However, from sticks in the snow to sand painting and stone carved maps, as well as oral traditions, there is no shortage of ancient forms of communication. The hypothesis behind this paper is that most of the ancient forms of communication were not intended as "Art", but rather as being purposeful towards reaching either specific economic, social, or belief-related goals, or a mix thereof. Method: 1) A review of literature about ancient forms of communication, some of which that have survived to this day, some probably not; 2) A review of literature about ancient forms of social organization and trade, particularly the exchange of raw materials, in North America as well as other continents. The paper concludes by hypothesizing about the role and importance of communications (taking various forms) among Indigenous communities prior to European contact, in relation to economic, social and other categories of goals. The knowledge generated by this paper will help Indigenous communities in reclaiming their history. References: Baugh (1994), Hall (1989 to 2012), Leroi-Gourhan, Marwick (2003), Nougier (1988), Pauketat (2012), Rao (2010), Wright (1972-2006) and Storck (1979 to 1997).

Keywords: Theme: Identity and Belonging, Ancient Indigenous Communications, Ancient Trade

The International Journal of Diverse Identities, Volume 15, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.1-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 363.286KB).

Prof. Jean-Charles Cachon

Professor, School of Commerce and Administration, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada