Seasonal Rounds: Picturing Tribal Lifeways through Annual Cycles
Five Oaks Museum Community Gallery, July-September 2021
Curated by David G. Lewis, PhD; Santiam, Chinook, Takelma, Conf. Tribes of Grand Ronde; Oregon State University, faculty in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies.
Dr. Lewis asked students in his Ethnic Studies courses at Oregon State University to research a tribe and think about how their annual and seasonal cultural practices might be graphically depicted to convey the information succinctly.
Today, people use a calendar to represent their yearly schedule and plan activities ahead according to the months and seasons. A seasonal round is a form of calendar that shows tribal activities and movement along with seasonal food resources in an annual cycle. Ultimately, seasonal rounds illustrate how all tribal lifeways are inherently connected to their land.
Note the differences in the calendars. Tribes lived on specific lands each with unique resources for food, medicines, and resources for making cultural tools. Some tribes lived on rivers with many runs of salmon, and some lived in lands with exceptional access to roots and berries, while others had large land animals to base their culture around. Tribal peoples worked to steward their land and its resources, to take care of them, so that there was plenty each year for animals, fishes, plants, and people. The wealth of the land sustained the people and so the people took care of it physically and spiritually so that their descendants would continue. These seasonal round calendars offer numerous perspectives of what tribal lifeways were like for tribes before settlement.
Navigate through the gallery to see examples of student work. Click on each picture to see them full size!