Analysis of textile impressions from pottery of the Selkirk composite
MacLean, Laura L.
The boreal forest regions of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are characterized by Late Woodland period archaeological assemblages. Although the pottery associated with these assemblages exhibit textile impressed exteriors, little is known about the associated textile industry. In part, this is due to the lack of archaeological textiles. In order to describe the textile structures employed by these people, it is necessary to study their textile-impressed pottery. Two complexes within the Selkirk Composite, Pehonan/Keskatchewan and Kame Hills are known through several intensively excavated sites and a large number of pottery recoveries. Using textile attribute studies, data on 47 impressed vessels from 17 sites were collected. Supplemented by ethnographic and historical reports from neighbouring regions, textile structures are identified for both complexes. The most represented textile structure is twining. These identified structures verify the homogeneity of the Selkirk Composite. There are enough structural variations, however, to support the regional expressions of each complex. The impressed textiles are utilitarian in nature and played an integral part in pottery manufacture. Selkirk potters were expert craftpersons. This is reflected in their pottery and in the way they employed the textiles. Although the analysis is limited to textiles used in pottery construction, cursory textile comparisons indicate the Selkirk textiles have more similarity to those produced historically by Algonquians to the south.