Proto-Athapaskan culture: the use of ethnographic reconstruction



The segmentation of Athapaskan-speaking groups over the past two millennia presents an unusual opportunity to observe culture change from a common base in diachronic perspective. To utilize such a “radiation” model, however, something of the Proto-Athapaskan culture base must be reconstructed. Comparison of ethnographic data provides insights into Proto-Athapaskan concepts of extrasomatic power, femaleness, death, and other cultural features. These can give form to the reconstructed aspects of Proto-Athapaskan culture developed through archaeology, linguistics, and other approaches. [Athapaskan, culture change, ethnographic reconstruction, eschatology, women, ideology]