Historical Archaeology

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 108–119 | Cite as

Nickel silver: An aspect of material culture change in the upper Great Lakes Indian trade

  • C. Stephan Demeter


The industrial expansion of Western society during the early 19th century fostered extensive modifications within both the organizational and material aspects of Euroamerican culture and that of other technologically dependent groups. This paper addresses itself to a single facet of this problem as illustrated through the introduction and subsequent adaptive utilization of German or nickel silver as a precious metal substitute in the Great Lakes Indian trade during the second quarter of the century. While the decline of profit gains gleaned from the fur industry may have played a part in this transition, other economic and cultural factors appear far more critical in understanding the motivations behind this selective process.


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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Stephan Demeter
    • 1
  1. 1.Commonwealth Associates Inc.JacksonUSA

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