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Cattle ColonialismAn Environmental History of the Conquest of California and Hawai'i$
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John Ryan Fischer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625126

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625126.001.0001

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(p.37) Chapter Two Landscapes
Cattle Colonialism

John Ryan Fischer

University of North Carolina Press

After the introduction of cattle to California and Hawai‘i, the establishment of the species depended on ecological resources and native responses. The second chapter examines the ecological changes prompted by cattle and the effects of these changes on indigenous subsistence strategies. California Indians intensely managed the California environment in order to attain significant yields and sustain a large population through hunting and gathering. Hawaiians utilized plants and animals brought through Polynesian migration and trade, and they developed their own agricultural regimes to support a large organized population. Cattle grazed on Hawaiian crops and items gathered by California Indians, and they also facilitated the introduction of new species that competed with more familiar resources. Thus, cattle presented a clear challenge to native lifeways. At the same time, introduced diseases and military conflicts destabilized indigenous societies, exacerbating the effects of livestock introductions.

Keywords:   California Indians, Native Hawaiians, Invasive species, California ecology, Hawai‘i ecology, Hawaiian agriculture, Livestock, Cattle

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