Drowned Memories: The Submerged Places of the Winnemem Wintu

Bradley Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is a brief overview of an instance where landscape inundation
has disconnected culture from place. The Winnemem Wintu, a Native
American tribe in Northern California, had most of their ancestral landscape
along the McCloud River submerged by the construction of Shasta Dam just
after World War II. The tribe’s remaining traditional cultural properties are
under continual threat of loss and/or destruction, leaving the tribe’s ability
to practice traditional ceremonies crippled by legal battles and fights
against the continual assertion of United States hegemonic power over
tribal cultural identity. As part of archaeological research on these
submerged places, the tribe’s spiritual leader, Caleen Sisk-Franco, and Tribal
Headman, Mark Franco, spoke with the author about these threats and how
their culture must adapt to meet them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-371
JournalArchaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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