Links for 7.9.10

White lobster men of Maine practice clan/tribe based resource management of common property via their “kin” or harbor gang system.

James Acheson, an anthropologist at the University of Maine, has studied Maine’s closely-knit fishing communities for many years. He has found there is a hierarchy of fishermen, based on an individual’s skill and family ties, which he calls “lobster gangs.” The gangs claim and defend fishing territory which not only ensures a continued livelihood for its members, but conserves the limited resources from overexploitation.

The Iroquois system of communal land ownership – I’ve often heard Left Anarchists claim this system as an example of Native Americans as communists. That may be true to some extent, but what is often left out is the territorial nature of such systems and the exclusiveness of the tribe. This is really just an expansion of the sphere of who is considered family and therefore who is allowed to access communally owned resources. And, as I’ve noted before, to an outsider, the land is not commonly owned, it is privately owned by the tribe. Woe to those who disrespect claim of property by a clan or tribe.

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About Vince

I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
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