"The importance of books like Life at Swift Water Place cannot be understated because they serve as accessible data nodes for current and future researchers and a direct link between oral history and archaeology."
—Alaska Journal of Anthropology
A multidisciplinary study of the early contact period of Alaskan Native history that integrates ethnohistoric, bio-anthropological, archaeological and oral historical analyses of a major hunting and fishing Inupiaq group at a time of momentous change in their lifeways. It was a time of food shortage along the Kobuk River prompted by the decline in caribou, one of their major foods. But also the time when European and Asian trade items were first introduced into their traditional society. The first trade items to arrive, a decade ahead of the Europeans themselves, were glass beads and pieces of metal that the Inupiat expertly incorporated into their traditional implements. Inter-ethnic group relations as reconstructed from oral history place the Amilgaqtauyaagmiut as the most powerful group in the area.