Fish Processing

Processing fish that is caught in large volumes is as important as catching the fish itself. It is only through the drying, smoking or salting process that fish will remain consumable for more than a few weeks after it is caught. It is this processing that allows the great salmon runs to be fished so heavily. The resulting product of these processes was a stable resource that could be stored for later consumption or used as a trade good-one that kept its value over long distances, unlike more perishable products. One example of the importance of this resource is the trade of wind-dried spring salmon with the Squamish, or other groups in the Interior, in return for various goods such as raw materials for tool production or furs.

The task of processing fish was also a time to reinforce family ties and social obligations, as these activities required many people-hours to complete, and a great deal of effort was required to move processed goods, once drying was completed. Salmon provided an excellent venue for the strengthening of family relations.


(94.2 KB)Traditional Salish roasting salmon technique
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