Know Home: A Report on Pre-European Juniper Structures in Central Oregon

Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  5/6/2014

Juniper StructuresWe can learn a lot about people by studying the structures they used to shelter themselves from the elements. Commonly known as “wickiups,” and constructed of juniper, shelters used by Native Americans have been found throughout Central Oregon. Learn about these early structures and the important role they played in local history with John Zancanella at the Redmond Library on Tuesday, May 13 at 6:00 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, May13, 2014 • 6:00 p.m.
Redmond Library

Zancanella, who has worked for the BLM for 31 years and holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology, says that wickiups are susceptible to all types of disturbances, including fire, livestock, human interference — both intentional and unintentional — which makes them difficult to date. “We suspect they persisted into the past, but the ones we see now probably date to the last 300 years,” says Zancanella.

“We are learning that these types of structures were used in different ways,” continues Zancanella. Typically, they were used in the cool weather seasons and other times they simply served as protection against the elements when conditions warranted. “The presence of these structures instructs us that people who rely on hunting and gathering and seasonal movement for survival find similar solutions.” Zancanella says that the structures found in Central Oregon are similar to those found in other western states, with a similar range of uses, only constructed with different materials.

Zancanella has nearly 40 years of archaeological experience in California, Nevada and Oregon, including 24 years with the Prineville BLM unit. His interests include environmental reconstruction, rock art, hunter and gatherer behavior, ceramics, stone tool analysis, history, and paleontology. He will be retiring from the BLM at the end of June after 34 years of public service.

For more information about this or other library programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz at 312-1032.

Page Last Modified Wednesday, March 8, 2023