The economy of hunting and gathering societies essay

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The economy of hunting and gathering societies essay

Those who hunt and gather behave quite differently, as societies, from herdsmen and mounted predator-warriors, the pastoralists, who in turn live quite differently from the various kinds of agriculturalists.

These distinctions are not sharp, for of course there are societies that combine foraging with some agriculture, others,… Many cultures have also combined foraging with agriculture or animal husbandry. In pre-Columbian North Americafor instance, most ArcticAmerican SubarcticNorthwest Coastand California Indians relied upon foraging alone, but nomadic Plains Indians supplemented their wild foods with corn maize obtained from Plains villagers who, like Northeast Indianscombined hunting, gathering, and agriculture.

In contrast, the Southwest Indians and those of Mesoamerica were primarily agriculturists who supplemented their diet by foraging. A foraging economy usually demands an extensive land area; it has been estimated that people who depend on such methods must have available 18 to 1, square km 7 to square miles of land per capita, depending upon local environmental conditions.

Permanent villages or towns are generally possible only where food supplies are unusually abundant and reliable; the numerous rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest, for instance, allowed Native Americans access to two unusually plentiful wild resources— acorns and fishespecially salmon —that supported the construction of large permanent villages and enabled the people to reach higher population densities than if they had relied upon terrestrial mammals for the bulk of their subsistence.

The economy of hunting and gathering societies essay

Conditions of such abundance are rare, and most foraging groups must move whenever the local supply of food begins to be exhausted. In these cases possessions are limited to what can be carried from one camp to another. As housing must also be transported or made on the spot, it is usually simple, comprising huts, tents, or lean-tos made of plant materials or the skins of animals.

Social groups are necessarily small, because only a limited number of people can congregate together without quickly exhausting the food resources of a locality; such groups typically comprise either extended family units or a number of related families collected together in a band. An individual band is generally small in number, typically with no more than 30 individuals if moving on foot, or perhaps in a group with horses or other means of transport.

However, each band is known across a wide area because all residents of a given region are typically tied to one another through a large network of kinship and reciprocity; often these larger groups will congregate for a short period each year.

Where both hunting and gathering are practiced, adult men usually hunt larger game and women and their children and grandchildren collect stationary foods such as plants, shellfish, and insects; forager mothers generally wean their children at about three or four years of age, and young children possess neither the patience nor the silence required to stalk game.

However, the capture of smaller game and fish can be accomplished by any relatively mobile individual, and techniques in which groups drive mammals, birds, and fish into long nets or enclosures are actually augmented by the noise and movement of children.

Native American families driving deer toward an enclosure where hunters wait, engraving in Samuel de Champlain's Voyages, Library of Congress, Washington, D.

The proportion of cultures that rely solely upon hunting and gathering has diminished through time. By about ce, many Middle and South American cultures and most European, Asian, and African peoples relied upon domesticated food sources, although some isolated areas continued to support full-time foragers.

In contrast, Australia and the Americas were supporting many hunting and gathering societies at that time. Although hunting and gathering practices have persisted in many societies—such as the Okiek of Kenya, some Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia, and many North American Arctic Inuit groups—by the early 21st century hunting and gathering as a way of life had largely disappeared.

Learn More in these related Britannica articles:The Inuit economy is an economy of food and trading. When the hunting parties came back the kill was divided. The hunter most responsible for the kill chooses first, then The hunter second most responsible for the kill chooses second and so on and so on.

DEPARTMENTS

Hunter gatherers is the name anthropologists have given to people who rely on a combined living of hunting game and gathering wild plants. A pastoral society is a nomadic group of people who travel with a herd of domesticated animals, which they rely on for food.

There are two types of pastoral societies. There are two types of. Hunting-gathering, the ethnography revealed continuities between hunter- moreover, often influences the way in which people carry out gatherers and other societies, as .

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In conclusion, hunting and gathering is the ideal way to live. Hunter-gatherers are not materialistic, women have a high status, and they don't have to work on interminable tasks with no time to enjoy life.

The economy of hunting and gathering societies essay
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