GETTING FOOD HUNTERS AND GATHERERS or FORAGERS • Subsistence derived from a combination of gathering and hunting • The primary reason for the continuing survival of foraging economies is the inapplicability of their environmental settings to food production. A contemporary forager from Australia’s Cape York peninsula collects eggs from the nest of a magpie goose. Correlates of Foraging • Band-organization (30-50) people -- flexibility allows for seasonal adjustments. • Mobile, at least seasonally nomadic -- Pattern of congregation and dispersal • Bands flexible in composition. • No permanent attachment to group or land. • Access to resources held communally. • Individual ownership of food, tools and other goods but strong pressure to share. !Kung • Little difference in wealth, few material goods • Social and political organization are simple At most, headman without authority • Social control is informal Low population density (few people per area of land) • Limited means of food storage The Agta of the Phillippines live by hunting, gathering, fishing and exchange with lowland farmers •Typical gender-based division of labor with women gathering and men hunting and fishing, with gathering contributing more to the group diet. •No full-time specialists, Some parttime specialists •Amount of work is limited •Little warfare (conflict between groups) •All foraging societies distinguish among their members according to age and gender, but are relatively egalitarian (making only minor distinctions in status) Wide Variation in characteristics across H-G societies degree of dependence on hunting vs. gathering gender roles/ gender status technologies used Political organization Foraging Worldwide distribution of recent hunter-gatherers. recent foragers have often been used to understand prehistoric humans Caveats • Now in least desirable environments: tundra, desert, rain forest • Cultural changes in last 20,000 years • Natural environment has changed • Affected by other people Horticulture • non-intensive plant cultivation, based on the use of simple tools and cyclical, non-continuous use crop lands. • Slash-and-burn or swidden cultivation and shifting cultivation are alternative labels for horticulture. • About 300 million people depended primarily on swidden cultivation for subsistence. slash-and-burn horticulture Ranomafana, Madagascar. Horticulturists –use a limited, nonmechanized technology to cultivate plants. – Slash-and-burn agriculture • Cyclical process • Burned vegetation, ashes nourish land • Land left fallow for several years • Tend to be less nomadic and more sedentary than foragers – Cultures include: A Yanomamö hunter • Yanomamö • Tsembaga • Iroquois Horticultural Adaptations • • • • • • • • • Gardening, using tools that require human power Domesticated plants Shift in emphasis on role of women in kinship Sedentism Increased labor intensity Surpluses Social stratification notions of private property, and ownership of land warfare • Groups range from 100 to more than 5,000 • Relatively settled, but nomadic within limits • Location of villages is shifted periodically to keep the near areas being cultivated but even so, villages usually remain in each location for several consecutive years. South American farmers. Women tend to be the main producers in horticultural societies. Pastoralists – Subsistence is based on the care of domesticated animals – Migration follows herds – Examples: Bedouins, Lapps, Nuer – East African cattle complex • Supplement diet with gardens • Largely eat blood and milk from cattle, not meat Bedouins Pastoralism A female pastoralist who is a member of the Kirgiz ethnic group in Xinjiang Province, China. Pastoralism • members of such economies may get agricultural produce through trade or their own subsidiary cultivation. • Patterns of Pastoralism: – Pastoral Nomadism: all members of the pastoral society follow the herd throughout the year. – Transhumance: part of the society follows the herd, while the other part maintains a home village (this is usually associated with some cultivation by the pastoralists). East African cattle complex Iran Agriculture • Agriculture is cultivation involving continuous use of crop land, and is more labor-intensive (due to the ancillary needs generated by farm animals and crop land formation) than horticulture. • Domesticated animals are commonly used in agriculture, mainly to ease labor and provide manure. • Irrigation is one of the agricultural techniques that frees cultivation from seasonal domination. Agriculture Irrigated and terraced rice fields used by the rice farmers of Luzon in the Philippines. Agriculture: Costs and Benefits • Agriculture is far more labor-intensive and capital-intensive than horticulture, but does not necessarily yield more than horticulture does (under ideal conditions). • Agriculture’s long-term production (per area) is far more stable than horticulture’s. • Intensified food production is associated with sedentism and rapid population increase. Top: Egyptian shaduf The Cultivation Continuum • In reality, non-industrial economies do not always fit cleanly into the distinct categories given above, thus it is useful to think in terms of a cultivation continuum. • Sectorial fallowing: a plot of land may be planted twoto-three years before shifting (as with the Kuikuru, South American manioc horticulturalists) then allowed to lie fallow for a period of years.