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PATTERNS OF SUBSISTENCE Chapter 7. Cultural Adaptation A complex of ideas, activities, and technologies that enable people to survive and even thrive.

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Presentation on theme: "PATTERNS OF SUBSISTENCE Chapter 7. Cultural Adaptation A complex of ideas, activities, and technologies that enable people to survive and even thrive."— Presentation transcript:

1 PATTERNS OF SUBSISTENCE Chapter 7

2 Cultural Adaptation A complex of ideas, activities, and technologies that enable people to survive and even thrive It is important to note that present-day people who subsist by hunting, fishing, and wild plant collection are not following an ancient way of life because they do not know any better  Different human groups have managed to adapt to a very diverse range of natural environments --from Arctic snowfields to Polynesian coral islands, from the Sahara Desert to the Amazon rainforest.

3 Cultural Adaptation A complex of ideas, activities, and technologies that enable people to survive and even thrive  Adaptation occurs when humans change the natural environment, and when the natural environment changes human biology  Ex: Tuareg farmers in Mali. Proud traditions as nomads, but environmental conditions forced them to take up farming: places/mali/mali_tuaregfarmer.html places/mali/mali_tuaregfarmer.html

4 Cultural Adaptation A complex of ideas, activities, and technologies that enable people to survive and even thrive  Adaptation occurs when humans change the natural environment, and when the natural environment changes human biology  Ex: Formation of the ancient Egyptian state

5 Cultural Adaptation A complex of ideas, activities, and technologies that enable people to survive and even thrive  Adaptation occurs when humans change the natural environment, and when the natural environment changes human biology  Ex: Moken people of Southeast Asia (off coast of Myanmar). Hunter/Gatherers of the Sea. Can see twice as clearly underwater as normal, dive up to 75 feet, and hold their breath for extended periods of time: /places/regions-places/asia- southern/myanmar_moken.html /places/regions-places/asia- southern/myanmar_moken.html

6 The Adaptive Relationship Organisms and their Environments  Environments present certain possibilities and limitations that Organisms (including humans) must adapt to. This relationship is referred to as an…  Ecosystem: A system, or a functioning whole, composed of both the natural environment and all the organisms living within it.

7 The Adaptive Relationship Organisms and their Environments  Cultural Evolution: Culture change over time  Populations evolve when individual organisms within the population are born with certain genetic mutations that are better adapted to their environment, and which enable them to thrive and reproduce.

8 The Adaptive Relationship Organisms and their Environments  Cultures evolve when faced with environmental or other stressors.  Example issue: San bushmen culture must adapt to a changing world places/south-africa/southafrica_sanpeople.html places/south-africa/southafrica_sanpeople.html

9 The Adaptive Relationship Organisms and their Environments  Cultures evolve when faced with environmental or other stressors.  Convergent evolution: In cultural evolution, the development of similar cultural adaptations to similar environmental conditions by different peoples with different ancestral cultures Ex: Horses introduced to disparate Native American cultures (I.e. nomads like the Comanche, and horticulturalists like the Cheyenne), change both groups to warrior-type cultures based on horse-raiding.

10 The Adaptive Relationship Organisms and their Environments  Cultures evolve when faced with environmental or other stressors.  Parallel evolution: In cultural evolution, the development of similar cultural adaptations to similar environmental conditions by people whose ancestral cultures were already somewhat alike. Ex: Development of large-scale agriculture and food distribution networks in the early state cultures of Mesoamerica and Egypt due to shrinking resources and an abundance of people in the area needing those resources.

11 Modes of Subsistence  Food Foraging Societies  Hunting, fishing, and gathering of wild plant foods  Food Producing Societies  Domestication of plants (cultivation) and animals (breeding/raising)  Industrial Societies  Machines and tools instead of human labor. Technological inventions utilizing steam, water, air, oil, electricity, and nuclear energy.

12 Food Foraging Societies Characterized by…  Mobility  Small Group Size  Carrying capacity: The number of people that the available resources can support at a given level of food- getting techniques  Density of Social relations: The number and intensity of interactions among the members of a camp.

13 Food Foraging Societies Characterized by…  Flexible Division of Labor by Gender: Meaning that men and women can take on each others’ tasks without any social stigmas (i.e. no one will make fun of them).

14 Food Foraging Societies Characterized by…  Food Sharing Egalitarian Social Relations Food is shared, not hoarded. Wealth (lots of food) is considered socially inappropriate. Whoever finds food first, has first dibs. Afterward, everyone takes a share. Since food foragers have no “rank” or hierarchies, there is no giving the “worst parts” of the food to people who would be considered “lower-ranking” like the Fore culture (cannibalism example) discussed in chapter 1.

15 Food Foraging Societies ~10,000 years ago in the fertile crescent (ancient Mesopotamia), we have something called the “Neolithic Transition”. This “New Stone Age” was characterized by a sudden boom in the adoption of agricultural instruments such as the plow, yoke and hoe, and the large-scale domestication of wild plants such as wheat, maize, rice, beans, potatoes, and squash, and animals like goats, sheep, pigs, and cattle. Leading some cultures to evolve into…

16 Food-Producing Societies!!! Characterized by…  Horticulture  Cultivation of crops carried out with simple hand tools such as digging sticks or hoes Ex: Rice farming in Tanzania: places/tanzania/tanzania_ricefarmer.html places/tanzania/tanzania_ricefarmer.html Slash-and-burn cultivation (swidden farming): An extensive form of horticulture in which the natural vegetation is cut, the slash is subsequently burned, and crops are then planted among the ashes.

17 Food-Producing Societies Characterized by…  Agriculture  The cultivation of food plants in soil prepared and maintained for crop production. Involves using technologies other than hand tools, such as irrigation, fertilizers, and the wooden or metal plow pulled by harnessed draft animals.

18 Food-Producing Societies Characterized by…  Mixed Farming  Crop growing and animal breeding

19 Food-Producing Societies Characterized by…  Pastoralism  Breeding and managing large herds of domesticated grazing animals, such as goats, sheep, cattle, horses, llamas, or camels. Ex: Fulani group in Mali (sahara desert) (cattle herders): places/mali/mali_fulani.html places/mali/mali_fulani.html Ex: The Sami (reindeer herders): places/local-life/sweden_sami.html places/local-life/sweden_sami.html *Both of these are examples of Nomadic pastoralists

20 Food-Producing Societies Characterized by…  Intensive Agriculture (Non-Industrial cities)  In support of towns/cities. Allowed cultures to specialize: Jobs such as blacksmith, musician, scribe, are created. Not everyone has to produce food. Food production is instead regulated to…  Peasants: Rural cultivators whose surpluses are transferred to a dominant group of rulers that uses the surpluses both to underwrite its own standard of living and to distribute the remainder to groups in society that do not farm but must be fed for their specific goods and servies in turn.

21 ECONOMIC SYSTEMS Chapter 8

22 Economic Systems and Economic Anthropology  Like the study of language, politics, gender or any other category pertaining to humans, the study of human economic systems (I.e. organized arrangements for producing, distributing and consuming goods), must be considered via the holistic perspective  Ex: Trobriand Islanders views of yams “Like people the world over, the Trobriand Islanders assign meanings to objects that make those objects worth far more than either cost in labor or materials.” Yams = status. The more yams a man has, the more $$ and power.

23 Production and its Resources Customs and rules govern the kinds of work done, who does the work, attitudes toward the work, how it is accomplished, and who produces the resources necessary to produce the desired goods, knowledge and services.  Control of Land and Water Resources  Food foraging societies: Who will hunt game and gather plants in their home range?  Food-producing societies: Who will carry out which tasks on which stretch of water or land? Farmers: Who will have title to the land and access to water supplies for irrigation? Pastoralists: Who gets rights to watering places and grazing land, as well as the right of access to land where herds are moved?

24 Production and its Resources Customs and rules govern the kinds of work done, who does the work, attitudes toward the work, how it is accomplished, and who produces the resources necessary to produce the desired goods, knowledge and services.  Technology Resources  Technology: Tools and other material equipment, together with the knowledge of how to make and use them.  Food foragers: a variety tools are created but also shared if requested. Egalitarianism is stressed in these societies.  Horticulturalists: Axe, digging stick and hoe are primary tools and are also generally shared if requested. Similar values to food foragers.  Permanently settled agricultural communities: Tools and equipment more complex, expensive and harder to obtain/maintain so automatic sharing is not expected. The owner of the equipment has more social control over the technology.

25  Labor Resources and Patterns  Division of Labor by Gender Flexible/integrated pattern: Seen most often among food foragers. Men and women perform equal amount of activities. “Men’s work and “Women’s work” may be undertaken by either task without any social stigmas. Segregated pattern: Seen most often in pastoral nomadic,intensive agricultural, and industrial societies. All work as either masculine or feminine. Men and women rarely engage in joint efforts, and doing work of the opposite gender would be inconceivable. Dual sex configuration: Seen often in many Native American groups (also in ancient Egypt!). Men and women have their own tasks that are deemed complimentary. Men’s work is not better than women’s and vice versa. Production and its Resources Customs and rules govern the kinds of work done, who does the work, attitudes toward the work, how it is accomplished, and who produces the resources necessary to produce the desired goods, knowledge and services.

26  Labor Resources and Patterns  Division of Labor by Age Both the young and the old play significant roles across the economic spectrum, with the young helping out with food production and the elderly as repositories of economic knowledge.  Craft Specialization Typically characteristic of industrial and post-industrial societies that can support individuals who do not grow/produce their own food. Production and its Resources Customs and rules govern the kinds of work done, who does the work, attitudes toward the work, how it is accomplished, and who produces the resources necessary to produce the desired goods, knowledge and services.

27 Distribution and Exchange Even in societies without a formal medium of exchange, such as money, some distribution of goods will still take place.  Reciprocity: The exchange of goods and services, of approximately equal value, between two parties.  Generalized Reciprocity: A mode of exchange in which the value of what is given is not calculated, nor is the time of repayment specified. Usually amongst family and friends. Ex: Stopping to help up someone who trips, needs to use your phone for an emergency, asks for a french fry, etc.

28 Distribution and Exchange Even in societies without a formal medium of exchange, such as money, some distribution of goods will still take place.  Reciprocity: The exchange of goods and services, of approximately equal value, between two parties.  Balanced Reciprocity: A mode of exchange in which the giving and receiving are specific as to the value of the goods and the time of their delivery. Ex: Gifts at a B-day party/wedding/baby shower, buying drinks/being the DD for inebriated friends if it is your “turn” to do so.

29 Distribution and Exchange Even in societies without a formal medium of exchange, such as money, some distribution of goods will still take place.  Reciprocity: The exchange of goods and services, of approximately equal value, between two parties.  Negative Reciprocity: A form of exchange in which the aim is to get something for as little as possible. Neither fair not balanced it may involve hard bargaining, and outright cheating. Ex: Keeping a significant other’s things after a break- up, with the knowledge that the person may want their belongings returned.

30  Redistribution: A form of exchange in which goods flow into a central place, where they are sorted, counted and reallocated.  Ex: Ancient Egyptian temple donations  Spending Wealth to Gain Prestige Conspicuous Consumption: (What we do in most Euroamerican culture). A showy display of wealth for social prestige. Potlatch: Comes from “patshatl meaning “gift” from Chinook Native American language. A ceremonial event in which a village chief publicly gives away stockpiled food and other goods that signify wealth. Prestige Ceremony: Creation of a surplus for the express purpose of gaining prestige through a public display of weath that is given away as gifts. Distribution and Exchange Even in societies without a formal medium of exchange, such as money, some distribution of goods will still take place.

31  Redistribution: A form of exchange in which goods flow into a central place, where they are sorted, counted and reallocated.  Leveling Mechanisms: Opposite of the the above. A cultural obligation compelling prosperous members of a community to give away goods, host public feasts, provide free service, or otherwise demonstrate generosity so that no one permanently accumulates significantly more wealth than anyone else. Distribution and Exchange Even in societies without a formal medium of exchange, such as money, some distribution of goods will still take place.

32  Market Exchange: Euroamerican system. The buying and selling of goods and services with prices set by rules of supply and demand.  Informal Economy: A network of producing and circulating marketable commodities, labor, and services that for various reasons escape government control. Ex: Babysitting, house cleaning, begging, prostitution, drug dealing, gambling…etc. Distribution and Exchange Even in societies without a formal medium of exchange, such as money, some distribution of goods will still take place.


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