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Presentation on theme: "MAKING A LIVING: GETTING FOOD"— Presentation transcript:


2 ADAPTIVE STRATEGIES Foraging Horticulture Pastoralism Agriculture

Subsistence derived from a combination of gathering, hunting and fishing Foraging economies still survive because their environment is not suitable for food production. A contemporary forager from Australia’s Cape York peninsula collects eggs from the nest of a magpie goose.

4 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. Ju/’hoansi (!Kung)

5 Little difference in wealth, few material goods
Social and political organization are simple -- at most, headman without authority Social control is informal Limited means of food storage No full-time specialists Little warfare (conflict between groups) The Agta (Philippines) live by hunting, gathering, fishing and exchange with lowland farmers

6 Typical gender-based division of labor with women gathering and men hunting and fishing, with gathering contributing more to the group diet. All foraging societies distinguish among their members according to age and gender, but are relatively egalitarian (making only minor distinctions in status)

7 Wide Variation in characteristics across foraging societies
degree of dependence on hunting vs. gathering gender roles/ gender status technologies used Political organization

8 Worldwide distribution of recent hunter-gatherers.
Foraging Worldwide distribution of recent hunter-gatherers.

9 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

10 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.

11 Women planting taro in New Guinea
Horticulturists 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: Yanomamö Tsembaga Iroquois Women planting taro in New Guinea 

12 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. 

13 South American farmers
South American farmers. Women tend to be the main producers in horticultural societies.

14 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


16 Pastoralists Subsistence based on care of domesticated animals
Migration follows herds Examples: Bedouins, Nuer Lapps, East African cattle complex Supplement diet with gardens Largely eat blood and milk from cattle, not meat Bedouins

17 Pastoralism A female pastoralist who is a member of the Kirgiz ethnic group in Xinjiang Province, China.

18 Pastoral Nomadism all members of the pastoral society follow the herd throughout the year. (Iran)

19 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).

20 East African cattle complex
members of such economies may get agricultural produce through trade or their own subsidiary cultivation

21 Agriculture cultivation involving continuous use of crop land more labor-intensive than horticulture due to needs generated by farm animals and crop land formation Domesticated animals are commonly used in agriculture, mainly to ease labor and provide manure. Irrigation frees cultivation from seasonal domination. Egyptian shaduf

22 Agriculture Irrigated and terraced rice fields used by the rice farmers of Luzon in the Philippines.

23 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. Larger, permanent populations and organization of labour results in a centralized political structure – states High degree of specialization Hierarchical social structure

24 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 two-to-three years before shifting (as with the Kuikuru, South American manioc horticulturalists) then allowed to lie fallow for a period of years.



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