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November 2 Notes.docx

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Francois Larose

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PATTERNS OF SUBSISTENCE - ECONOMIC SYSTEMS, the type of food production systems influence every other institution. Everything is related back to the patterns of subsistence. - we are gregarious, so we need enough food for a whole group. - need to know what is edible + how to obtain it + how to process it - how seasonal a climate is also affects food prod. FORAGERS MOST BASIC FORM OF SUBSISTENCE - Used to be called "hunters/gatherers" but some do not hunt, maybe they fish, they do more gathering. - GATHER / FISH / HUNT - NO SURPLUS - used to think these people were on the brink of starvation. This is not the case, they live in small populations and it takes them relatively little time to find enough food to be full. - since their food is usually seasonal, they are highly NOMADIC. - before neolithic revolution, there were areas with enough food that people didn't have to be nomadic to be sustained. This is why sedentarism came before argriculture in many cases. - MEAT is always something that is important. BUT: hunting is not as sure of a task so there is a SYSTEM OF RECIPROCITY - SHARING is the basis of the economy - no notion of personal property - kills are shared amongst entire group. - REQUIRES GREAT KNOWLEDGE OF THE ENVIRONMENT - Gender division of labour is very FLEXIBLE - Men tend to do most of the dangerous things like hunting large game but women are capable as well. - Women of child-bearing age are usually kept away from danger though, if possible. Not a matter of skill. The women past child-bearing age will fill in when necessary for the hunting. - men are socially expendable, since you don't need a man for every woman in order for women to be made pregnant. - The group size (Band composition) is relatively FLEXIBLE. The fluctuations in size are a matter of economics. When food becomes sparce and you have to travel far and wide to feed everyone, groups split up into much smaller groups so they don't have to travel so far to find enough food. - you don't have to stay with the same band all your life. when people get married, they can go live with the bride or groom's family. - NO CONCEPT OF OWNERSHIP - this made the treaties signed by people's who did believe in ownership of land very incomprehensible to the foraging populations who did not realize what they were signing on to. PASTORALISTS - rely on LIVESTOCK for subsistence (food, trade) - some live entirely from livestock, some use them for trade and travel from place to place to trade - CATTLE, SHEEP, GOATS (ones with milk and usable skin/wool) - ADAPTED TO AREAS NOT SUITABLE FOR GROWING CROPS: most pastoralist societies today live in places that do not allow for farming or foraging. but these areas do produce food that animals can eat and turn into food for us. - PRODUCE A SMALL SURPLUS *but this is determined by the CARRYING CAPACITY of the environment, which is not, in this case, the amount of food needed to carry the humans, but rather the amount of food needed to carry the HERD of animals. - personal property is introduced because of livestock: OWNERSHIP OF LIVESTOCK IS BASED ON KINSHIP TIES. though kind of individually owned, one cannot do whatever you want with it, because it is owned by family groups. - animals constantly traded between families for a lot of reasons (ie dowry) - TRAVEL 1000s OF KILOMETERS A YEAR, grazing their animals. HORTICULTURALISTS - TEND TO GROW ROOT CROPS INSTEAD OF CEREAL CROPS (YAMS, TAROS, MANIOC, POTATOES, etc) - PRODUCE ONLY A RELATIVELY SMALL SURPLUS - BY DEFINITION, THEY DO NOT USE FERTILIZ
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