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Lecture 4

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Lecture 4 July 18 2013 Economics and Culture I Subsistence, wealth, and the provisioning of society OVERVIEW Economic itself is based on subsistence; to adapt to fit in, subsist- to live Subsistence- basic activity of life according to this perception Adaptive strategy 1. Hunting‐gathering / foraging-very primitive, evolutionary adaptation, marked the distinct human pattern, non-human primates forge the food, hunting-gathering is based on gender, women and men subsistence activity, exploring a wide range of food. Humans are omnivorous, requires diversity in our diet. Development of a system of sharing, a home base, usually where there is a fire, a series of fire, shared within family and also a wider band. RULE: the relative proportion of hunting and gathering is based on complex ecosystem and living close to equator. Most hunter-gatherers are nomadic- move in a lot of places, this lifestyle has been around for a long time. They also tend to have low pop densities- because their pop is based on food. Some foragers are also sedentary; they tend to be aquatic foragers, ppl who live near rivers, fishes. (If food coming to you why bothers chasing it). Our species evolved in small pop, evolved from family’s bands.Alesser degree of occupation, no job, no social differentiation between classes. Hunter- gatherers represent an ideal past, can be positive of negative. Biologically we are hunter-gatherers but culturally we are not. a. Food foraging a complex adaptation b. Mostly nomadic life‐style c. Low population densities d. Families, bands e. Animism & shamanism- believe in spirit being, practice shamanism- no class of religious specialist, they are ppl from a community, these are like their priests. • Ju/’hoansi (Botswana)-they live close to equator, live in a complex ecosystem, 30% of food came from hunting and 70% of food came from gathering. One generation stops hunting and gathering they lose their knowledge. • Babenzele Pygmies (Central African Republic)-bows, advanced tools, solo hunters, hunting by yourself or in pairs is common • Andaman Islands (India)- sometimes hunt in groups, they live on islands, they were semi-sedentary, the ocean provided fish, the islands were lush • Haida (Queen Charlotte Islands , B.C., Canada)-complex type of foraging environment, were sedentary Lecture 4 July 18 2013 2. Horticulture-represent first farming, gardening on a larger scale, evolved after hunting-gatherers. Gardening either in wet, tropical or hot, dry environments. Common type is tropical horticulture- going in jungle, cutting down trees, burning trees to create ash, this creates fertilizer and this is where they grow their garden- called swidden agriculture. Dry land gardening- pre-historic Europe, planting in an open field and wait for enough rain accumulates. Some H. are hoarders as well, domesticated swine etc. unique this is- yam, sweet potato, taro, manioc, maize are called root crops, different than grain farming which is a specialized farming. These crops grow by vegetative propagation- chop potato and plant it in the soil, they cannot be stored for a very long time, and they are going to rot. H. uses simple technologies- hand held stuff. H. requires a lot of land! They are sedentary, but once the soil gets depleted and the potatoes get small they know it is time to move on, they call this extensive use of land. Fallow period- is how long it takes for the nutrients to be replaced. Strong lineages- family grouping, because land becomes something you defend, bases of your livelihood, the hunter-gatherers don’t have strong lineages because they don’t fight for their land, and they walk away with their feet. H. is associated with villages, since it’s a village life, they get rivalries, war fare. a. Gardening [swidden, slash & burn, shifting cultivation] b. Crops [vegetative propagation] c. Simple technologies [hoe, stick, knife] d. Extensive use of land [fallow] e. Lineages, villages [internecine warfare]-warfare that occurs between the same cultural group, ex: family feud etc. e.g., Yanomamo, Tsembaga Maring • Hopi (Arizona, United States)- maize farmers, arid, they collect the rain and distribute it • Aswidden in Columbia-hot very neat, • Sweet potato garden (Papua New Guinea)-a more cultivated garden, • Dani irrigation ditches (Iriyan Jaya, Indonesia)-ppl of new guinea, complex water management system ever organized, all made by communities themselves.Abenefit to the entire society. 3. IntensiveAgr
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