3.17.14.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTHRO 4300
Professor
Shenk
Semester
Fall

Description
Comparative Social Org 03/17/2014 Africa  nd 2  largest and most populous continent  20% of worlds land area; many ecozones 1 billion people 15% of worlds population  longest occupation by anatomically modern humans (200,000 years)  most genetically diverse part of the world  1000­2000 languages spoke four indigenous language families  culturally complex because relatively few large polities until colonization  lots of ethnic diversity, much of which persists until the present African Languages  Sub­Saharan African Subsistence Patterns Primary forms of subsistence in the pre­colonial period (and even today) were horticulture and pastoralism  Kinship dominant form of social organization Hunter­gathers continue to exist but increasingly in more marginal areas The amount of land was not a constraint on subsistence in much of Africa  Ownership (more like ‘use rights’) was by kin groups rather than individuals with use rights guaranteed to  members of kin groups  Since virtually everyone had access to land through their kin group, there was no class of hired laborers or  slaves in much of sub­Saharan Africa  Labor limited more common than land limited, even among people with intensive agriculture  Subsistence  Organized by families in two ways: Female­centered units  S. and E. Africa  Fields allocated to a married woman to feed her children; share of food also given to husband  Women preform primary agricultural tasks  Sometimes helped by men patrilocal cooperative units  pastoralists and W. Africa agri
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