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Chapter 2

ANTA02 - Chapter 2 Textbook Notes.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANT100Y1
Professor
Maggie Cummings
Semester
Winter

Description
ANTA02 – Textbook Notes – Chapter 2  Sedentary - A mode of livelihood characterized by permanent or semi-permanent settlements  Progress – The idea that human history is the story of a steady advance from a life dependent on the whims of nature to a life of control and domination over natural forces  People used to live in tribal groups, travelling bands—now the primary division is between rich and poor nations  Within these nomadic bands simple economic and social conditions sufficed and there was little occupation or specialization, and kinship served as a primary organizing principle  As groups became sedentary, they domesticated animals and plants: more formal leadership and authority was required  Later on in history, states developed, agricultural production intensified , technology advanced and forest clearing occured  Culture-Change- The changes in meanings that a people ascribe to experience and changes in their way of life  Bands – A term used by anthropologists to refer to egalitarian units of social organization, found mostly among foragers, they usually consist of fewer than 100 people  Slash-and-burn (or swidden) agriculture – A mode of livelihood in which forests are cleared by burning trees and brush, and crops are planted among the ashes of the cleared ground  Clans – A unilineal descent group whose members claim descent from a common ancestor  State – A form of society organized by hierarchal ranking of people and centralized political control  Irrigation Agriculture – A form of cultivation in which water is used to deliver nutrients to growing plants  Societies: hunters and gatherers (low political org, small groups few status distinctions) -> horticulturalists (slash/burn agriculture, more formal poly organization, emphasis on extended family groups) -> state societies (plough/irrigation agriculture, high labour needs, highly developed state + poly organization, emphasis on nuclear family)  Lewis Henry Morgan & Leslie White (Evolutionary Explanations for Culture Change) o Foragers possibly chose to domesticated because sedentary agriculture was a less dangerous and more productive way of getting food o Lewis Henry Morgan said that human societies evolved through 3 stages: savagery, barbarism, and civilization, and further divided savagery and barbarism into early, middle, and late stages  He said that the U.S had evolved completely to civilization: technological invention is the key  The advance from early to middle savagery was marked the control of fire, from early to middle by the invention of the bow and arrow, and from late savagery to late barbarism by the invention of pottery, agriculture, and animal domestication, and so on o Leslie White saw technology as a driving force of cultural evolution  He said that technology helped put energy to work , and the amount of food, clothing, etc. produced by this energy was proportional to the efficiency of the tech available  Cultural development varied directly with the efficiency of tools applied  At some point, increased efficiency in food production allowed a few people to produce enough for everyone, freeing others to develop other skills and thus promoting occupational specialization o Criticisms of these theories:  These theories made foraging societies look ‗harsh‘, but they were seen by some as ‗the original affluent society  There was also the misunderstanding about the roles and females: studies showed that female gathering produced more food than male hunting  It also could not be proven that the foragers often went hungry: they apparently had plenty of food  The Hadza and Ju/’hoansi o James Woodburn studied the Hadza people in Tanzania, it was previously preconceived that these foragers were hungry and starving  Woodburn found that the Hadza had plenty of food: they spent about 2 hours a day obtaining food  The Hadza only considered meat proper food: they were found to be in good nutritional health and were better off than their agricultural neighbours o The Ju’/hoansi peoples of Namibia‘s Kalahari Desert was also an important foraging society  These people lived around water holes and would wander as far as 10 km in search of plants and animal foods  They had a constant food quest, consumed mostly vegetables and barely processed it  They had an efficient, healthy diet, were never out of food  They did not spend much time getting food  They disproved the stereotypical view that foragers have to struggle to get food  Antrhopologist Mark Cohen set out to explain why people abandoned foraging for agriculture and why so many did it in such a short period of time. Reasons include: o When populations grew and people found they had to travel farther and farther for food to feed these growing populations o Once societies abandoned foraging they likely adapted slash-and-burn techniques: those could be practiced by small, kinship-based groups and as a form of growing crops were highly efficient and productive  It is important to understand that more food = more technology: shift to new tech isn‘t always easier  People abandon swidden agriculture because there is not enough land to support the population  Thus changes in food
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