An economy where able-bodied adults are engaged in getting food for themselves and their
Foraging is a food getting strategy that obtains wild plant and animal resources through gathering, hunting, scavenging, or
fishing. Foragers today are referred to as
, which are not very many and live in the
the earth, deserts, the arctic and the tropical forests. In modern times only about 5 million people are foragers. Pg. 95
In the 1960’s they still lived by hunting and gathering as described by Richard Gould. Their diet was mostly plant food.
The Inuit (Eskimo)
They eat mostly sea and land mammals. Ernest Burch describes them in the beginning of the 19
century. They kill sea
mammals with a harpoon and a lance from a kayak. Woman butcher and also hunt small. Currently they mostly work and
have modern conveniences. Pg. 96
General Features of Foragers
Most live in small communities, are nomadic, do not recognize individual land rights, do not have different classes, no
political officials, division of labor is based on age and gender, men hunt animals and women gather plant foods.
There is still considerable variability among societies that depend on foraging. The pacific coast and New Guinea coastal
people are examples. The Tlingit of southeastern Alaska and the Nimpkish of British Columbia depend on annual Salmon
runs. Both have class systems and slaves. Inequality and competitiveness. In New Guinea about 40 societies depend on
foraging. Paul Rosco found the the dependence on fishing is associated with density of population and settlement size. Pg.
About 10,000 years ago many peoples made the changeover to
. They began to cultivate and then
domesticate plants and animals. Anthropologists distinguish three major types of food production systems- horticulture,
intensive agriculture, and pastoralism.
The growing of crops of all kinds with relatively simple tools and methods, in the absence of permanently cultivated
fields. The tools are generally hand tools and the methods do not include fertilization, irrigation, etc. There are two kinds
of horticulture. The more common involves independence on
extensive (shifting) cultivation,
the land is worked for
short periods and then left idle for some years, the use the
slash and burn techniques
so that nutrients can be returned to
the soil. The other kind involves dependence on long-growing tree crops. They both may be practiced in the same society.
The Kayapo of the Brazilian amazon leave in search of game for months.