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Unformatted text preview: ecological conditions favoring resource-sharing to reduce risk are clear:
1) harvest is relatively unsynchronized between individuals or households (so that for
any given harvest some get a lot and others little);
2) food comes in large packages (resulting in diminishing marginal value to individual
Evidence from several hunter-gatherer societies agrees with this argument: food most often
shared when harvest is unsynchronized, and when it comes in large packages (e.g., big game);
much less emphasis on sharing plant foods, small game, etc.
A particularly detailed test of risk-reduction model conducted by Kaplan & Hill with Ach
(hunter-gatherers in Paraguay forest) [Ach
ha ing g aph] Indians Ach practice considerable variation in amount of sharing: share game resources very widely,
nearly as much for honey, and less so with plant foods
K&H found that variation btwn resources in amount of sharing correlated quite well with the 2
features the risk-reduction model predicted: package size (the bigger, the more diminishing
returns), and daily variation in harvest synchrony between families (greater variation = less
Analogous findings apply to subsistence agriculturalists, but he...
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- Fall '08