lecture12.0204 - A Pastoral Interlude The Anthropologist...

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1 The Importance of Domestication: 1. Technique: Compare to the Acheulean watershed 2.Foundation for everything subsequent: --> social complexity --> ecological dominant: fundamentally new relationship with environment --> decline in variety : !Kung reliant on over 100 species : contemporary agriculturalists about 20 --> moral economies of transformation : time & scheduling : specialization & exploitation --> coevolution of plants & societies 1 Lecture 12, 02/04/11 2 A Pastoral Interlude: The Anthropologist & the Nuer I: Who are you? C: A man. I: What is your name? C: Do you want to know my name? I: Yes. C: You want to know my name? I: Yes, you have come to visit me in my tent and I would like to know who you are. C: All right. I am Cuol. What is your name? I: My name is Pritchard. Lecture 12, 02/04/11 3 Evans-Pritchard & Nuer, cont'd C: What is your father’s name? I: My father’s name is also Pritchard. C: No, that cannot be true. You cannot have the same name as your father. I: It is the name of my lineage. What is the name of your lineage? C: Do you want to know the name of my lineage? I: Yes. Lecture 12, 02/04/11 4 Evans-Pritchaed & Nuer, cont'd C: What will you do with it if I tell you? Will you take it to your country? I: I don’t want to do anything with it. I just want to know it since I am living at your camp. Lecture 12, 02/04/11 5 Approaches to Foraging, Agriculture & Making a Living Approaching foragers: why do we care about them anyway? Paradoxes: a. Contemporary foragers as examples of our own past? b. Contemporary foragers as not an example at all -- fully 20th century (or 21st century)? c. Contemporary foragers as people with a history? (That’s Pieter Bruegel's print, "The Beekeepers" from 1567 over there ) Lecture 12, 02/04/11 6 Looking at Foragers with European Eyes 1. Subsistence: an assumption of scarcity 2. Property: it don’t get no respect 3. Attitude: no concern for the future; irrational 4. Discipline: these guys hate work It seems that a short way back in the history of occidental ideas there was a fork in the trail. The line of thought that is signified by the names of Descartes, Newton, and Hobbes (saying that life in a primary society is “nasty, brutish, and short” – all of them city dwellers) was a profound rejection of the organic world. For a reproductive universe they substituted a model of sterile mechanism and an economy of “production.” (Gary Snyder in “The Etiquette of Freedom”) Lecture 12, 02/04/11
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2 7 Subsistence: “The nomadic hunters and gatherers barely met minimum subsistence needs and often fell far short of them... Constantly on the move in search of food, they clearly lacked the leisure hours for nonsubsistence activities of any significance ,
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