Tag Archives: hunter-gatherer

Play as a Foundation for Hunter-Gatherer Social Existence

Hunter-gatherers promoted, through cultural means, the playful side of their human nature and this made possible their egalitarian, nonautocratic, intensely cooperative ways of living. Hunter-gatherer bands, with their fluid membership, are likened to social-play groups, which people could freely join … Continue reading

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Egalitarian Societies

Greater equality of wealth, of power and of prestige has been achieved in certain hunting and gathering societies than in any other human societies. These societies, which have economies based on immediate rather than delayed return, are assertively egalitarian. Equality … Continue reading

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Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior

Are humans by nature hierarchical or egalitarian? Hierarchy in the Forest addresses this question by examining the evolutionary origins of social and political behavior. Christopher Boehm, an anthropologist whose fieldwork has focused on the political arrangements of human and nonhuman … Continue reading

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Evolutionary Well-Being: the Paleolithic model

An evolutionary philosophy has direct implications for a happy and healthy lifestyle. By understanding how we as humans have evolved, we will get a much better understanding of how we can function optimally. Natural selection has shaped our body and … Continue reading

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Twenty Thousand-Year-Old Huts at a Hunter-Gatherer Settlement

Ten thousand years before Neolithic farmers settled in permanent villages, hunter-gatherer groups of the Epipalaeolithic period (c. 22–11,600 cal BP) inhabited much of southwest Asia. The latest Epipalaeolithic phase (Natufian) is well-known for the appearance of stone-built houses, complex site … Continue reading

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Social Networks and Cooperation in Hunter-gatherers

Social networks show striking structural regularities, and both theory and evidence suggest that networks may have facilitated the development of large-scale cooperation in humans. Here, we characterize the social networks of the Hadza, a population of hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. We … Continue reading

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Why Children Protest Going to School: More Evolutionary Mismatch

Our schools work against children’s instincts, not with them. In my last essay I used the concept of evolutionary mismatch to explain why infants and young children protest going to bed—alone, in the dark, at night. The term refers to a … Continue reading

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Forest Hunter-Gatherers and their world

Read This thesis is about a forest hunter-gatherer people, the Mbendjele Yaka Pygmies of northern Congo-Brazzaville. The thesis is based on a field research carried out between 1994 and 2001. I begin by examining certain key terms used in the … Continue reading

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Immediate Return vs. Delayed Return Societies

Read This characterisation is based on an analytical distinction between an ‘immediate-return’ hunter-gatherer economy and agricultural, herding or capitalist ‘delayed-return’ economies that is helpful for understanding the differences in approach to resource management and the environment. In delayed-return societies work … Continue reading

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The Human Nature of Teaching

In our culture we do  too much teaching, or too much of what we call “teaching;” and much of that activity interferes with education more than it helps. Some readers have wondered if  I’m just plain dead set against all … Continue reading

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