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Band Level of Integration

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Deacribes the General Characteristics of Foragers and the Band Level of Integration.

Deacribes the General Characteristics of Foragers and the Band Level of Integration.

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  • 1. Band Level of Integration Family and Multifamily Groups
  • 2. Band Level of Integration
    • Band in recent history are found in marginal areas
    • Inuit (Eskimo) in cold climates of North America (upper left)
    • !Kung San of the Kalahari in southern Africa (lower left)
    • Aborigines in Australia, who adapted to a dry climate for 40,000 or more
    • Mbuti “pygmies” of the Ituri rainforest in Congo
  • 3. Bands: Main Feature
    • They comprise a few families at most
    • Populations: 40-100
    • They tend to be nomadic
    • Leadership is informal and not permanent
    • Their property is communalistic; private ownership is rare or nonexistent
    • Subsistence base: simple foraging
  • 4. Simple Foraging: Main Features I
    • Food is where you find it
    • Direct dependence on naturally available plants and animals
    • Plant foods (like the mongongo nuts this !Kung woman just gathered) are the most abundant
    • They form 80% of the diet among most foragers
    • Animal food is hard to come by
  • 5. Simple Foraging: Main Features II
    • Near total reliance on hunting is rare (as among the seal-hunting Inuit here)
    • Fluctuation of food sources by place, season, and year
    • Means of meat storage rare or nonexistent—except in the North
    • Foragers do have wide variety of food, however
  • 6. Foraging: Carrying Capacity
    • Population limited by the environment
    • Its carrying capacity is the population that resources can support
    • Liebig’s Law of the Minimum defines carrying capacity.
    • According to this law, a population may not increase
    • Beyond the minimum amount of critical resources of a given environment
  • 7. Liebig’s Law of the Minimum Illustrated
    • The lowest stave of a barrel limits its capacity
    • Plants can yield only as much
    • As the amount of a critical nutrient is available.
    • This principle applies to carrying capacity limits
    • When the lowest stave is lengthened,
    • The next lowest stave sets the limit
  • 8. Foraging: Sharing and Property: Netsilik Inuit (Eskimo)
    • Sharing ethic: rules govern meat sharing
    • Netsilik Inuit: Partnerships by the anatomical part of the seal
    • A hunter’s partner may be his “shoulder”
    • If he kills the seal he gives his partner the shoulder
    • If the partner bags the seal, then he gives the shoulder to the first man
  • 9. Foraging: Sharing and Property: !Kung Hunters
    • !Kung: Hunters and owner of arrow “own” the game
    • Ownership is only stewardship;
    • An “owner” keeps the animal until the time comes to share
    • Game is shared by definite obligations
    • Property: communalism—land may be used by all in the band
  • 10. Effects of Contact with Industrialized Society
    • Individual families may own food or other objects
    • Nuts, roots, and other plant foods are property of a woman and her family
    • Land itself is accessible to all
    • Conflict arises when “white” society imposes private ownership of land
    • Walkabout demonstrates this conflict
  • 11. Foraging: Other Derived Characteristics
    • Egalitarianism
    • No incentive to hoard
    • Social class differences minimal
    • Work time
    • Average: 15-20 hours/week
    • Nonintensive labor with other activities
    • Domestic mode of production: work done until needs are met
  • 12. Complex Foraging: Primary Characteristics
    • Food source dependence is still direct
    • Food sources now are richer
    • Contemporary example: Salmon complex in NW Coast societies, Inuit of Alaska’s North Slope
    • Variance still occurs by season and location
    • Carrying capacity of environment is higher
    • Minimum specified in Liebig’s Law is higher than in simple foragers
  • 13. Complex Foraging: Derived Characteristics
    • Settled communities form
    • They depend on stable, rich resources
    • Groups need not rely only on plant or animal domestication
    • Assemblage of tools and artifacts will:
    • Multiply in number;
    • Multiply in type (specialization)
  • 14. Social and Cultural Features of Complex Foragers
    • As populations increase, societies become more complex
    • In Mesolithic, settled communities were common without agriculture
    • Monte Verde, Chile, was one example (upper left)
    • Recent examples: Kwakiutl of Northwest coast (lower left)
    • Main food: salmon, which was plentiful and preserved by smoking
  • 15. Band Economies
    • Bands do exchange goods
    • Nevertheless, they rarely have markets
    • Exception: Trade with the outside world
    • Trading posts portrayed in Nanook of the North
    • Shops in !Kung territory
    • Outside trade with whites, rules of reciprocity govern exchange
  • 16. Imperatives of Exchange: Background
    • Marcel Mauss: The Gift (upper left)
    • Preface: “When two groups of men meet, they may move away or
    • in case of mistrust they may resort to arms
    • or else they may come to terms”
    • Coming to terms, he called “total prestations” or
    • an obligation that has the force of law
    • in the absence of law
    • As shown here by this New Guinean man (lower left)
  • 17. Obligations of the Gift
    • Obligation to give
    • To extend social ties to other person or groups
    • Obligation to receive
    • To accept the relationship
    • Refusal is rejection of offered relationship
    • Induces hostilities
    • Obligation to repay
    • Failure to repay renders one a beggar
  • 18. Types of Reciprocity: Generalized
    • The obligations underlie the principles of reciprocity
    • Reciprocity: Direct exchange of goods and services
    • Generalized reciprocity: altruistic transactions.
    • Gifts are freely given without calculating value or repayment due
    • Example: meat distribution among !Kung (left)
  • 19. Types of Reciprocity: Balanced
    • Balanced reciprocity: Direct exchange
    • Value of gift is calculated
    • Time of repayment is specified
    • Selling surplus food (upper left)
    • Kula ring, Trobriand Islands
    • One trader gives partner a white armband (see map, lower left)
    • Expects a red necklace of equal value in return
    • Promissory gifts are made until return is made
  • 20. Band Level of Integration: Egalitarianism
    • Individuals depend on ability alone for prestige
    • No one individual “Lords it over“ the others
    • Indeed, there are sanctions against such behavior
    • See what happened when Richard Lee gave an ox to his Dobe hosts (next slide)
  • 21. By Way of Introduction: Case Study
    • “ Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” by Richard Lee
    • Lee conducted an ethnographic study of the Dobe !Kung or Ju/’hoansi (left)
    • He gave the band a fattened ox to thank them
    • Reaction: Dobe ridiculed this gift
    • Lesson: the !Kung typically ridicule valuable game.
    • This is “insulting the meat”
  • 22. Why This Bizarre Behavior?
    • Tomazo’s answer: “Arrogance.”
    • “ When a young man kills much meat,
    • He thinks himself as a chief or big man
    • And the rest of us as his servants.
    • We cannot accept this.
    • Someday his pride will make him kill somebody.
    • So we always speak of his meat as worthless.
    • That way, we cool his heart and make him gentle.”
  • 23. Lessons from This Tale
    • Even bandsmen know about inequality
    • They fear domination by one man
    • Unusual gifts always involve some ulterior motive
    • So they denigrate this gifts
    • The reaction conforms to a model of reverse dominance hierarchy
  • 24. Reverse Dominance Hierarchy: A Definition
    • Primary Source: Boehm’s Hierarchy in the Forest
    • Definition: a collective reaction to
    • anyone’s attempt to dominate his fellows
    • Summary: “All men seek to rule
    • but if they cannot rule
    • they seek to be equal.”
    • — Harold Schneider, Economic Anthropologist
  • 25. Reverse Dominant Hierarchy: Band/Tribal Egalitarianism
    • The group consciously suppresses individuals trying to dominate the band
    • “ Upstart” Individuals Try to Dominate the Band/Tribe
    • Coalitions Suppress Every Such Attempt
    • Ridicule (!Kung “Insulting the Meat”)
    • Song Duels (Inuit/Eskimo—left photo)
    • Extreme Case: Homicide by Group-Selected Executioner
  • 26. Bands: A Definition
    • Small group of related households occupying a particular region
    • People often come and go
    • Bands do not yield sovereignty to larger group such as a chiefdom
    • Leadership is conducted by persuasion rather than use of force.
    • There are no permanent leader status or offices
    • Examples: !Kung, Inuit, Mbuti (left)
  • 27. Supernatural Beliefs: Magic
    • Sir James Frazier’s distinction: Magic versus Religion
    • Magic: manipulation of supernatural beings and/or forces
    • Sympathetic vs. contagious magic
    • Usually addresses an immediate problem
    • Left: a jealous husband raising a tupilik (monster) in Greenland to attack his rival
  • 28. Supernatural Beliefs: Religion
    • Religion: Recognition of unseen world
    • Focus: explanation based on myth
    • Supplication emphasized
    • Considerable overlap in distinction between magic and religion
    • Left: St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes, is often invoked to intercede for the hopeless
  • 29. Supernatural Beliefs: Animism
    • Most band and tribal societies believe in animism
    • This is the belief that spirits inhabits all things
    • The faces carved in trees comprise one example (left)
    • The False Face society of the Iroquois carved masks from trees
    • Believing the spirits would be infused into the masks.
  • 30. Band Level Societies: Conclusion and Case Studies
    • The features of band are ideal types
    • These features are what one expects of informal groups
    • Your task: compare the ideal types presented here
    • With actual case studies:
    • The Inuit of Alaska (upper left)
    • The Shoshone of the
    • The !Kung San of the Kalahari (lower left)