Band Level of Integration

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

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Band Level of Integration

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

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