Why are some people so rich and others so poor?
How can it be that we produce more than enough food to feed everyone in the world and yet some people are starving?
What is the future of a world economy running on nonrenewable fossil fuels?
Can technology take care of environmental problems?
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Over 80% of the Santorinos’ diet comes from their cultivated gardens, next to their huts. The rest comes from hunting by men and gathering by women. Men hunt with bows and arrows made from black palm and bamboo. Men hunt large game in the rainforests surrounding their villages, but are generally unsuccessful. They also fish.
In our culture we would trade goods to gain more food. We would travel to nearby villages to make trade. The men would be the main people that do the trading while the women stay home and take care of the home and family. Our exchange system would be different from other tribes because when we trade we do not expect anything in return in that visit. We will leave it up the other tribes to come trade with us in order to keep a trading system going. With the trading system we would build allies with other tribes by building the trust that they will also come to our tribe for exchange.
The slash-and-burn horticulture form of subsistence is very common throughout the world. The Mekranoti-Kayapo tribe (Haviland, p. 165) practice a similar mode of subsistence, as do tribes of Papua-New Guinea and the people of Chiapas, Mexico (Haviland, 164). As noted by Haviland, the slash-and-burn system produces between 10 to 20 calories for each calorie of work put in. In contrast, the high-tech farming techniques of the farmers in the U.S. actually require more energy input than they produce: 7 calories for one calorie of food energy
While their method of horticulture is very efficient, it is not as productive as intensive agriculture would be, and so it only supports small populations . Therefore the Santorinos people tend to live in small villages, often no larger than 50 people in each village. As you will read in other sections of this ethnography, this has important effects on the rest of their cultural aspects. Due to the small population there is no need for formal laws or leadership . Most disputes can be handled informally through group discussion, gossip, and ridicule. If a dispute cannot be settled, it often leads to the breakup of a village, which actually is beneficial to their subsistence as it allows people to farm on land that is virtually untouched and very fertile .
Frequent movements fit with their ambilineal kinship organization and ambilocal residence patterns . Furthermore, due to the fact that most people will ultimately know everybody they will ever see in their lifetimes, they place a strong value on interpersonal relationships and friendliness . They are very sophisticated in negotiating troublesome relationships and healing interpersonal wounds through a variety of group rituals , like the simple “interlocking elbow” greeting, offered unconditionally to everyone everyday, symbolizing their eternal “links” to one another.
Resources Haviland, W. A., et al. (2007) Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge . Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash_and_burn http://rainforests.mongabay.com/0701.htm
Structure Questions How do we make a living? How do we obtain calories and water? What technology is used and how is it used? Who exchanges, with whom, and why?