Chimpanzee Culture Essay

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For a long time, humans have been the only ones to be regarded as having culture. Within human culture, there exist many diverse culture since each community and place there are different people and practices that they have. For example, Secret Santa, an event where friends or people within a community exchange gifts however, does not reveal who gave the gift. That type of event or gift exchange does not include in some other communities so that gradually becomes a type of culture within a certain group. Since there is evidence that chimpanzees could have been human’s ancestors or related to human ancestors, anthropologists over the past years have started studying whether culture exists within the chimpanzees’ communities. Anthropologists …show more content…
Another definition that anthropologists came up with is that animals and chimps acquire culture through “social transmission mechanism”, according to “Cultures in Chimpanzees” written by Andrew Whiten et al. Finally, a third definition(s) that anthropologists has come up with is that culture within chimpanzee communities are acquired socially but, due to it being acquired socially there is always a possible chance that culture will evolve as chimpanzees acquire new practices. In addition to the third definition, anthropologists also proposed that culture “is based on shared meanings between members of the same group or society” (Boesch …show more content…
In addition, the flexibility of the chimpanzees’ culture allows them to shape their environment to gain access to important new food sources, develop arbitrary signs that have shared meaning, and develop subcultures that distinguish individual groups from their neighbors” (Boesch 89).
This concludes that social behavior and use of tools in chimp culture is always acquired through learning and specific social interactions between chimps. And Boesch also concludes chimps’ culture is always changing as chimps are also coming up with new types of tools to make their lives simpler. Chimps and humans have been found to have many similarities and differences however one aspect remain the same and that is culture exists within both groups. Some chimp cultures resemble human culture, however chimps obtain their culture differently than humans. Through many studies anthropologists have come up with many ideas and a major discovery is that chimps do not attain culture through genetically, but socially and it is evolving as well since new tools and social behaviors are always introduced in chimp communities. Though there are many major discoveries as to how chimps have culture, one question remains unanswered as anthropologists continue to research to provide an answer to and that question

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