Hunter Gatherers Essay

763 Words 4 Pages
This essay discusses what hunter-gathers are and how it fits with a band organization, what life was like for Bushmen and the role of kinship and friendship, and the safety nets formed by the Ju/’hoansi people. I will evaluate the definitions of these types of groups, and what they are made up of. I will give examples of how the interwoven ties aid in survival. More specifically, I will give examples from the Bushmen of South Africa Kalahari desert area known as the Ju/’hoansi.
First, hunter-gatherers are a group of people, usually related, that rely on food that has to be found daily. This requires the group to move multiple times a month or season in order to follow game, forage for nuts, roots, and berries. According to Dr. Smiley, bands
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If one were to come back from a hunt and just come out and tell of his prowess as a tracker and hunter, he would be seen as boastful. However, if the story were drawn out a little at a time and pride pushed aside, he would be more positively acknowledged (Shostak 1983). Storytelling, according to Pauline Wiessner, about loved ones that live a distance away kept their memory of them alive (Dreifus 2009). It also was accompanied by making gifts for these distant loved ones throughout the year and during times of need. By exchanging gift throughout the year the relationships remained strong, and during lean times when a band may need to travel to acquire food from a distant band. Wiessner referred to these acts as a type of “insurance” for survival. Peter-Goldmen refers to this gift-giving as hxaro exchanges. These exchanges are vital for the immediate positive relationships within a band but, “…play a central role in Ju/’hoan mobility and social a focal point in any visit” (Peters-Goldmen 2009: 109). These exchanges need not be of equal “value” because the act of making a gift coupled with the giving of the gift elicited its

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