HUNTER GATHERER SOCIETY
The hunter gatherer society is the
earliest form of human society and still persisting to some extent in remote regions of
The hunter gatherer societies have
an economic base that rests on the use of the naturally occurring animal and plant
resources of the environment.
The hunter gatherer society does
not practice agriculture or raise and herd animals. Social
structure is usually egalitarian with little economic
and gender inequality. Private property is minimal.
The hunter gatherer society is
among the early societies believed to have had a matriarchal
Hunting and gathering was
subsistence strategy of hunter gatherer societies for more than two million years.
In a hunter-gatherer society the
primary subsistence method involves the direct procurement of edible plants and animals
from the wild, foraging and hunting without significant recourse to the domestication of
either. The Hunter-gatherer society obtains most from gathering rather than hunting.
Originally, hunter-gatherer society lived exclusively in open savanna and were generally
meat scavangers than hunters. They used carcasses of large animals killed by other
predators or carcasses from animals that died by natural cause.
Ethnographic studies and historical information,
provide information about hunter-gatherer society. Interdisciplinary fields such as
ethnohistory, ethnoarchaeology, human ecology,
paleoanthropology and paleoethnobotany also throw light on hunter-gatherers.
Hunter-gatherer societies have
non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures. Hunter gatherer societies there is sexual
parity. Egalitarianism is common in hunter-gatherer groups. Hunters will share meat
with the rest of the group.
In hunter-gatherer societies war is caused by grudges and vendettas rather than for
territory or economic benefit.
Some Marxists have theorised that hunter-gatherers would have
used primitive communism and anarcho-primitivists elaborate the mechanics further by
asserting it would have been a gift economy, (although this would not have applied for all
hunter-gatherer societies.) Mutual exchange and sharing of resources (meat gained from
hunting) are important in the economic systems of Hunter gatherer societies. - Thomas M.
Kiefer "Anthropology E-20". Subsistence, Ecology and
Food production. Harvard University.
Upper Palaeolithic figures as a
reflection of human morphology and social organization
Duhard, Jean-Pierre - Antiquity 67. 254 (March, 1993): 83 (9 pages).
Abstract: An analysis of Upper Palaeolithic figures indicated a sexual social
differentiation in the hunter-gatherer society and showed the priviledged role accorded to
women in the primitive community. This was exemplified by the depiction of women in a
majority of the Palaeolithic figures and apparent underrepresentation of men and children.
Biogeography and Long-Run Economic
Ola Olsson and Douglas A. Hibbs, Jr.
Working Papers in Economics no 26 August 2000 - Department of Economics, Göteborg
Abstract: The transition from a hunter-gather economy to agricultural production, which
made possible the endogenous technological progress that ultimately led to the industrial revolution, is one of the most important
events in the thousands of years of humankinds economic development. In this paper
we present theory and evidence showing that exogenous geography and initial condition
biogeography exerted decisive influence on the location and timing of transitions to
sedentary agriculture, to complex social organization and, eventually, to modern