Menu Expand
Hunters and Gatherers in the Modern World

Hunters and Gatherers in the Modern World

Megan Biesele | Robert H. Hitchcock | Peter P. Schweitzer


Additional Information

Book Details


In an age of heightened awareness of the threat that western industrialized societies pose to the environment, hunters and gatherers attract particularly strong interest because they occupy the ecological niches that are constantly eroded. Despite the denial of sovereignty, the world's more than 350 million indigenous peoples continue to assert aboriginal title to significant portions of the world's remaining bio-diversity. As a result, conflicts between tribal peoples and nation states are on the increase. Today, many of the societies that gave the field of anthropology its empirical foundations and unique global vision of a diverse and evolving humanity are being destroyed as a result of national economic, political, and military policies.

Although quite a sizable body of literature exists on the living conditions of the hunters and gatherers, this volume is unique in that it represents the first extensive east-west scholarly exchange in anthropology since the demise of the USSR. Moreover, it also offers new perspectives from indigenous communities and scholars in an exchange that be termed "south-north" as opposed to " north-north," denoting the predominance of northern Europe and North America in scholarly debate.

The main focus of this volume is on the internal dynamics and political strategies of hunting and gathering societies in areas of self-determination and self-representation. More specifically, it examines areas such as warfare and conflict resolution, resistance, identity and the state, demography and ecology, gender and representation, and world view and religion. It raises a large number of major issues of common concerns and therefore makes important reading for all those interested in human rights issues, ethnic conflict, grassroots development and community organization, and environmental topics.

Peter P. Schweitzer is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Lecturer at the Institute of Ethnology, Cultural, and Social Anthropology, University of Vienna.

Megan Biesele is President, School of Expressive Culture, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. She helped found the Kalahari Peoples Fund in 1973 and currently serves as its Coordinator. 

"... the fact that a third of the articles are devoted to peoples in Siberia, rarely encountered in the general anthropological literature, makes this volume particularly attractive."  · Anthropologie et Societes

"This volume is rich in ethnographic detail and nicely illustrates the theoretical and topical diversity the field of hunter-gatherer studies has to offer."  · Anthropos

"This volume is important not only because of the questions it raises as far as hunter-gatherer studies is concerned but also because it goes some way toward extricating the study of foraging and former foraging societies from the somewhat esoteric theoretical preoccupations that have dominated hunter-gatherer studies in the past."  · American Anthropologist

Robert H. Hitchcock is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Anthropology Department, as well as the coordinator of African Studies, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is involved in research and development project monitoring, evacuation, and implementation, primarily in southern and eastern Africa and North America.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Title Page iii
Copyright Page iv
Dedication v
Table of Contents vii
List of Illustrations x
Preface xi
Introduction 1
Chapter 1. Silence and Other Misunderstandings 29
Part I. Warfare and Conflict Resolution 53
Chapter 2. Visions of Conflist, Conflicts of Vision Among Contemporary Dene Tha 55
Chapter 3. Warfare Among the Hunters And Fishermen of Western Siberia 77
Chapter 4. Homicide and Agression Among the Agta of Eastern Luzon, The Philippines, 1910-1985 94
Chapter 5. Conflict Management in a Modern Inuit Community 110
Chapter 6. Wars and Chiefs Among the Samoyeds and Ugrians of Western Siberia 125
Chapter 7. Ritual Violence Among the Peoples of Northeastern Siberia 150
Chapter 8. Patterns of War and Peace Among Complex Hunter-Gatherers 164
Part II. Resistance, Identity, and the State 181
Chapter 9. The Concept of an International Ethnoecological Refuge 183
Chapter 10. Aboriginal Responses to Mining in Australia 192
Chapter 11. Political Movement, Legal Reformation, and Transformation of Ainu Identity 192
Chapter 12. Tracking the \"Wild Tungus\" in Taimyr 223
Chapter 13. Marginality with a Difference, Or How the Huaorani Preserve Their Sharing Relations and Naturalize Outside Powers 244
Part III. Ecology, Demography and Market Issues 261
Chapter 14. \"Interest in the Present\" in the Nationwide Monetary Economy 263
Chapter 15. Dynamics of Adaption to Market Economy Among the Ayoreode of Northwest Paraguay 275
Chapter 16. Can Hunter-Gatherers Live In Tropical Rain Forests? 287
Chapter 17. The Ju'/hoansi San Under Two States 305
Chapter 18. Russia's Northern Indigenous People 327
Part IV. Gender and Representations 341
Chapter 19. Gender Role Transformation Among Australian Aborigines 343
Chapter 20. Names That Escape the State 361
Chapter 21. Central African Government's and International NGOs' Perceptions of Baka Pygmy Development 380
Chapter 22. The Role of Women in Mansi Society 391
Part V. World-View and Religious Determination 411
Chapter 24. Painting as Politics 413
Chapter 25. Gifts from the Immortal Ancestors 427
Chapter 26. Time in the Traditional World-View of the Kets 455
Notes on Contributors 475
Appendix 485
Index 487