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Chap. 6 ANTH 212 EE
Chapter 6 Narrated Powerpoint for ANTH 212
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Okay, now we're on to Chapter Six,
something very basic, Getting Food.
And these are the topics that we're gonna consider.
Foraging, sometimes called hunting and gathering
is the oldest method of food extraction
that humans have engaged in
for about 98% of their history as a species,
and it's essentially living off the land
and taking plants and animals
as they are encountered.
Food production talks about the origins of agriculture,
we talk about several different kinds
of production systems.
We'll take a look at environmental restraints
on food getting, for example,
no use growing rice in the desert, can't sustain it,
but it's more complex than that.
The origins of food production is interesting because
we were hunter-gatherers for a long period of time.
We developed simple agriculture,
and one of the curious responses was that
the stature of the average human shrank.
It was a really tough time for us.
Later, we recovered.
Then the spread and intensification
of food production around the world.
And here, we essentially see a process
where more intensive forms of agricultural,
agriculture production have essentially
pushed out people who rely on what we call
horticultural or pastoralism
and that's the kind of food production system
that we have today, industrial agriculture.
So foraging, sometimes called hunting-gathering,
is a kind of food collecting.
It's generally defined as the food getting strategy
that obtains wild plants and animal resources
through gathering, hunting, scavenging or fishing.
And here are some examples of classic hunter-gatherers.
The top picture of Australian aboriginals.
Australia was a continent that was
completely filled with hunters and gatherers.
A very dry climate, not much in the way
of agricultural potential, but when Europeans moved in,
then agriculture was established there.
And unfortunately it pushed out
a lot of the native groups there.
But you see, they have very kind of simple technology.
We actually can't see it, but trust me,
they do have simple technology.
Then if you look at the Inuit or Eskimo,
you can see by their dress,
much more technologically sophisticated,
and clothing is part of technology,
so be aware of that.
They again, live in a very tough environment.
But they have an extremely ingenious form
of technology in the way, whether it ranges from
snow houses that protect them from the elements,
various kinds of spears, bows, and arrows,
(unclear), harpoons, kayaks, which you all know,
maybe many of you like kayaks.
Well, they were invented by the Inuit
and as well as the down parka.
That again is an invention of the Inuit
that we've taken advantage of
and so you can see that technology
can vary tremendously depending on the kind of
environment that hunter-gatherers live in.
Some general features of foragers,
they typically live in small communities,
twenty five to thirty five people in a group
is about average, about maybe five families or so.
They tend to move around quite a bit, that is,
they essentially move to a place, collect the resources,
when those resources become scarce
they move to another area where resources are richer,
and the process begins again.
And they have a division of labor
that's essentially based on age and gender.
Now that is, classically,
men do nearly all of the hunting,
women do much of the gathering,
although men will also gather.
Women do a lot of the food preparation
and other activities, but this is kind of
a classic division of labor.
Man the hunter, woman the gatherer
is well represented in this kind of
food extraction system.
Just to give you an idea of the kind of
ranges they have to exploit,
here's a group called the Netsilik.
We're gonna talk about a group called the Netsilik,
they're an Inuit or Eskimo group,
and essentially the area that this one group
of about maybe...
Sixty people exploit is in that red center there
in Nebraska, that red square in Nebraska.
And what this means is that you could probably
only put about four or five Netsilik groups
in the area of Nebraska
and that just kind of gives you an idea
of, you know, living in the Arctic,
resources aren't dense.
And so what it really puts a premium on
is an incredible knowledge, geographic knowledge,
of the environment and, you know,
imagine knowing where all the resources are
in such a large area.
And that kind of knowledge is really essential to
your ability to survive, so you've gotta be pretty smart
to be a hunter-gatherer in this kind of environment
or most other kinds of environments.
Now sometimes, especially in the northwest coast
of North America, southern Alaska, Washington, and Oregon,
and parts of northern California,
that kind of coastal area there,
some hunter-gatherers depend heavily on fishing,
especially salmon runs that go up the rivers
such as the Klamath and other rivers in the area.
And they're able to have really large communities
and they're pretty much semi-permanent.
They had a great deal of social inequality,
that is, there were chiefs and commoners.
Typically among hunter-gatherers
such as the Inuit you saw earlier
or the Australian aborigines
that we have kind of equality or
an egalitarian kind of society.
Here we had a tremendous amount of
social ranking and inequality, and so
some hunter-gatherer societies could become quite complex.
And here's just kind of an example
of some of their artistic traditions.
The mask there that they're famous for
in this really kind of interesting
what we call "split representation."
And also if you take a look at a plank house,
we have here a shot taken in 1899,
when these houses were still present
and with the iconic totem poles.
Again, it derives from this kind of society.
You can see that it was a very kind of
artistically complex form of society.
So some hunter-gatherers can be very complex,
but typically they're not.
If we were to kind of look at,
we're gonna look at foragers and
horticulturalists and pastoralists
and intensive agriculturalists a little bit later
but we're moving essentially from,
as we move from foragers to pastoralists
to intensive agriculturalists,
what we're talking about is that
people are extracting more and more
food energy out of the land.
As a consequence, their populations are larger.
As we move from foraging to intensive agriculture
then mobility decreases,
people begin to live in permanent houses.
What's really interesting about hunter-gatherers
is that food shortages are very infrequent
but as we move to pastoralists
and intensive agriculturalists
the possibility of some kind of famine increases
and that's because people are living on the edge.
They're squeezing every last calorie they can
onto the environment
and as a consequence, any kind of
climatic changes can cause problems.
So that's kind of an interesting difference
in food security that we have.
And so, take a look at this chart.
It kind of gives you some good general trends
as we move from very low levels of extraction foragers
to the highest levels of
extraction intensive agriculturalists.
Food production began about ten thousand years ago
and although it was most early,
it was found earliest in the middle east,
and area we call the fertile crescent
in Iraq and parts of Turkey,
it was independently invented as the tech shows
in North America, South America, India, Asia,
especially China, and southeast Asia, and so,
but pretty much, as the world began to fill up
and they could no longer successfully live
by just living off the land,
they had to invent something we call food production,
our general agriculture,
to essentially support increasingly dense populations.
And so we're gonna go through a couple of different
kinds of post hunting and gathering or foraging systems.
Horticulture, intensive agriculture, and pastoralism.
And horticulture is the simplest form of agriculture.
It's relatively simple.
Sometimes it's called slash and burn agriculture.
That is, people will clear areas of forest.
They burn the debris,
that provides a little bit of fertilization.
They plant, they're able to cultivate the area of land
for a couple of years, after which
either soil nutrients begin to get deplenished
or weeds become more and more tough to eradicate
until such a time it's better to start all over again
in a new area of land.
That sometimes is called shifting agriculture
in that it moves from place to place to place
through time as people give up on land,
clear new areas of land.
The land that they've left begins to regenerate again
and so it's a kind of a stable system.
And there are two horticultural societies described,
the Yanamamo and the Samoans,
and by the way, I've done a lot of work
on the Yanamamo.
Some of my work is cited there in terms of
how their horticultural system works
and some time allocation studies
in terms of how much time they spent
hunting, gathering, fishing, and cultivating.
For a lot of these groups, simple horticultural groups,
although they do plant, they do depend also a lot
on hunting, gathering, and fishing
to supplement their diet,
mainly by getting high quality protein into the diet.
Intensive agriculture, here we have a change
that we have permanent field cultivation.
The soil is turned over with plows
or extensive hoeing, sometimes irrigation,
sometimes drainage is part of the system.
For example, in New Guinea where you get a lot of rain,
what you have to do is have raised beds.
And so again, the fields tend to be permanent,
or they're rotated with different crops
or let to lay fallow for a couple years.
But this is intensive agriculture
and it supports a higher population density
and two groups are illustrated in the text
in rural Greece and then in rural Vietnam
along the Mekong Delta
with the rice cultivation.
And so take a look at those kinds of systems.
They're very similar,
even though they grow different crops
but in terms of how they do their cultivation.
They rest land, and they irrigate,
and they fertilize, and things of that nature.
In fact, you know, irrigation and fertilization
are absent typically in horticultural groups
but they're present in agricultural groups.
And, also, what we have too in both these groups
is they used domesticated animals as tractors.
That is, traction animals,
that is, they're needed to help turn over the ground
to kind of mix nutrients and enhance the quality
of the soil to allow roots to penetrate
more easily and more deeply into the soil.
So again, putting more labor into a
constant area of land is a hallmark
of what goes in as we move from
these different forms of food getting.
And then pastoralism is a subsistence technology
involving primarily the raising of large herd of animals.
Typically in pastoralism,
agriculture is possible to some extent
but it's not very reliable.
As a consequence, they rely on animals
who are well adapted to the local environment
and the kind of food products they get
from these animals is not really the meat.
They typically slaughter old animals,
and they may use that for the meat,
and sometimes occasionally younger animals,
but it's mainly the dairy products
or blood products that are used
because, you know, if you kill a cow
then you can't milk it anymore.
And so what they used these animals for
is, you know, what they produce
in the way of milk and blood.
And there are two examples given.
One are the Lapps, who live in,
they're sometimes called the Sami, S-A-M-I,
who live in Finland, and they rely on reindeer milk
and then the Basseri who are, you know,
a middle eastern group who raise
a variety of different animals.
Again, except for the Lapps, they're an exception,
they don't do any cultivation at all
cause they can't, given the kind of
environment they live in.
Most of these groups do some agricultural,
but it's not very reliable
and so typical with these pastoral societies
is that they rely on trading relationships
with settled agricultural groups
where they exchange meat and dairy products
for grains that the agriculturalists cultivate, or produce.
Environmental restraints on food-getting, you know,
how much does the physical environment
The physical environment normally exercises
restraining rather than a determining influence
on how people in an area get their food.
For example, if you're an Inuit,
you live in the Arctic, well agriculture is out,
but in some areas of the Arctic,
for example, the Lapps, they're able to herd reindeer.
And so the environment, you know, kind of
blocks off the certain kinds of strategies
that you can pursue
and forcing or allowing others to be utilized
to get food.
And, you know, we see, back to pastoralism now,
steppes, prairies, and savannas,
these dry areas that are rich in grasses,
they're unforested or if they're forested they have
what we call parkland forest,
kind of outcrops of trees here and there
like you might see in a park.
And again, the reliance is on animals
that are well adapted to these kind of
low rainfalls kinds of environments.
The origins of food production again,
And that's essentially the motor that allows,
or forces agriculture to be developed.
And again, one of the really interesting phenomena
that we found were that agriculture was invented,
soon after it was invented, it turns out that
stature reduced by four or five inches for men and women.
Lots of evidence of malnutrition.
But once it gets going, they get a better
balanced diet, more reliable food production
then these sorts or problems disappear
and the growth patterns begin to increase
as they were among hunter-gatherers.
You know, global population growth is a
kind of main factor, all the world essentially
is being filled up with people who cultivate
and they displaced hunter-gatherers through time
and part of the factors that may have had
led to food production was the emergence of
hotter, dryer summers and colder winters
about ten thousand years ago
so there may have been a kind of climatic push
that led people to engage in agriculture.
And again, as I mentioned
in competition for land between
food producers and food collectors,
food producers may have had a significant advantage.
I'd say they absolutely had an advantage
in most places because essentially
if you have technological parity
and warfare is going on,
then the group that can put the most warriors
into the field is going to win the battle
if they're all using the same weapons.
And in this case, agriculturalists were able to do so.
A good example, many of you are probably aware of,
whether it's not technological parity,
for example, Genghis Khan and other nomadic people,
given their use of bow and arrow and horses
were able to defeat a lot of settled groups
even though they didn't have a numerical advantage
but the speed and maneuverability of cavalry
allowed them to essentially overcome, for a time,
a number of more complexly organized agricultural groups.
Here are, you know, this is essentially
for me adding stuff into the textbook.
Here are some of the general trends
in the food extraction systems.
So we move from hunters and gatherers
to intensive agriculture, we're talking about
extracting food energy from the environment.
So what you get through time as you move
from hunter-gatherers to intensive agriculture
to indeed petrochemically dependent agriculture.
Increased landscape modification,
that is, the land is converted from a wild scape
to an agricultural landscape,
lowered biodiversity, lack of conservation,
that is, you simplify the environment
by planting acres and acres of pure strands of rice
or wheat or whatever crop you happen to be growing.
Increased energy output per unit area,
you're pulling more energy out of
a hectare or acre of land.
That's what allows you to produce
or support a greater population.
Increased energy input per unit area,
you're putting more energy in every unit
of square meter or hectare or acre of land
as you, you know, kind of manipulate it
to the maximum by bringing water to it,
adding fertilizer to it,
turning the soil over with traction animals.
You get specialization and monocropping,
that is, again, instead of hunter-gatherers
relying on, you know, maybe a couple dozen food resources
but intensive agriculturalists only rely on
a couple kinds of resources so you get
this kind of monocropping that goes on.
Decreased use of wild resources,
this is fairly obvious,
that if you convert most of the landscape to
agricultural lands, well there's not much in the way
of wild resources to depend on
to make the diet more varied and to,
you know, fill in all your nutritional needs.
And then greater energy input per unit output.
Actually, with petrochemical resources
for every one calorie of food energy
we create through cultivation, we have to expend
eight calories of energy.
And most of this is petrochemical energies
and clearly it's an unsustainable system
because it depends on a resource,
oil, largely, that declines through time.
So these are the main trends that have happened
as we move from the hunting and the gathering
to intensive agriculture, which is the heart of
what is in chapter six.
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