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Hunter-Gatherers Use Division of Labor



(p. D4) The division of labor in hunter-gatherer communities is complex and sophisticated, and crucial to their economic success, researchers report.

A paper in the journal Philosophical Transactions B looks at two hunter-gatherer groups: the Tsimane game hunters of lowland Bolivia, and the Jenu Kuruba honey collectors of South India.

"In contrast to the simple cave man view of a hunter-gatherer, we found that it requires a tremendous amount of skill, knowledge and training," said Paul Hooper, an anthropologist at Emory University and one of the study's authors.


. . .


When Jenu Kuruba men go in search of honey, Dr. Hooper said, "there's one man who specializes in making smoke to subdue the bees, another that climbs the trees, and others that act as support staff to lower combs."



For the full story, see:

SINDYA N. BHANOO. "Observatory; Nothing Simple About Hunter-Gatherer Societies." The New York Times (Tues., OCT. 27, 2015): D4.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date OCT. 26, 2015.)


The academic article mentioned in the passage quoted above, is:

Hooper, Paul L., Kathryn Demps, Michael Gurven, Drew Gerkey, and Hillard S. Kaplan. "Skills, Division of Labour and Economies of Scale among Amazonian Hunters and South Indian Honey Collectors." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 370, no. 1683 (Oct. 2015), DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0008.






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