Hunter-Gatherer Morals

Chris Boehm

Membership Lecture, The New Mexico History Museum Auditorium

Thursday, September 10, 2015, 6:30–7:30 pm,
Free for SAR members • $10 for nonmembers

Bushmen discussionBushmen discussion

Photo courtesy of Polly Wiessner.

Bushmen discussion

Photo courtesy of Polly Wiessner.

When it comes to determining the moral life of late Pleistocene foragers, scientists have little to go on. Using a large hunter-gatherer database that he created, cultural anthropologist Chris Boehm reconstructs the moral life of prehistoric foragers through the use of ethnographic analogy. The morals of today’s hunter-gatherers are closely coordinated with what they do for a living and with their intense interest in keeping band life egalitarian and cooperative. They have strong opinions about right and wrong and are willing to act as a group to impose group rules on individuals prone to deviate. Foragers live by the Golden Rule, promoting generous behavior which contributes to cooperation.


Bushmen talk about drunken familyBushmen talk about drunken family

Photo courtesy of Polly Wiessner.

Bushmen talk about drunken family

Photo courtesy of Polly Wiessner.



Sponsored by:
Santa Fe Audio Visual


Series Sponsors:
Adobo Catering
Thornburg Investment Management
Betty and Luke Vortman Endowment Fund

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