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Why Forage?

Hunters and Gatherers in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Brian F. Codding and Karen L. Kramer

Foraging persists as a viable economic strategy both in remote regions and within the bounds of developed nation-states. Given the economic alternatives available, why do some groups choose to maintain their hunting and gathering lifeways? Through a series of detailed case studies, the contributors to this volume examine the decisions made by modern-day foragers to sustain a predominantly hunting and gathering way of life. What becomes clear is that hunter-gatherers continue to forage because the economic benefits of doing so are high relative to the local alternatives and, perhaps more importantly, because the social costs of not foraging are prohibitive; in other words, hunter-gatherers value the social networks built through foraging and sharing more than the potential marginal gains of a new means of subsistence. Why Forage? shows that hunting and gathering continues to be a viable and vibrant way of life even in the twenty-first century.

2016. 352 pp., 11 halftones, 2 maps, 6 charts, 31 tables, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Douglas Bird, Rebecca Bliege Bird, Brian F. Codding, James E. Coxworth, Russell Greaves, Robert K. Hitchcock, Nicholas Blurton Jones, Karen L. Kramer, Richard B. Lee, Karen Lupo, Maria Sapignoli, George Wenzel, David W. Zeanah

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List of Illustrations


Introduction: Hunters and Gatherers in the Twenty-First Century
Karen L. Kramer and Brian F. Codding

Chapter One: Diversify or Replace: What Happens to Wild Foods when Cultigens Are Introduced into Hunter-Gatherer Diets?
Karen L. Kramer and Russell D. Greaves

Chapter Two: Inuit Culture: To Have and Have Not; or, Has Subsistence Become an Anachronism?
George W. Wenzel

Chapter Three: “In the bush the food is free”: The Ju/’hoansi of Tsumkwe in the Twenty-First Century
Richard B. Lee

Chapter Four: Twenty-First-Century Hunting and Gathering among Western and Central Kalahari San
Robert K. Hitchcock and Maria Sapignoli

Chapter Five: Why Do So Few Hadza Farm?
Nicholas Blurton Jones

Chapter Six: In Pursuit of the Individual: Recent Economic Opportunities and the Persistence of Traditional Forager-Farmer Relationships in the Southwestern Central African Republic
Karen D. Lupo

Chapter Seven: What Now? Big Game Hunting, Economic Change, and the Social Strategies of Bardi Men
James E. Coxworth

Chapter Eight: Alternative Aboriginal Economies: Martu Livelihoods in the Twenty-First Century
Brian F. Codding, Rebecca Bliege Bird, Douglas W. Bird, and David W. Zeanah

Chapter Nine: Economic, Social, and Ecological Contexts of Hunting, Sharing, and Fire in the Western Desert of Australia
Rebecca Bliege Bird, Brian F. Codding, and Douglas W. Bird

Appendix A: Cross-Cultural Demographic and Social Variables for Contemporary Foraging Populations

Appendix B: Economic Activities of Twenty-First-Century Foraging Populations

List of Contributors

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.