Hunting, healing, and hxaro exchange. A long-term perspective on !Kung (Ju/'hoansi) large-game hunting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

146 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The question of why hunters target large game knowing that most of the meat will end up far beyond their own hearths is an intriguing one. It raises the issue of whether foragers pursue nonnutritional goals in food procurement and which goals they pursue. Here, I will use data from studies that have been carried out over a 34-year period among the Ju/'hoansi (!Kung Bushmen) to evaluate four hypotheses concerning why foragers target large game: reciprocity, costly signaling, nepotism, and long-term political goals aimed at bringing about conditions conducive to cooperative breeding. I will propose on the basis of qualitative and quantitative data that (1) all four hypotheses identify benefits that are gained by Ju/'hoansi through producing and distributing a surplus of meat, (2) different benefits might be important at different stages of a man's life, and (3) the pursuit of broader political goals merits serious consideration in accounting for men's work effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-436
Number of pages30
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

meat
Meat
hunting
nepotism
cooperative breeding
reciprocity
Breeding
Food
food
surpluses
Hunting
Foragers
Healing
surplus
Hearth
Surplus
Merit
Hunters
Pursuit
Costly Signaling

Keywords

  • !Kung Bushmen (Ju/hoansi)
  • Cooperative breeding
  • Costly signalling
  • Exchange
  • Food sharing
  • Hunter-gatherers
  • Hunting
  • Nepotism
  • Trance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Hunting, healing, and hxaro exchange. A long-term perspective on !Kung (Ju/'hoansi) large-game hunting. / Wiessner, Pauline.

In: Evolution and Human Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 6, 11.2002, p. 407-436.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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