This is a small group of politically independent, though relatedhouseholds and the least complex form of political organisation. It isusually found amongst food foragers and other nomadic societies intowhich people are organised into autonomous and extended family groups. They are, thus, kinship groups. This is perhaps the oldest form of politicalorganisation, since all humans were once food foragers.Bands are typically small in size, and societies with bands have lowpopulation density.
estimated that density in bandsocieties range from a maximum of 1 person per 5 sq miles to a minimumof 1 person per 50 sq miles. For example, the Andaman Islanders had aband consisting of 40-50 persons, occupying an area of roughly 16 sq miles.Band size, very often, varies by season, the band breaking up orrecombining according to the food resources available at a given time andplace. For example, Eskimo bands are smaller in winter where food is hardto find, and larger in summer when there is sufficient food to feed a largergroup. American Indian tribes of the plains scatter in tiny bands in winterand form a conglomeration of tribal assemblies during the summer, whenlush green pastures are to be shared by all their cattle.Political decision-making within the band is generally informal, since theformal permanent office of the leader does not exist. Decisions such aswhen the camp has to move, or how a hunt has to be arranged, are eitheragreed upon by the community as a whole, or are made by the bestqualified member. Leadership is not the consequence of bossing orthrowing one’s weight about; each band may have its informal headman orits most proficient hunter, or a person most accomplished in ritual, but sucha person or persons will have gained the status through the community’srecognition of skill, good sense and humility. Leadership, in other words,stems not from power, but from influence; not from office, but fromadmired personal qualities. For example, in the Eskimo bands, eachsettlement may have a headman, who acquires his influence because theother members of the community recognise his good judgment andsuperior skills. Eskimo leaders are male, but men often consult their wivesin private, and women who hunt seem to have more influence. In any case,leadership exists only in a very restricted sense. Bands are more egalitariansocieties.