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World History & GeographyAdaptive Strategies Reading Assignment for 10/1/12 Adaptive strategy: a groups system of economic production

(means of making a living). The five main adaptive strategies are: o Foraging: Until 10,000 years ago, people everywhere were foragers (hunter-gatherers). Their lifestyles were heavily affected by the environmental conditions in which they lived. In general, warmer areas have more biodiversity (variation in plant and animal species) than colder areas. Therefore, people who lived in Europe during the ice ages were big-game hunters. Today, hunters in cold places still focus on large animals and herd animals, and their diets do not have very much vegetation or variety. This is in contrast to foragers in temperate and tropical regions. For example, on the North Pacific Coast of North America, foragers have relied upon a rich variety of land and sea resources including salmon, other fish, berries, mountain goats, seals and sea mammals. Similarly, tropical foragers have typically hunted and gathered a wide range of plant and animal life. Nevertheless, despite differences due to environmental variation, all foraging economies have shared one important feature: people rely on available natural resources for their subsistence (survival) rather than controlling the reproduction of plants and animals. The foraging way of life survived into modern times in certain environments, including a few islands and forests, along with deserts and very cold areasplaces where food production was not possible with simple technology. In many areas, foragers had been exposed to the idea of food production but never adopted it because their own economies provided a perfectly adequate (sufficient/passable) and nutritious dietwith a lot less work. In some areas, people switched back to foraging after trying food production and abandoning it. Archaeologically known foragers: Europe: paleolithic big game hunters Europe, Japan, middle East, etc.: Mesolithic broad-spectrum foragers Africa: stone age hunters and gatherers Modern foragers: Kalahari Desert, Southern Africa: San (bushmen) Equatorial forest, central and eastern Africa: Mbuti, Efe (pygmies) Madagascar, remote forests: Mikea Australia: Aborigines o Horticulture: cultivation that does not intensively use the factors of production (land, labor, capital and machinery). Horticulturalists use simple tools such as hoes and digging sticks to grow their crops. Their fields are not permanently cultivated and lie unused for varying lengths of time. Horticulture often involves slash-and-burn techniques, where land is cleared by cutting down (slashing) and burning forest or bush, or by setting fire to the grass covering a plot. The vegetation is broken down, pests are killed and the ashes remain to fertilize the soil. Crops are then sown, tended and harvested. Use of the plot is not continuous. Often it is cultivated for only a year. This depends however on soil fertility and weeds, which compete with cultivated plants for nutrients. Horticulture is also called shifting cultivation. Such shifts from plot to plot do not mean the whole villages must move when plots are abandoned. Horticulture can support large permanent villages. Example: the Kuikuru of South Americaone village of 150 people remained in the same place for 90 years. The work involved in building houses was too great, and they would rather walk further to their fields than construct a new village. Therefore, they shifted their plots rather than their settlements. o Agriculture: cultivation that requires more labor than horticulture does, because it uses land intensively and continuously. The greater labor demands associated with agriculture reflects its common use of domesticated animals, irrigation or terracing. Domesticated animals: many agriculturalists use animals as a means of productionfor transport, as cultivating machines, and for their manure. Irrigation: irrigation is the making and using of canals to transport water from water bodies (such as rivers, streams, springs and ponds) to fields. Irrigation makes it possible to cultivate a plot year after year. An irrigation field is a unique ecosystem with several species of plants and animals, many of them minute organisms whose wastes fertilize the land. Terracing: an agricultural technique used to farm hills. If crops were simply planted on the steep hillsides, fertile soil and crops would be washed away during the rainy season. To prevent this, agriculture-based societies will cut in to the hillside and build stages of terraced

fields rising above the valley floor. Springs located above the terraces supply their irrigation water. The construction and maintenance of terraced fields is labor-intensive. Cost and benefits of agriculture: agriculture requires human labor in order to build and maintain irrigation systems, terraces and other works. People must feed, water and care for their animals. Given sufficient labor input and management, agricultural land can yield one or two crops annually for years or even generations. An agricultural field does not necessarily produce more than a horticultural plot. In addition, agriculturalists work harder than horticulturalists do, even though the end-result can be the same in terms of food production. Agricultures main advantage is that in the long-term, the amount of crops grown (yielded) per area is far greater and more dependable. Because a single field sustains its owners year after year, there is no need to maintain a reserve of uncultivated land as horticulturalists do. This is why agricultural societies tend to be more heavily populated than horticultural ones. Pastoralism: the reliance upon domesticated (tamed) animals for survival. Pastoralists live in symbiosis with their herds. Symbiosis is an obligatory (necessary) interaction between groupshere humans and animals-that is beneficial to each. Herders attempt to protect their animals and ensure their reproduction, in return for food and other products such as leather. Herds provide dairy products, meat and blood. Animals are killed at ceremonies, which occur throughout the year, and so meat is available regularly. People use livestock in a variety of ways. Native Americans of North Americas Great Plains for example, didnt eat but only rode their horses (Europeans reintroduced horses to the western hemisphere; the Native American horse had become extinct thousands of years earlier). For plains Indians, horses served as tools of the trademeans of production used to hunt buffalo, a main target of their economies. Therefore, the Plains Indians were not true pastoralists, but hunters who used horsesas many agriculturalists use animalsas a means of production. Unlike the use of animals as productive machines, pastoralists typically make use of their herds for foodthey consume their meat blood and milk, from which they make animals yogurt, butter and cheese. Some pastoralists rely on their herds more completely than others do, though it is impossible to base subsistence solely on animals. Therefore, most pastoralists supplement their diet by hunting, gathering, fishing, cultivating or trading. Prior to the industrial revolution, pastoralism was almost totally confined to the Old World (Europe, Asia, Africa not the Americas). Two patterns of movement occur with pastoralism: nomadism and transhumance. Pastoral nomadism: the entire group moves with the animals throughout the year. Example: the Basseri ethnic group in Iran traditionally followed a nomadic route more than 200 miles long. Transhumance: part of the group moves with the herds, but most people stay in the home village. Example: in the Alps in Europe, the shepherds and goatherds (not the whole village) accompany the flocks to highland meadows in the summer. Industrialism: involves the use of factories. Came a lot later. We will discuss this later in the course, so dont worry about this too much for now.

Conrad Phillip Kottak, Cultural Anthropology: Appreciating Cultural Diversity (New York: McGraw-Hill 2011), 157-167.