The Hadza

The Hadza: Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania

Frank W. Marlowe
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    The Hadza
    Book Description:

    InThe Hadza, Frank Marlowe provides a quantitative ethnography of one of the last remaining societies of hunter-gatherers in the world. The Hadza, who inhabit an area of East Africa near the Serengeti and Olduvai Gorge, have long drawn the attention of anthropologists and archaeologists for maintaining a foraging lifestyle in a region that is key to understanding human origins. Marlowe ably applies his years of research with the Hadza to cover the traditional topics in ethnography-subsistence, material culture, religion, and social structure. But the book's unique contribution is to introduce readers to the more contemporary field of behavioral ecology, which attempts to understand human behavior from an evolutionary perspective. To that end,The Hadzaalso articulates the necessary background for readers whose exposure to human evolutionary theory is minimal.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94544-9
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. CHAPTER 1 The Hadza and Evolutionary Theory: An Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    The Hadza of Tanzania are one of the very few societies anywhere in the world who still live by hunting and gathering. Hunter-gatherers are people who forage for wild foods, practicing no cultivation or animal husbandry. The fact that the Hadza are still foraging makes them invaluable to researchers interested in the lifestyle of our ancestors before agriculture so greatly altered human societies. The Hadza happen to live in East Africa, an area rich in hominin fossils (Figure 1.1). Hominins are all those species (Australopithecus afarensis, Paranthropus boisei, Homo erectus, etc.) that share with us a common ancestor that diverged...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Habitat and History
    (pp. 11-38)

    In the 1960s, Richard Lee and several other researchers studied many aspects of the Ju/’hoansi (Dobe !Kung or !Kung San) in Botswana (Lee 1984). This research brought renewed interest in hunter-gatherers as a source of information about the human past. After all, our ancestors were all foragers before agriculture first appeared in the eastern Mediterranean about 10–12,000 years ago (ya). The !Kung became the most well publicized hunter-gatherers and were often used to stand in for our Pleistocene ancestors. Lee (1972) described them as pristine foragers “on the threshold of the Neolithic.” This sounds like they were frozen in...

  6. CHAPTER 3 Social Organization, Beliefs, and Practices
    (pp. 39-68)

    Ecology is an important determinate of social organization. This is true for other species and true for humans, especially hunter-gatherers. For example, living in a desert, a rain forest, or an arctic tundra, each with a very different set of flora and fauna, will determine the sorts of foods available and the technology necessary to acquire them. Ecology therefore determines the pattern of foraging, which in turn strongly influences group size and travel. Social organization may be a response to ecology, but once it exists, it also constrains foraging. For example, whether a species is social or solitary will determine...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Material Culture
    (pp. 69-100)

    In this chapter, I describe Hadza material culture, which is so integral to foraging and important in situating the Hadza in the context of other cultures in the archaeological record (see also Woodburn 1970 and Kohl Larsen 1958). Especially in small-scale societies like that of foragers, technology plays a large role in shaping culture. Because the Hadza are so relevant to understanding the past and because paleoanthropologists and archaeologists only have the material culture and fossil remains to work with, it is important to describe how the Hadza use different tools. First, however, I discuss the issue of cultural complexity....

  8. CHAPTER 5 Foraging
    (pp. 101-132)

    Optimal foraging theory (OFT) assumes that animals exploit foods in an efficient way within a set of constraints (Krebs and Davies 1993, Stephens and Krebs 1986). One constraint is, of course, the particular diet an animal can utilize. Another constraint is the danger posed by predators. For example, a squirrel may scurry out in the open to pick up a nut and return to a tree to eat it in safety. If there were no threat of predation, it could save the energy used in retreating to a refuge to eat. Models assume that animals are maximizing benefits in terms...

  9. CHAPTER 6 Life History
    (pp. 133-164)

    Life history theory deals with the timing of certain important events like weaning, puberty, reproduction, and death (Charnov 1993, Stearns 1992). Life history traits are interrelated. If we know growth rate and age at maturity or first reproduction in females, we can calculate average adult female body size because growth ceases (approximately, anyway) at maturity in mammals. If we know that the extrinsic juvenile mortality rate from predation is high, we can expect maturity to occur early. Individuals that take too long to mature run the risk of getting eaten before they can reproduce, so selection favors genes that promote...

  10. CHAPTER 7 Mating
    (pp. 165-194)

    Natural selection is the process that determines which genes are passed on to the next generation, a process that entails survival and reproduction. Sexual selection is the more narrow process that determines access to mates and reproductive success. Sexual selection consists of intrasexual selection (often called male-male competition) and inter-sexual selection (often called female choice) (Andersson 1994, Darwin 1871). Female-female competition and male choice are less common but do exist, especially in pair-bonded species like humans.

    Male-male competition for access to mates is very common in animals. Males in many species have evolved morphological traits such as antlers for the...

  11. CHAPTER 8 Parenting
    (pp. 195-224)

    Reproductive effort is composed of mating effort and parenting effort (at least in species with post-zygotic parental investment). When parental investment would increase the odds of offspring survival, selection may favor it, but this depends on just how much it increases survivorship and how costly it is to provide. If a parent gains even more RS from investing in something else, like mating effort, selection may favor little or no parental investment (Trivers 1972). An important factor is whether one or both parents invest. If the difference between no parental investment and one parent investing is a huge increase in...

  12. CHAPTER 9 Cooperation and Food-Sharing
    (pp. 225-254)

    Game theory provides the tools for understanding the evolution of cooperation (Maynard Smith 1982, Nash 1950, Schelling 1960, von Neumann and Morgenstern 1944). The prisoner’s dilemma (PD) is the game most often used to explore cooperation (Table 9.1). The PD takes its name from the situation of 2 partners in crime from whom the police are trying to get information. The 2 prisoners are put in different rooms so they cannot communicate, and the police offer each a shorter sentence if they will give evidence against the other one. If one gives evidence (defects) and the other does not (cooperates),...

  13. CHAPTER 10 The Median Foragers: Humans in Cross-Species Perspective
    (pp. 255-284)

    Now that I have described the Hadza, in this chapter, I place them in the context of all other hunter-gatherers. One way the Hadza stand out is the length of time they have survived as hunter-gatherers without taking up agriculture or disappearing altogether. Consequently, we can study them using new technology like GPS devices, heart-rate monitors, and bio-impedence measurements of body fat, as well as using more rigorous methods for collecting behavioral data. Data on most other foragers are limited to mostly qualitative ethnographic descriptions. Many of the quantitative data on other foragers in this chapter are actually coded from...

  14. Afterword: The Hadza Present and Future
    (pp. 285-290)

    Over the past 20–30 years, some anthropologists have dismissed—even condemned—the notion that contemporary foragers can serve as windows into the past (Barnard 1999, Schrire 1980, 1984, Wilmsen 1989). This is partly for good reasons, like the fact that some “foragers” have been greatly dominated and influenced by their agricultural neighbors, have acquired new technology such as guns, and get much of their food from government handouts or from a store. Mostly, however, the criticism is a backlash against evolutionary approaches to explaining human behavior.

    The Hadza are not living fossils. They have not been frozen in time;...

  15. References
    (pp. 291-318)
  16. Index
    (pp. 319-325)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 326-326)