Hunter-Gatherers and Their Neighbors from Prehistory to the Present

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1989
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Headland, Thomas N.
Reid, Lawrence A.
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It is widely assumed that modern hunter-gatherer societies lived until very recently in isolation from food-producing societies and states and practiced neither cultivation, pastoralism, nor trade. This paper brings together data suggesting a very different model of middle to late Holocene hunter-gatherer economy. It is argued that such foraging groups were heavily dependent upon both trade with food-producing populations and part-time cultivation or pastoralism. Recent publications on a number of hunter-gather societies establish that the symbiosis and desultory food production observed among them today are neither recent nor anomalous but represent an economy practiced by most hunter- gatherers for many hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Psychological and political reasons for Westerners' attachment to the myth of the "Savage Other" are discussed.
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Thomas N. Headland and Reid, Lawrence. "Hunter-Gatherers and their Neighbors from Prehistory to the Present." Current Anthropology 30, no. 1 (1989): 43-51.
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34 pages
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