FORAGING RETURNS OF !KUNG ADULTS AND CHILDREN: WHY DIDN'T !KUNG CHILDREN FORAGE?
Nicholas Blurton Jones
Children of the hunting and gathering !Kung San seldom foraged, especially during the long dry season. In contrast, children of Hadza foragers in Tanzania often forage, in both wet and dry seasons. Because we have argued that the economic dependence of !Kung children has important consequences, we must try to understand why they did not forage. Experimental data on foraging by !Kung adults and children show that children would have had to walk far from dry season camps to acquire much food. Interviews suggest that !Kung children risk getting lost if they wander unsupervised into the bush. Thus, foraging without adult company was a poor option for !Kung children. Foraging with adults might have been a better strategy. We calculate the benefits to a !Kung mother if her oldest child accompanied her to the nut groves. Because of the high processing costs, a child's work time was most profitably spent at home cracking nuts.
GRAIN, CATTLE, AND POWER: SOCIAL PROCESSES OF INTENSIVE CULTIVATION AND EXCHANGE IN PRECOLONIAL WESTERN KENYA
N. Thomas Hakansson
The tribal economies of precolonial East Africa can only partially be understood within theories of food production which stress self-sufficiency, production for use, and risk aversion. The level of food production in tribal economies is not determined solely by an inherent orientation towards subsistence but also involves the possibility of converting food into wealth and relationships of social dependency. The relationship between agricultural production and grain and cattle exchange is examined here in the context of the Gusii populations in the highlands of western Kenya and the Luo populations in the Lake Victoria basin. The use of cattle as prestige goods for bridewealth payments sustained a regional exchange system, high population densities, and intensive cultivation in the highlands. Production was organized to meet the culturally defined exchange objectives of social reproduction and the political economy.
ARE FOOD AVOIDANCES MALADAPTIVE IN THE ITURI FOREST OF ZAIRE?
A rigorous case study concerning the maladaptiveness of a belief system is presented with respect to food avoidances among horticulturalists and Pygmy foragers living in the Ituri Forest of Zaire. Results indicate that only one of the four ethnic groups suffers any selective disadvantage from these cultural beliefs. Furthermore, the reduction in fitness, which occurs primarily through compromised fertility in women, is probably less than 5 percent for most affected individuals. Thus the degree of maladaptation is relatively small. Those who exhibit costly food avoidances often lack access to the culturally designated teacher of such beliefs. They must therefore turn to other individuals to learn their beliefs, and thus acquire relatively many taboos. While the nutritional cost of this system is quite small for most people, the human costs of hunger and of conformity to this potentially oppressive social system are not negligible for those who are its primary victims.
WOMEN FARMERS IN ONDO STATE, NIGERIA
To gain a clear understanding of the deteriorating status of women in the agricultural labor force and the interrelated problems of food shortage in Nigeria, the historical changes that have occurred with regard to land ownership, food production, and the position of women farmers in three communities in Ondo State are examined.
REVIEW ARTICLE: EVOLUTION AND CULTURE TURF WARS: HISTORY, MIND, AND/OR ECOLOGY?
Paul R. Picha