SSA 101 7400
Chapter 9 & 10
1. How does Lee assess the day-to-day quality of !Kung life when they lived as foragers? How does this view compare with that held by many anthropologists in the early 1960’s?
Lee begins to assess the day-to-day quality of the !Kung by keeping records of their food sources and water sources. He makes table depicting the !Kung’s movements during dry season to wells of fresh water. He documents how many different groups stay at which well. He tables all the available species of crops and food and comes to the conclusion that out of 75 percent of the listed species of food the !Kung are only using a selected few. One of the most utilized food is Mongongo nut that will grow in harsh weather conditions. A !kang was documented saying “why should we plant, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world”. These charts indicate that the !Kung are not living from hand to month on the verge to starvation as previously believed. If the Bushmen were living on a starvation level then Lee theorizes that one would expect them to exploit every available source of nutrition.
2. According to Lee, !Kung children are not expected to work until after they are married; old people are supported and respected. How does this arrangement differ from behavior in our own society, and what might explain the difference?
In our own society children don’t work until they are 14 or 15, some begin working at a younger age. A few 10 or 11 year olds with entrepreneurial spirits will go to houses offering services to cut lawns for $10 or what have you. It biggest difference between is that young men or boys in the !kung do not work until they are married. The possibility for that could be the boy now has his own family now and must contribute to the hunt in order to provide for his own faction of the family. Elders in my society and in American culture I believe are no respected, they’re forced into...
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