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Hunting and foraging societies

As in many societies different groups of people are connected by similar traits. People of

hunting and gathering societies also share similar qualities. Although the Kung, Shoshone, and

Mbuti live in unique environments they still share numerous common characteristics because of

there life styles.

The Kung San and Shoshone make critical decisions in similar ways. The people of the

Shoshone and Kung are much like a modern community in that they live together but for the most

part live separate lives. They come together to hunt, like we to work, but when the hunt is over

they get paid, in the form of meat, and go home to their families. If they should choose to any

group may leave the whole at anytime. The Mbuti choose to live as a whole. They act as one

family. All decisions are made by the community as a whole. If the group cannot reach

consensus on a problem then the group may split for that time but will rejoin once the projects are

completed. Unlike the Kung and Shoshone the Mbuti stay together, for the most part, throughout

the year and do not diffuse when supplies become more plentiful.

The two most important things a person needs is food and water. Many different foods

are consumed by the Mbuti. There diet consists of meats, fruits, berries, roots, fungus and

insects. The Mbuti's food supply is always plentiful, this is due to the habitat they live in and the

small number of people living off of any given area. The Shoshone on the other hand live more

like a scavengers because of their environment. Meat is rare, they tend to live off the plant life in

the forest. A large portion of the Shoshone's diet is plant life. The Kung have a fairly balanced

diet of plants and animals but water is a limited resource. For the Kung the reason for moving is

to stay where the water is. In the dry season the Kung will all live in close quarters near the

permanent water holes. But as the rainy season comes they will be able to spread throughout the


Foraging societies share three major traits. All of these societies share the work that must

be done in the camp. They all live in camps, meaning they never stay in an area for an extended

amount of time. The Kung come back to the same places but they don't stay there for very long

periods of time. Finally, the people of these groups do not echo technologically driven societies,

rather they depend upon the land and it's many attributes.

Although these societies have many differences they are connected by a common trait.

They are able to live off of themselves and the land. They do not need to trade with anyone for

what they need. Foraging societies are the only people alive that are truly independent.

Source: Essay UK -

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