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Keg of Beer during Hunting and Gathering. African Society - Research Paper Example

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Societies in most parts of the world have transformed over ages as a result of new technological and cultural discoveries. The environment plays a pivotal role in adaptation and variations of these human cultures…
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Keg of Beer during Hunting and Gathering. African Society
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Keg of Beer during Hunting and Gathering African Society Societies in most parts of the world have transformed over ages as a result of new technological and cultural discoveries. The environment plays a pivotal role in adaptation and variations of these human cultures. It also provides an opportunity for individuals to manipulate the environment resulting in societal transformation. This transformation is what is referred to as civilization. There are various modes of civilizations that have occurred in the world to date. These include the ancient Chinese civilization, Egyptian civilization, Greek and Roman civilization and the 18th to 19th century African civilization (Spielmann 175). In Africa, for instance, the civilization process began at the start of the 18th century when missionaries started trooping to Africa with an aim of spreading the Christian faith. This is a process which eventually led to a change of culture in most African societies. However, it is important to note that in Sub Saharan Africa, there still exist groups of communities that still live in the forest and depend on hunting and gathering as sole source of food. A good example is the pygmies who live in the Congo forest (Bicchieri 89). Hunting and gathering is the oldest activity and the most distributed in time and space. Anthropologists and archeologists’ widely associate this technology starting point to ancient hominids about 2.5 million years ago. This is the period marked by the use of stone stones such as the oldwan, achuelean, and microlith tools. It is due to this reason hunting and gathering have been associated with the evolution process of humans. However, technological advancements were slow until 100, 000 years ago. During the ancient Stone Age, it is believed that hominids were restricted to Africa. This changed when Homo Erectus penetrated the temperate and warm Eurasia with their tools, which led to the growth of the acheulean industry. The Neanderthal man appeared around 100,000 years ago, and this period is associated with the development of advanced hunting and gathering tools (Winterhalder 408). Alcohol has undergone several evolutionary processes in the history of mankind. Civilization is credited for the advent of beer as result of competitive relationships and social stratification which in turn has contributed to universal alienation and technological advancements. Anthropologist credits Agrarian Revolution as the starting point of civilization and the period that humans begun subduing the environment leading to private land ownership and capitalism. They argue that hunters and gatherers in the ancient society absconded hunting with the aim of brewing beer eventually leading to sedimentary settlements (Hietler and Hayden 56). Some African societies that still practice hunting and gathering as a means of livelihood still lag behind in the development of modern recreational products such keg beer. It is for this reason that if an anthropologist dropped a bottle of keg in this society, the people out of curiosity would want to know what is in the bottle. In some extreme cases, the bottle could be picked by one member of the community and stored or even used as hunting tool (Lee and DeVore 34). Hunting and gathering has been a subsistence source of wild food among communities with limited dependence on domestic animals and plants. This happens to be true for 99.5 % of human race existence covering a period of up to 2.5 million years. However, there are various misconceptions that have been pegged on these technological advancements. These include hunters and gathers spending too much in the process of obtaining food and as a result they have limited time for civilization. In addition, hunters and gatherers are exposed to frequent starvation and as such they are malnourished. Similarly, modern hunters scavenge hunted meat which exposes them to risks of contracting disease (Speth and Johnson 28). Hunters and gathers choice of food is mainly environmental dependant and rely on the relative abundance of these foods. The most common food choices for hunters and gatherers include insects, animal species, birds, plants, and fish (Hawkes, O'Connell and Blurton 707). The food choice depends on its availability. For example, in the deserts there are no fish and consequently, hunters living in deserts have to depend on a different variety of food. Though there exists cultural variations on the choice of food and recreational food types among varying cultures, taste is the key determinant in a society’s food choice. Due to these considerations, observations have been made that food species rich in oil, starch, sugar or fats are in high demand among hunting and gathering societies (Katz and Voigt 33). There still exist societies in Africa that are actively involved in hunting and gathering activities. These societies remain technologically backward. As a result, the inhabitants of such areas when provided with new recreational options such as beer are not in a position to indentify the use and importance of these products. However, these could present a challenge to the society and could even become the wake up point for these people towards modernization and embracing other people’s culture. Appreciating these cultures could be as a result of using conventional recreational products such as beer. Works cited Bicchieri, Kathrine. Hunters and Gatherers Today. New York, NY: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001. Print. Hawkes, Kristen, O'Connell, James, and Nichoas Blurton. “Hunting and Nuclear Families: Some lessons from the Hadza about men's work.” Current Anthropology 42.5 (2001): 681–709. Print. Hietler, Michael, and Brian Hayden. Eds. Feasts: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food, Politics, and Power. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001 Katz, Solomon, and Mary Voigt. “Bread and Beer: The Early Use of Cereals in Human Diet.” Expedition 28.2 (2006): 23–34. Print. Lee, Richard, and Irven DeVore. eds. Man the Hunter. Chicago: Aldine, 2008. Print. Speth, John, and Kathrine Johnson. “Energy Source, Protein Metabolism, and Hunter-gatherer Subsistence Strategies.” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 2.1 (2007): 1–31. Print. Spielmann, Kelly. The Foraging Spectrum: Diversity in Hunter-Gatherer Life ways. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002. Print. Winterhalder, Bruce, and Eric Smith. Hunter-Gatherer Foraging Strategies. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2001. Print. Read More
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