Boreal Forest Adaptations: The Northern Algonkians

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The traditional diet included game animals such as moose, caribou, bison in the southern locales , beaver, and fish, as well as wild plant foods such as berries, roots, and sap. Food resources were distributed quite thinly over the subarctic landscape, and starvation was always a potential problem. By the s European fur traders had recognized that the taiga provided an optimal climate for the production of dense pelts. The fur trade had an especially strong impact on traditional economies, as time spent trapping furs could not be spent on direct subsistence activities; this caused a rather rapid increase in the use of purchased food items such as flour and sugar, which were substituted for wild fare.

Despite much pressure to change, however, the relative isolation of the region has facilitated the persistence of many traditional beliefs, hunting customs, kinship relations, and the like see Native American: History. The American Subarctic culture area contains two relatively distinct zones. The Eastern Subarctic is inhabited by speakers of Algonquian languages , including the Innu formerly Montagnais and Naskapi; see Sidebar: Native American Self-Names of northern Quebec , the Cree , and several groups of Ojibwa who, after the beginning of the fur trade, displaced the Cree from what are now west-central Ontario and eastern Manitoba.

The Western Subarctic is largely home to Athabaskan speakers, whose territories extend from Canada into Alaska. Cultural differences among the Athabaskans justify the delineation of the Western Subarctic into two subareas.

The first, drained mostly by the northward-flowing Mackenzie River system, is inhabited by the Chipewyan , Beaver , Slave , and Kaska nations. Their cultures were generally more mobile and less socially stratified than that of the second subarea, where salmon streams that drain into the Pacific Ocean provide a reliable food resource and natural gathering places. Given the difficult environmental conditions of the region, it is perhaps not surprising that most of its cultures traditionally placed a high value on personal autonomy and responsibility, conceived of the world as a generally dangerous place, and emphasized concrete, current realities rather than future possibilities.

Many Subarctic cultures cultivated personality traits such as reticence, emotionally undemonstrative interaction styles, deference to others, strong individual control of aggressive impulses, and the ability to bear up stoically to deprivation. Although hostility was not absent from traditional culture, most groups preferred that it be only indirectly revealed through such outlets as sorcery or gossip.

Before contact with Europeans, the Subarctic peoples were subsistence hunters and gatherers. Although their specific economic strategies and technologies were highly adapted to the northern environment , many of their other cultural practices were typical of traditional hunting and gathering cultures worldwide. Most northern societies were organized around nuclear, or sometimes three-generation, families.

American Subarctic peoples

The next level of social organization, the band , comprised a few related couples, their dependent children, and their dependent elders; bands generally included no more than 20 to 30 individuals, who lived, hunted, and traveled together see Sidebar: The Difference Between a Tribe and a Band. Although Eastern Subarctic peoples traditionally identified with a particular geographic territory, they generally chose not to organize politically beyond the level of the band; instead, they identified themselves as members of the same tribe or nation based on linguistic and kinship affinities they shared with neighbouring bands.

Seasonal gatherings of several bands often occurred at good fishing lakes or near rich hunting grounds for periods that were as intensely sociable as they were abundantly provided with fish or game.

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Unaweza kusoma vitabu vilivyonunuliwa kwenye Google Play kwa kutumia kivinjari wavuti cha kompyuta yako. Tafadhali fuata maagizo ya kina katika Kituo cha usaidizi ili uweze kuhamishia faili kwenye Visomaji pepe vinavyotumika. Vitabu Pepe vinavyofanana na hiki. Angalia zingine. Jared Diamond. Lays a foundation for understanding human history. McNeill, New York Review of Books book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures.

A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Ian Morris. A powerful and provocative exploration of how war has changed our society—for the better "War! Man the Hunter. Richard Borshay Lee. Man the Hunter is a collection of papers presented at a symposium on research done among the hunting and gathering peoples of the world.

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Ethnographic studies increasingly contribute substantial amounts of new data on hunter-gatherers and are rapidly changing our concept of Man the Hunter. Social anthropologists generally have been reappraising the basic concepts of descent, fi liation, residence, and group structure.


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This book presents new data on hunters and clarifi es a series of conceptual issues among social anthropologists as a necessary background to broader discussions with archaeologists, biologists, and students of human evolution. Kate Fox. In "Watching The English" anthropologist Kate Fox takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people.

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She puts the English national character under her anthropological microscope, and finds a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and byzantine codes of behaviour. The rules of weather-speak. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex apology rule. The paranoid-pantomime rule. Class indicators and class anxiety tests. The money-talk taboo and many more Through a mixture of anthropological analysis and her own unorthodox experiments using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig , Kate Fox discovers what these unwritten behaviour codes tell us about Englishness.