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Hunters and Gatherers in the Modern World: Conflict, Resistance, and Self-Determination

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Hunters and Gatherers in the Modern World

Conflict, Resistance, and Self-Determination

Edited by Megan Biesele, Robert K. Hitchcock, and Peter P. Schweitzer

512 pages, index

ISBN  978-1-57181-101-1 $179.00/£132.00 Hb Published (April 2000)

ISBN  978-1-57181-102-8 $39.95/£31.95 Pb Published (October 2002)

eISBN 978-1-78238-158-7 eBook

Hb Pb   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"... the fact that a third of the articles are devoted to peoples in Siberia, rarely encountered in the general anthropological literature, makes this volume particularly attractive."  · Anthropologie et Societes

"This volume is rich in ethnographic detail and nicely illustrates the theoretical and topical diversity the field of hunter-gatherer studies has to offer."  · Anthropos

"This volume is important not only because of the questions it raises as far as hunter-gatherer studies is concerned but also because it goes some way toward extricating the study of foraging and former foraging societies from the somewhat esoteric theoretical preoccupations that have dominated hunter-gatherer studies in the past."  · American Anthropologist


In an age of heightened awareness of the threat that western industrialized societies pose to the environment, hunters and gatherers attract particularly strong interest because they occupy the ecological niches that are constantly eroded. Despite the denial of sovereignty, the world's more than 350 million indigenous peoples continue to assert aboriginal title to significant portions of the world's remaining bio-diversity. As a result, conflicts between tribal peoples and nation states are on the increase. Today, many of the societies that gave the field of anthropology its empirical foundations and unique global vision of a diverse and evolving humanity are being destroyed as a result of national economic, political, and military policies.

Although quite a sizable body of literature exists on the living conditions of the hunters and gatherers, this volume is unique in that it represents the first extensive east-west scholarly exchange in anthropology since the demise of the USSR. Moreover, it also offers new perspectives from indigenous communities and scholars in an exchange that be termed "south-north" as opposed to " north-north," denoting the predominance of northern Europe and North America in scholarly debate.

The main focus of this volume is on the internal dynamics and political strategies of hunting and gathering societies in areas of self-determination and self-representation. More specifically, it examines areas such as warfare and conflict resolution, resistance, identity and the state, demography and ecology, gender and representation, and world view and religion. It raises a large number of major issues of common concerns and therefore makes important reading for all those interested in human rights issues, ethnic conflict, grassroots development and community organization, and environmental topics.

Megan Biesele is President, School of Expressive Culture, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. She helped found the Kalahari Peoples Fund in 1973 and currently serves as its Coordinator. 

Robert H. Hitchcock is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Anthropology Department, as well as the coordinator of African Studies, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is involved in research and development project monitoring, evacuation, and implementation, primarily in southern and eastern Africa and North America.

Peter P. Schweitzer is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Lecturer at the Institute of Ethnology, Cultural, and Social Anthropology, University of Vienna.

Subject: Development Studies Environmental Studies Peace & Conflict Studies


List of Illustrations

Robert K. Hitchcock and Megan Biesele

Chapter 1. Silence and Other Misunderstandings: Russian Anthropology, Western Hunter-Gatherer Debates, and Siberian Peoples
Peter P. Schweitzer


Chapter 2. Visions of Conflict, Conflicts of Vision among Contemporary Dene Tha
Jean-Guy A. Goulet

Chapter 3. Warfare among the Hunters and Fishermen of Western Siberia
Liudmila A. Chindina

Chapter 4. Homicide and Aggression among the Agta of Eastern Luzon, the Philippines, 1910–1985
Marcus B. Griffin

Chapter 5. Conflict Management in a Modern Inuit Community
Jean L. Briggs

Chapter 6. Wars and Chiefs among the Samoyeds and Ugrians of Western Siberia
Andrei V. Golovnev

Chapter 7. Ritual Violence among the Peoples of Northeastern Siberia
Elena P. Batianova

Chapter 8. Patterns of War and Peace among Complex Hunter-Gatherers: The Case of the Northwest Coast of North America
Leland Donald


Chapter 9. The Concept of an International Ethnoecological Refuge
Olga Murashko

Chapter 10. Aboriginal Responses to Mining in Australia: Economic Aspirations, Cultural Revival, and the Politics of
Indigenous Protest
David S. Trigger

Chapter 11. Political Movement, Legal Reformation, and Transformation of Ainu Identity
Takashi Irimoto

Chapter 12. Tracking the “Wild Tungus” in Taimyr: Identity, Ecology, and Mobile Economies in Arctic Siberia
David G. Anderson

Chapter 13. Marginality with a Difference, or How the Huaorani Preserve Their Sharing Relations and Naturalize Outside Powers
Laura Rival


Chapter 14. “Interest in the Present” in the Nationwide Monetary Economy: The Case of Mbuti Hunters in Zaire
Mitsuo Ichikawa

Chapter 15. Dynamics of Adaptation to Market Economy among the Ayoréode of Northwest Paraguay
Volker von Bremen

Chapter 16. Can Hunter-Gatherers Live in Tropical Rain Forests? The Pleistocene Island Melanesian Evidence
Matthew Spriggs

Chapter 17. The Ju/’hoansi San under Two States: Impacts of the South West African Administration and the Government of the Republic of Namibia
Megan Biesele and Robert K. Hitchcock

Chapter 18. Russia’s Northern Indigenous Peoples: Are They Dying Out?
Dmitrii D. Bogoiavlenskii


Chapter 19. Gender Role Transformation among Australian Aborigines
Robert Tonkinson

Chapter 20. Names That Escape the State: Hai//om Naming Practicesc versus Domination and Isolation
Thomas Widlok

Chapter 21. Central African Government’s and International NGOs’ Perceptions of Baka Pygmy Development
Barry S. Hewlett

Chapter 22. The Role of Women in Mansi Society
Elena G. Fedorova

Chapter 23. Peacemaking Ideology in a Headhunting Society: Hudhud, Women’s Epic of the Ifugao
Maria V. Staniukovich


Chapter 24. Painting as Politics: Exposing Historical Processes in Hunter-Gatherer Rock Art
Thomas A. Dowson

Chapter 25. Gifts from the Immortal Ancestors: Cosmology and Ideology of Jahai Sharing
Cornelia M. I. van der Sluys

Chapter 26. Time in the Traditional World-View of the Kets: Materials on the Bear Cult
Evgeniia A. Alekseenko

Chapter 27. Lexicon as a Source for Understanding Sel’kup Knowledge of Religion
Alexandra A. Kim

Notes on Contributors

Appendix: A Note on the Spelling of Siberian Ethnonyms


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