Hunting and nuclear families: some lessons from the Hadza about men's work

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Publication Type Journal Article
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Anthropology
Creator Hawkes, Kristen
Other Author Blurton Jones, N.G.; O'Connell, James F.
Title Hunting and nuclear families: some lessons from the Hadza about men's work
Date 2001-10-24
Description Hadza hunter-gatherers display economic and social features usually assumed to indicate the dependence of wives and children on provisioning husbands and fathers. The wives and children of better Hadza hunters have been found to be better-nourished, consistent with the assumption that men hunt to provision their families. Yet, as is common among foragers, the Hadza share meat widely. Analyses of meat-sharing data confirm that little of the meat from large prey went to the hunter's own household. These analyses also show that neither a man's hunting success nor the time he spent hunting made any difference in how much meat his family got from the kills of others. Here we address questions posed by this set of observations. What explains the better nutrition of the children of better hunters if they did not get differential rations of meat? If better hunters got no more meat for their effort and poorer hunters were not punished with less, what incentive could account for the continuing disproportionate contribution that some men made to the group's nutrition? If women were not dependent on their husband's hunting success for meat, an obvious incentive for women to marry hunters disappears. We briefly consider the implications of these patterns for the evolution of marriage and nuclear families.
Type Text
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Volume 42
Issue 5
First Page 681
Last Page 709
Subject Subsistence economy; Tindiga, African people; Subsistence hunting
Subject LCSH Hunting and gathering societies; Economic anthropology
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Hawkes, K., O'Connell, J.F., Jones, N.G.B. (2001). Hunting and Nuclear Families: Some Lessons from the Hadza about Men's Work. Current Anthropology, 42(5), 681-709.
Rights Management (c)2001 by University of Chicago Press
Format Medium application/pdf
Identifier ir-main,230
ARK ark:/87278/s6r21jkn
Setname ir_uspace
ID 703492
Reference URL