A Look at the !Kung and the Neolithic Revolution

Last Updated: 31 May 2023
Pages: 3 Views: 143

In life for humans there is a constant need for food to survive. For some cultures this need for food can be a great problem for them and therefore they must spend almost all their time searching for food. Depending on how one gets food this situation can be averted and finding food can no longer be as much of a problem as it once was. In the Kalahari desert of Africa there is a group of people known as the !Kung San. Some bands of this culture are presently living as humans once did in Paleolithic times. Others are going through the Neolithic revolution. Paleolithic times was 10 000 years ago.

Then, humans were hunters and gatherers. Tools were crafted from objects on the ground such as bones, stones, and clay. The Neolithic time or New Stone Age was the period after 9000B.C. when people began farming. Humans learned how to grow plants and domesticate animals. The hunting and gathering way off life began to die out as people began to build permanent homes and cities. Following this a hierarchy was formed and a new society was made. Dr.Lee is an archaeologist who studied the !Kung. He found out a great deal of information about their culture from his 12 years of studies which began in 1963. Based on the studies of Dr. Lee the Neolithic revolution was as advantageous for the !Kung as it was disadvantageous and this can be proven as the political, economic, and societal, changes in the culture contained an equal number of gains and losses.

After the Neolithic revolution the politic system and ideals of the !Kung had drastically been changed. In the Paleolithic era decision making was a task shared by both males and females whereas in the Neolithic era there was an obvious male dominance. Paleolithically women supplied around eighty percent of the food for the group. The reason for this is simple. The men were the hunters and often they would come back empty handed whereas the women went out each day to gather food such as nuts and berries which on almost every occasion they could find without much of a problem. Without the women in the tribe everyone would have died out including the males. The women knew where the best vegetation was and held a very important say on where the group would move to next. After the Neolithic revolution the men worked outside on the farm while the women stayed inside and took care of the children.

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This created the image that the men were best at doing work. This was a down side for the Paleolithic political structure. However, contrary to this there was also an upside. If there was a dispute between families one of the families would have to leave the camp and live with another group until things had settled down. This could cause confusion which could led to more problems. In the Neolithic political structure the families would both stay and a mediator would be brought in to settle disputes. This was mainly due to the fact that their houses were permanent and moving would have been a lot harder than it would have been Paleolithic times. Based on these two statement there was a both a downside and an upside to the Neolithic revolution in respect to the political structure of the ! Kung.

Another way of life which changed for the !Kung after the Neolithic revolution was their Economic status. In Paleolithic times the !Kung ate well. Their diet consisted of foods such as berries, nuts, roots, seeds, rabbits and antelope. The average woman would bear four to five kids in a life time. Children of all ages and both sexes would play together each day whereas in Neolithic times children were divided into the groups due to the sexual segregation. The average woman in a Neolithic society would have up to 10 children in their life.

The children also became taller and fatter then they used to be. Because the food was farmed there was also more to eat, however much of it was less healthy. The society could support more children and because there was softer foods available children were able to be taken care of easily by the mother and daughters of the families who stayed home and watched the kids. Cities became quite large as well as the family which formed them.

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A Look at the !Kung and the Neolithic Revolution. (2023, May 25). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/a-look-at-the-kung-and-the-neolithic-revolution/

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