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Read e-book online Bad Year Economics: Cultural Responses to Risk and PDF

By Paul Halstead, John O'Shea

Undesirable 12 months Economics explores the function of danger and uncertainty in human economics inside an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural framework. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, and historic and smooth heritage, the individuals diversity largely in time and area throughout looking, farming and pastoralism, throughout historic states, empires, and sleek kingdom states. the purpose, even though, is a standard one: to examine in each one case the constitution of variability - fairly in regards to nutrition offer - and evaluation the variety of responses provided by means of person human groups. those responses ordinarily take advantage of a number of different types of mobility, financial diversification, garage, and alternate to installation neighborhood or transitority abundance as a defence opposed to scarcity. assorted degrees of reaction are used at varied degrees of danger. Their good fortune is prime to human survival and their adoption has vital ramifications all through cultural behaviour.

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Additional info for Bad Year Economics: Cultural Responses to Risk and Uncertainty (New Directions in Archaeology)

Example text

In the absence of dog sleds capable of bulk transport (which appear much later [below, p. 31]), groups exploiting dispersed herd segments would have had to store meat, fat and hides near spring and autumn kill-sites and to have moved between them throughout the winter - a difficult strategy in sub-zero weather during the dark of the Arctic winter! It comes as little surprise to find that the only evidence for occupation of the interior by Eskimo groups comes from the Kobuk River valley, where reliance could be placed on a diversified economy combining boreal forest, riverine and tundra species.

The major celebration which crossed territorial borders was the midwinter Messenger Feast, a form of competitive feasting and gift giving, so called because it was formally initiated when the host sent a messenger to invite the guests. The Messenger Feast was hosted by a karigi only after a particularly successful season and brought together and feasted entire communities from either the coast or the interior for a period of several weeks (Ray 1885; Spencer 1959:210; Burch and Correll 1972). The competitive element of the Messenger Feast further created strong social obligations which functioned as a form of social storage, in that periodic abundance was converted to social debts which could be called in in times of need.

Seals, walrus, birds and small mammals are represented, in addition to whale, in the two reported faunal assemblages for this period (Stanford 1976; Hall 1981:5). In addition, the frequency of caribou at these two sites is relatively high; however, at Walakpa this reflects a shift in site use from a winter sealing camp to a specialised caribou-hunting camp occupied for short periods during the early autumn (Stanford 1976, Table 9). While such specialised, yet impermanent, hunting camps are present on the coast, the hunting and fishing camps established along the rivers of the coastal plain during Period Ha seem to have been abandoned.

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