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Abstracts - CHAGS Sessions

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Plenary I: Hunter-Gatherer Research, Human Evolution, And Human Nature: Dialogues And Debates

Conveners & Abstract
Richard B. Lee & Kirk Endicott

A great variety of models and theories of human behavioral evolution and human nature have been constructed using archaeological, biological, and ethnographic data on hunter-gatherers. For this session we invite advocates of varying viewpoints to a conversation about commonalities and differences. We expect that papers will address two major areas of inquiry: theoretical/methodological issues, and substantive debates.

Theory and Method

Most theorists invoke one or another view of hunter-gatherers to support their evolutionary models. Often the questions of the applicability of these models and how they are derived are left unexamined. Possible questions include:

1. How can the circumstances of recent hunter-gatherers be calibrated with the reconstruction of prehistoric hunter-gatherers? Is there a case for excluding ethnography from archaeological reconstruction?

2. Are all hunter-gatherers equally useful in evolutionary studies? Is there an argument for relying on historically nomadic foragers (HNF), and excluding foragers who lack parallels with deep prehistory?
3. Are models drawn from primate (e.g., chimpanzee, bonobo) behavior relevant to understanding the behavior of ancient human foragers?

4. How is the new science of genomics generating human evolutionary models, and are hunter-gatherer studies rendered irrelevant?

Debates on Substantive Issues

In shedding light on the most central questions about human evolution, hunter-gatherer data are marshaled to arrive at conclusions that may be diametrically opposed.  A prime instance in recent and ongoing debates is the relative weight of violent vs. peaceful behaviors. Other examples include:

  • the mix of competitive/self-interested vs. cooperative/nurturant behaviors
  • more egalitarian or more hierarchical socio-political organization
  • the continuum from gender equality to women’s subordination
  • is there a human ethical core and what is its content?

All these issues have been widely debated and all face a similar conundrum: how are differences to be resolved? What constitutes the evidence? The session encourages differing viewpoints presented in a spirit of dialogue.

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Plenary II: Hunter-Gatherers in a Changing World

Conveners & Abstract
Aili Pyhälä & Victoria Reyes-García 

Far from the commonly held romantic view that hunter-gatherers continue to exist as isolated populations living a traditional lifestyle in harmony with the environment, contemporary hunter-gatherers – like many rural communities around the world - face a number of increasingly pressing ecological and social challenges to which they need to adapt. Contemporary hunter-gatherer societies are increasingly and rapidly being affected by global changes, related both to biophysical Earth systems (i.e., changes in climate, land use, resource exploitation), and to social systems (integration into the market economy, national policies and development strategies, and cultural change). What this means to the present and future of hunter-gatherer societies, particularly in terms of their livelihood, social organization, culture, and identity, but also with regards to the natural environment and resources that these societies have managed for millennia, is by no means clear. This session brings together researchers who have witnessed and documented the impact of such changes in hunter-gatherer populations around the world. The case studies document changes in some of the keystone characteristics that either define or underlie hunter-gatherers’ livelihood and identity. Examples include sedentarization, changes in rights and legislation, adoption of agriculture, integration into the market economy, access to natural resources, and changes in culture, social roles, cosmovision and identity.

Form: This will be a 90 minute session, consisting of four short presentations (10-15 minutes each), with 5 minutes of questions after each presentation, ending with a quick wrap up by the session conveners and a general discussion. Below are the four presentation abstracts, in order.

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Plenary III: CHAGS11: What have we learnt

Convenors & Abstract
Lye Tuck-Po, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang
Thomas Widlok, Cologne University
Akira Takada, Kyoto University Jerome Lewis, UCL

This roundtable follows upon the model established at CHAGS10. It is planned to be the closing summary of the conference, whereby speakers will review overall findings at the conference, and identify areas that need further discussion and investigation. Each member of the roundtable will take responsibility for tracking discussions on a particular topic, or set of linked topics, summarise, then identify the lessons learnt and ways to move forward on the comparative project of hunter-gatherer research. It is a closed roundtable, in that we will take responsibility for recruiting speakers other than ourselves. To have time for feedback discussions with the audience, speakers will be limited to five or six, and remarks will not exceed 10-15 minutes each, with a general discussion time of one hour or so.

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1. The Archaeology of Narratives or Towards a Narrational Archaeology

Conveners & Abstract
Martin Porr & Jacqueline Matthews
Archaeology/Centre for Rock Art Research + Management, University of Western Australia

Narratives and stories are at the heart of Indigenous and hunting-gathering societies. They represent and communicate knowledge and guide engagement with both physical and social environments. However, the archaeology of hunter-gatherers is traditionally embedded in Western classificatory frameworks, which appear in stark contrast to Indigenous world-views. While diverse and locally constituted and embedded, we can broadly characterise Indigenous world-views as prioritising relationships, contexts and processes, which are reflected and represented in stories and narratives. This opposes and contrasts the Western view of narratives (as “just stories”), which seems to be a result of Western essentialist ontology that focuses on inherent qualities of all aspects of the world.

In this session we seek out a space for engagement with the narrative structures of archaeological remains as well as an exploration of the inclusion of narrative elements into archaeological discourse (our movement towards a narrational archaeology). The latter takes serious Indigenous narratives and knowledge in a more radical sense, and questions the dominance of typically Western and scientific discourses in representing the past.

The participants in this session are asked to explore the potential of an archaeology of narratives/narrational archaeology across a range of fields, regions and specialisations. Possible areas of engagement could include the following themes: narratives of/in making; images and artefacts as stories (rock art, material culture, etc.); landscapes as narratives or narrative landscapes; humans or the human body as narrative; stories against classification.

We seek both case studies embedded in archaeological practice as well as more theoretically inclined thought pieces. We will not impose any geographic or temporal boundaries on potential contributions that match with the overall theme of the session. The format, however, should be 5 minute presentations with a 10 minute space for discussion of individual papers and an inclusive concluding discussion (potentially with dedicated discussant/s).

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2. The Diversity of Hunter-Gatherer Pasts

Conveners & Abstract
Graeme Warren - UCD School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, Ireland
Bill Finlayson - CBRL (Council for British Research in the Levant), London

The extent of variation amongst hunting and gathering peoples past and present raises considerable analytical challenges. This problem is especially important in archaeology, where increasing empirical evidence illustrates ways of life that are not easily encompassed in the range of variation recognised in the contemporary world of hunter-gatherers. Put simply, how do past hunter-gatherers fit into our understandings of hunter-gatherers? Furthermore, given the inevitable archaeological reliance on analogy, it is important to ask whether conceptions of hunter-gatherers based on contemporary societies restrict our comprehension of past diversity and of how this changes over the long term. The binary framework of hunter-gatherers on the one hand, and farmers on the other, remains deeply embedded in studies concerning the transition to farming, partly because of the strong influence of social evolutionary models and partly because of the over-reliance on analogy which overrides more subtle distinctions regarding low level food producing societies (cf Smith 2001).

This session will take a global and long-term perspective, reviewing the diverse nature of past ‘hunting and gathering’ societies, especially those undergoing social changes (including, but not limited to, the transition to agriculture). Transition was often a long term process, sometimes lasting many millennia, and our understandings of these societies has too often been dominated by the start and end points, rather than seriously considering the agency of those who made these processes of change.

It is often said that the study of hunter-gatherers can provide insight into past forms of social organisation and behavior, unfortunately too often it has limited our understandings of these societies. We will explore past hunter-gather diversity over time and space to provide critical perspectives on general models of ‘hunter-gatherers’ and attempt to provide new perspectives on hunter-gatherer societies from the greater diversity present in the past.

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3. What’s New in What’s Old?

Conveners & Abstract
Leslie Van Gelder, Walden University

What’s New in What’s Old? What Recent Research in Rock Art Studies is Telling Us About Hunter Gatherers of the Upper Paleolithic

The last 10 years have yielded significant advances in rock art research where the use of forensic methodologies and an emphasis on embodiment the identification of unique individuals has allowed researchers to improve our understanding of hunter gatherer cultures of the Upper Paleolithic. This session proposes to bring together contemporary researchers who have been examining themes such as the roles of children; group sizes engaged in art-making in Upper Paleolithic caves; meaning-making in rock art; and new insights into cultural use of caves in Europe and Australia.

As a format, depending on the number of participants, we likely will create a format involving 10 minute highly visual presentations followed by a moderated round table discussion.

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* 4. The Society During the Late Pleistocene to the Early Holocene in East Asia


Conveners & Abstract
Zhai Shaodong (The Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

From the Late Pleistocene to the Early Holocene, the earth went through a great climate change. Although the weather was getting warmer in general trend, there were some climate fluctuations during which it was dry and cold. As a reaction to the climate change, the human society made many changes to adapt the environment in some aspects including food acquisition strategies, tool production technology, settlement patterns and so on.

In China, microliths tools appeared in the Late Pleistocene and processed a development prosperous period, but they were less and less in the Early Holocene and were gradually taken place by ground stone tools. In food acquisition strategies, millet and rice were respectively domesticated in the Early Holocene in North and South China and gradually became the main food in local. In Northeast China, domesticated tare had ever been one of the major origins of foods in the Early Holocene. With the edible plants domesticated, cultivation gradually dominated the human’s life and the people’s settlement pattern also changed from hunting and gathering to sedentism.

Although the general trend is what the above mentioned, there were various change situations in different regions due to the different geographical and climate conditions. These differences possibly reflected in the change speed, time or change mode. This session will try to discuss the differentiation of social changes in different regions of East Asia and their mechanism through the cases in various regions studied by our participants, and further explore the cultural exchange between the regions from the Late Pleistocene to the Early Holocene in East Asia.

Form: This session will employ the form combined with presentation and discussion.

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5. Investigating the Rise of the North Pacific Maritime Tradition (archaeology and history)


Conveners & Abstract
Ben Fitzhugh, Peter Jordan, and Hirofumi Kato

This session aims to redefine the North Pacific Rim as a coherent area of study based on its shared heritage of maritime economies and hunter-gatherer subsistence. We seek to bring together archaeological and historical perspectives to understand the emergence, development and intensification of these maritime-focused cultural traditions, many aspects of which are still practiced and cherished in the present (though under threat).

Despite deeply shared maritime hunter-gatherer heritage, the North Pacific Rim is studied by archaeologists and anthropologists mostly within continental and national sub-regions. Comparative analysis has been impeded by differing languages and national traditions of academic enquiry. A second goal of the session is to convene a geographically broad range of speakers to ensure discussion and integration of the latest research and analysis in a broad arch from Japan, Russian Far East, Bering Sea Coast, Gulf of Alaska, British Columbia to Washington, Oregon and N. California.

Papers are welcomed that explore:

  • The emergence of aquatic/maritime adaptations (where, when, why, how?).
  • Linkages between maritime adaptations and technology, social relations, cultural diversity, worldview (etc.).
  • Interactions between indigenous marine harvesters and neighboring or intrusive cultures (reindeer herders, market-based economies, colonial powers), in late Holocene and historic periods.

 A round-table discussion will follow presentations to explore synergies and implications to contemporary North Pacific maritime harvest communities. We seek presenters from representative countries, diverse backgrounds, including regional maritime communities.

Format: (a) 6 presented papers,15 minutes each; (b) round table discussion of 90 minutes.

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6. Detecting Shifts in Mobility Strategies in Prehistoric and Contemporary Forager Societies


Conveners & Abstract
Luc Moreau & Robert Kelly

The issue of hunter-gatherer mobility as a critical aspect of human adaptation to natural and social environments remains central within the social and human sciences. From an ecological perspective, mobility in small-scale societies is a way of bringing consumers to resources and to cope with risk and uncertainty with regard to where and when resources become available. While cultural and cognitive components affect movement of people across the landscape, subsistence is generally considered to be the primary factor conditioning mobility in forager societies. Decisions regarding mobility affect many aspects of socio-economic organization, territoriality, demography and enculturation processes in small-scale societies, as suggested by ethnoarchaeological research. Yet, the causal factors underlying behavioural shifts in mobility and land use strategies remain poorly understood in the archaeological and ethnological research. For example, while archaeologists have examined the effect of “risk” on technology, they have not considered its effect on mobility to such an extent. Instead, many archaeologists still think in typological terms (e.g. collectors vs. foragers; mobile vs. sedentary), and overlook the actual behavioural variability of the archaeological record despite a long recognized continuum in settlement strategies.

This session examines the effects of shifting mobility towards either increased or reduced residential mobility on the variability of techno-economic systems of prehistoric and contemporary foragers. The session aims to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue between archaeologists and ethnologists in order to achieve methodological and theoretical advances in addressing forager decision-making with regard to mobility strategies. The session should bring together studies derived from various fields of anthropological research, including prehistoric archaeology, ethno-archaeology, ethno-history, and social anthropology. Case studies should clearly stipulate the goals, decision variables, trade-offs, currencies, and constraints to be incorporated into anthropological reasoning/modelling. In order to provide focus, the title of each presentation should be formulated in form of a question and speakers are invited to address at least one of the following aspects in their paper:

  • the impact of environmental constraints (e.g. primary productivity, effective temperature, resource abundance) in reducing/increasing residential mobility;
  • identifying relevant proxies for site occupation span and mobility and elucidating meaningful and measurable patterns within and between these proxies;
  • the role of mobility in promoting social change;
  • agent-based modelling approaches


The session will be limited to 8 presentations of 10 minutes each, followed by 30 minutes of general discussion at the end of the panel.

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7. Hunter-Gatherers and the Law


Conveners & Abstract
Maria Sapignoli, Department of Law and Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle Saale, Germany

In the last several decades the pursuit of justice by and for hunter-gatherers has pushed increasing numbers of political struggles into the legal realm. This has occurred through claims of rights to resources, recognition, property, land, culture, and justice. Hunter-gatherers, like other people, sometimes resort to persistent forms of “lawfare” which translates their frustration, complaints, and sense of indignation into action, and expresses hope for restitution, recognition, and a just future. At the same time, however, legal regimes remain in many ways inseparable from the privileged status of nation-states and the inequalities that can result.

This symposium aims to explore this ambiguous space between law and justice by inviting contributors to discuss the challenges that follow from hunter-gatherers’ uses of law and participation in legal forums. It also addresses the ways in which laws have been used against hunter-gather groups. It will deal with both theoretical debates and empirical research, guided by several key objectives:

a) To reflect on the various forms hunter-gatherers’ struggles take: for instance, legal/adveresarial in courts or formal institutions; diplomatic/political mediation and negotiation; advocacy in national and international forums, and mediatic on the web, addressing a variety of audiences

b) To explore ways in which the law has been used against hunter-gatherers, for example, in leading to their arrests for violating hunting, fishing, and gathering laws and in restricting their use of wild resources and land. Cases in which hunter-gatherers have been able to use the legal system to their advantage will also be addressed.

c) To bring together scholars, practitioners, and activists to discuss their different strategies, experiences, challenges, conflicts, and collaborations in working on the rights of hunter-gatherers in various settings.

d) To raise questions concerning the territory between law and justice, that is, to explore the essence of indigenous rights and activism in a variety of contexts.

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* 8. Thriving Futures: Community Based Research and Planning


Conveners & Abstract
Sharon Harwood, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia
Norma Kassi, Arctic Institute for Community Based Research, Whitehorse, Canada
Gertrude Saxinger, University of Vienna and Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI)

Remote areas of this world are in the public discourse increasingly under political pressure to “develop”; be it in social, economic or demographic terms. On the community level, people are living under constant social changes – be it slow or fast ones. They think about their future as individuals and as remaining or becoming healthy communities. The meanings of being a healthy community are as diverse among groups such as cultures are highly diverse on this planet. Therefore, only the community itself can determine the plans for the future. This is where community planning comes into play. Planning refers to the publicly guided transformation of space. Planning is a process of human forethought and the subsequent actions based upon that thought that are focused upon the future. Planning is future orientated and simultaneously optimistic because it assumes the ability of the humans within the system to control the forces that impact upon the future. Community based planning is a form of planning that focuses on the grass roots level of the community as the alternative to a top down approach. To understand thoughts about the future and to turn them into plans and subsequent action in many cases involves planners and researchers from outside. Unlike in the past, more and more a call for community based research and planning is apparent in this context. Community based research involves directly the community members into the research process. It strives for capacity building on the long run in order to provide tools for community members to assess the present, identify potentials and challenges and subsequently to work out their future in a participative and grass root mode. This session critically discusses top-down planning and analyses the potentials of community based planning and community based research. We invite papers that discuss the notions of “development”, “future”, “planning” and “research” among the large variety of the todays societies that are or have been shaped by hunting and gathering. This session will consist of introductory papers that follow group discussions in the form of a – as we call it - “word-café”. In small groups the participants discuss one key question around the overall topic that is moderated by a “table host”. After ten minutes the participants go to the next table and discuss another related question and so forth. In the end each table presents the outcomes of the discussions to the plenary. In this way, the audience is directly involved into knowledge creation and critical thinking.

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9. The Secret Life of Hunter and Gatherer Collections and Exhibitions


Conveners & Abstract
Claudia Augustat & Barbara Plankensteiner, Weltmuseum Wien

In 1986 CHAGS IV was held at the London School of Economics focusing on “property, power and ideology”. In the same year the Museum of Ethnology Vienna (since 2013 Weltmuseum Wien) curated an exhibition on hunting and gathering societies which was shown at the Landesjagdmuseum Schloß Marchegg in Lower Austria. The introduction to the catalogue introduced these societies as “representatives or relics of the early history of mankind”. Looking at the development of hunter-gatherer studies since CHAGS I in 1966 there seems there has been a “slight” difference in how researchers and museums curators approached the topic.

Even if we don´t believe that such a discrepancy would happen today it is hard to proof. Hunter and gatherer societies tend to be almost absent from ethnographic museum displays and even museum collections of their material culture all over the world fairly known or published. Is it the “elementariness” of their material culture which dispelled them to the storage rooms? Or the trouble of dealing with stereotypes still alive in the public and sometimes nurtured by the museums themselves in the past? Is there still a “missing link” between research institutions and museums?

We envision our round table to discuss questions of this kind. We are looking for participants who would contribute to vivify the discussion on collections and representations of hunter and gatherer societies in the museum context through short presentations of 10 minutes. It can include presentations of collections, exhibitions and research projects but also on issues concerning representation practices.

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10. Multimedia Resources for Hunter-Gatherer Research


Conveners & Abstract
Nicole Kruspe & Niclas Burenhult (Lund University)

The field of Language Documentation has developed rapidly over the last fifteen years, in part due to dedicated funding initiatives like the Volkswagen Foundation’s DoBeS program, Arcadia’s Endangered Languages Documentation Program and the National Science Foundation’s DEL program. Rapid advances in technology over this same period have created exciting possibilities for researchers to build online multimedia workspaces, on the one hand preserving their research materials in a persistent, visible, and searchable environment, but also providing new opportunities for fellow researchers, community members, and the general public to explore and interact with these resources, and form new networks.

Projects documenting Hunter-Gatherers have been well represented among the aforementioned programs, and we now have collections documenting a range of communities from around the globe. These resources contain rich data sets of diverse content including environmental knowledge, spatial categories and movement, place, ritual, music, material culture, and history. Many of the resources have searchable time-aligned transcriptions and translations.

The aim of this session is to invite a selection of research coordinators to introduce and present their corpora, with a particular focus on the interdisciplinary possibilities that these resources afford. Following the presentations there will be a series of stations offering special ‘hands-on’ opportunities for the audience to explore the collections, and mingle with the presenters.

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11. Hunters and Gatherers on Display


Conveners & Abstract
Sophie Wagner, Ethnocineca, Vienna
Martin Lintner, Ethnocineca, Vienna

Audio-visual examples of recent research on hunter and gatherer societies between post-modern media myths and exoticism.

This workshop invites you to share current insights on hunting and gathering societies from the field of audio-visual and media anthropology. The broad focus allows for input from all stages of research: It can include the analysis of photo and film material from the field, questions of narratives and montage in the filmic postproduction, or can deal with the reception of hunting and gathering societies in scientific or popular audio-visual media. We accept all forms of contributions: screenings and discussions of film extracts, presentations of research findings and media analysis or personal reports on experiences in the field. We accept English and German contributions, the language used for discussion will be English, if necessary.

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12. Historical Ecology of Indigenous People in Amur Region


Conveners & Abstract
Shiro SASAKI (Professor; National Museum of Ethnology)
Hideyuki ONISHI (Associate Professor; Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts)

The Russian Far East, which is located in the opposite side of the Sea of Japan, is rich in forests. At the same time, in this area various ethnic groups have been living and sustaining their societies and cultures until the present. In particular, foragers based on hunting, fishing and gathering for their main subsistence activities are included in these groups. Therefore the Russian Far East can be considered as a hunter-gatherer milieu similar to the Kalahari Desert, the Arctic Zone, and the Amazon rainforest.

On the other hand, these foragers in this area had been maintaining relationships with their neighboring nations including the Chinese dynasties and the Russian empire since the medieval era at least. Needless to say, their societies at present are under the influences of politics and economies on the local and/or global level. Considering this background, the history of relationships between foragers in this area and outside nations during the long term can be examined.

In this session, we research and analyze the culture that has developed in this area from the adaptation not only to nature but also to the political and economic environment which was historically created by human activities, communities, and nations. In addition, we especially focus on historic changes caused by political influences on relationships and contacts with nation states from the ethnographic era until the present. As a result of these examinations, we show the social histories of foragers as indigenous people in the Russian Far East, who have been adapting to various, fluid and fragile political-economic environments. These findings will furnish new perspectives to a greater or lesser degree in hunter-gatherer studies because existing data on our subjects have been very limited until now.

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13. Contemporary Issues among Hunter-Fishers across the North Pacific


Conveners & Abstract
Benedict J. Colombi

Indigenous communities around the Pacific Rim face a common set of challenges and benefits despite often differing political and social histories. This panel will examine three large issues in comparative focus: 1) threats to salmon and other animal resources and the problems of making a living as a hunter/fisher; 2) precarious legal and political situations despite some recent gains vis-á-vis the state and dominant social groups; 3) challenges to revitalizing or maintaining traditions in indigenous communities in the face of severely endangered heritage languages and the loss of youth to emigration and suicide. These problems relating to ecology, politics , and cultural heritage may seem disparate to scholars, but they are experienced as deeply interconnected in North Pacific Indigenous communities. This roundtable session will explore those interconnections in a pre-circulation of papers and discussion at the Conference.

Format: (a) 6 presented papers,15 minutes each; (b) round table discussion of 90 minutes.

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14. Research and Activism among the Kalahari San today: Ideals, Challenges and Debates


Jennifer Hays, University of Tromsø and Richard B. Lee, University of Toronto

Studies of the San people of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and surrounding areas have been a prominent focus of hunter-gatherer research. Case studies of the /Gwi, //Gana, Twa, Khwe, Naro, !Xun, and Ju/’hoansi, among others, have been key sources of evidence and insights on hunter-gatherer lifeways for over a century. In the closing decades of the apartheid system and its dismantling after1994, the San have been the beneficiaries/victims of increasingly intense directed social change. Anthropologists and other researchers have observed and recorded these changes and related dynamics, and have also engaged with efforts to direct change, on various levels.

This panel will provide an update of San studies, primarily since 2000, with an emphasis on how San communities, the organizations that work with them, and researchers are engaging with rapid change – and also the ways in which research has contributed to the direction of change. Some areas of focus include (but are not limited to) the following:


  • efforts to preserve and foster local San languages and initiatives for mother-tongue literacy and the development of school curricula in San languages;
  • San subsistence practices, including research on the viability and persistence of hunting and gathering (and the maintenance of indigenous flora and fauna) and efforts to assist with economic transition;
  • the role of – and challenges faced by – community development trusts and conservancies in maintaining viable mixed subsistence bases;
  • the role of government, local and international non-government organizations, and donors in directing social change, and the extent to which they involve communities in decision-making processes;
  • the political mobilization of San communities for human and civil rights within their respective territories, and
  • the growth of political activism on national and international levels; how have the San expanded their visibility and leverage in national, regional, and international arenas?


Papers will also be solicited in the following areas: health, religious change, mining impacts, ethno-history, inter-ethnic relations, and genetics. The goal of the session will be to provide an overview of current research and future directions being charted by the San people in the 21st century.

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15. Inuit Studies today: New Approaches to old Issues


Conveners & Abstract
Peter Collings and George W. Wenzel

Research on Inuit Culture and Society has moved in some remarkable directions in the last half-century, with focus shifting from (1) examinations of acculturation to understanding emerging cultural and political identities, (2) documentation of traditional resource livelihood strategies to exploring issues of control over and participation in non-renewable resource development, and (3) investigating the structure and nature of dyadic interpersonal relations to exploring the dynamics of national and international politics. This symposium brings together scholars engaged in new approaches to old topics. Once thought resolved or dormant, research on the nature of culture change, traditional livelihoods, and social organization remain relevant when cast in the light of new methods and approaches.

The geographic scope of these presentations encompasses the whole of Inuit Nunangat, from North Alaska to Greenland, and ethnographically includes Inupiat, Inuit-Inuvialuit and Kalaallit-Inughuit. Themes of the session include papers on the following: (a) From Settlement to Urban Life; (b) the Challenges of Non-Renewable Resource Development in an Era of Climate Change; (c) Social Network Approaches to Kinship and Social Organization; (c) From Internal Colonialism to Globalization; (d) Governance: Local, National and International; and (e) Change in the Northern Research Environment. The session highlights how new methodologies and concepts are providing new anthropological insights about Inuit responses and adaptations to a continually changing northern environment.

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16. Amazonia from East to West: Synthesizing Perspectives on Foraging Societies in Lowland South America


Conveners & Abstract
Louis Forline, Dept. of Anthropology, Univ. of Nevada, Reno

Amazonia forms part of what Patricia Lyon once referred to as anthropology’s “least known continent”. Although ethnographically rich, lowland South America in particular suffered from a paucity of studies regarding indigenous societies. Foraging groups still drew lesser attention as a result of their isolation and the little attention paid to this region’s history; however, an expanding paper trail of work among Amazonian foragers has been established within the last 30 years enriching the corpus of anthropological work in this area. Amazonian foraging societies, past and present, have helped shape and redefine questions pertaining to hunter-gatherer research, giving new directions in the study of language, archaeology, social relations, regional diversity, and globalization. In this session, participants will provide a broad, yet in-depth perspective to examining foraging groups in the Amazon region. This area embraces nine different countries, hosting a large number of groups that practice various degrees of foraging, occupying a large mosaic of ecological zones. These groups provide a wealth of knowledge in the utilization and management of natural resources and have a complex history linked to their natural environment, neighboring groups and nation states. Participants will make brief presentations on their work and engage in discussions to cross fertilize their own experiences with those of other participants and the audience to detail the contributions their studies can make to ongoing hunter-gatherer research. In this endeavor, we aim to explore work that has been conducted in the area of historical ecology, foragers and their neighbors, sociolinguistics, advocacy, and human rights. Session participants are engaged in current and ongoing research in this region and this session will also aid in enhancing their own studies.

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17. Religious Beliefs and Practices as definig Features in Small-Scale Hunting-Gathering Societies


Conveners & Abstract
Mikael Rothstein (University of Southern Denmark)
Peter Sercombe (Newcastle University, UK)

The religious systems of hunter-gatherers/foragers remain very much under-researched and, given advancements in the academic study of religion, this area is in need of a boost. Traditionally, it has been assumed that beliefs among foragers typically include a reverence for nature and ongoing renewal, belief in higher powers (such as gods or spirits), are commonly linked to totemism and shamanism and the idea of a medium or a ritual expert (Guenther 1999). It is also recognized that foragers have tended not to distinguish between the natural and supernatural realms, and that beliefs can often be linked to a time before a group’s existence. Finally it is routinely claimed that foragers’ religions often mirror animatism and/or animism (concepts that are presently challenged in research). Belief systems and ritual practice, nonetheless, vary markedly between foraging groups, thus making statements of uniformity highly problematic with reference to hunting and gatherers in general. Diversity is compounded by the ‘fluidity of myth and lore’ that is a feature or oral literature, given the high likelihood of individual differences in recounting myths. On that basis this session proposes a re-evaluation or reassessment of traditional assumptions, and offers, as a point of departure, a list of features intended to frame important aspects of the versatile concept of hunter-gatherers’ religions:


  • No dogmatism and uniformity, and therefore a high level of diversity of religious notions
  • Geographic and topographic focus: Religious beliefs and behaviour closely linked with specific localities
  • Culture rather than nature: ”Nature” is typically an integrated part of the cultural realm
  • Horizontal rather than vertical cosmologies
  • Narratives etc. carried by oral tradition that are explicitly integrated with religion
  • Multiplicity of entities: A host of gods, ancestors, spirits etc., but not necessarily animistic beliefs
  • Relatively vague concepts of creation and the afterlife
  • Focus on everyday life
  • Cyclical concepts of time: Predominantly focus on the prevailing, not what is supposed to be in a distant future
  • Low level of ritualization
  • High level exchange with, and adaptation to, other belief systems (neighbouring cultures, but also missionaries)
  • No explicit religious ethics
  • No tradition of religious detachment
  • Religious egalitarianism rather than experts


This session intends to reflect on foragers’ beliefs, especially at a time of increasing pressure on foragers and their environments, looking at: the dynamic nature of foragers’ beliefs, their adaptability, and the structure and content of orality that transmits and reflects foraging ideologies.

Reference Guenther, M. (1999). ‘From totemism to shamanism: hunter-gatherer contributions to world mythology and spirituality.’ In R.B. Lee & R. Daly (eds). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 426-433.

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18. Hunter-Gatherers’ Metaphysics – does it exist?


Conveners & Abstract
Signe Howell and Nurit Bird-David

Through a focus on the praxis of indigenous communities- d studied within the framework of hunter-gathere studies – we want to explore whether their metaphysics share partial commonalities. If so, how can we account for this?. What features persist through the changes they are currently undergoing? We invite contributors to present detailed ethnography and pay attention both to regional-cultural expressions and to expressions related to features characteristically associated with such groups, such as traditions of hunting-and gathering, collective identity, co-habitation of small l groups of relatives, and their close relationship with the environment.

Format: Usual with sufficient time for roundtable discussion at the end.

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19. Conflict and Resilience in Hunter-Gatherer Religions


Conveners & Abstract
Diana Riboli: Department of Social Anthropology, Panteio University, Greece
Ivan Tacey: Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science, Université Lumière Lyon 2, France

Form: Standard presentations or short films (20 minutes per discussant)

In this panel we invite speakers to critically examine the transformation and modes of resilience of hunter-gatherers’ traditional religions within the culturally and politically more powerful environments they are situated.

Despite the fact that many hunter-gather populations have been pressured to convert to State religions, animism still represents a fundamental aspect of their lives and worldviews. New theoretical frameworks proposed by Descola, De Castro, Ingold, and others, have revived anthropologists interest in animism. Panel speakers should reflect upon the contribution and implications made by such frameworks to the discussion of how pressures from the State and globalization impact animism.

The importance hunter-gatherers give to environmental and climatic phenomena, and to the other-than-human persons associated with them, plays a major role in the shaping of these peoples’ moral worlds. The ontology of animism, which recognizes the social dimension of human/non-human relations and proposes a social continuum linking humans and non-humans, often stands in conflict to State-oriented views which are frequently focused on the exploitation of natural resources for economic benefit.

State societies are unequivocally demographically, politically and economically more powerful than hunter-gatherer minorities living within their borders. However, religious specialists of these small-scale groups have often taken up the role of political leaders in colonial and post-colonial periods. Their highly-specialized knowledge of the environment, and of “other” worlds, makes them powerful figures within their communities and opens a space where the ability to combat the State becomes a possibility.

We invite scholars to discuss the interstices of State and non-State power through an examination of the resilience of hunter-gatherers’ religious systems. Interested scholars should place an emphasis on the influence that global flows and new technologies are having in this context. Both historical and contemporary reflections are welcomed.

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* 20. Dynamics and Variations in the Conception and Performance of (E)jengi, Guardian Spirit of the Congo Basin Forest


Conveners & Abstract
Susanne Fürniss, Jerome Lewis, Daou V. Joiris

Ejengi, Jengi or Edzengi is the guardian spirit of the Congo basin forest in several cultures from CAR and Congo to Cameroon and Gabon. In some of these areas its appearance through a full raffia mask is the archetypal emblem for Pygmy cultures, and different groups use this to recognize themselves as being part the same ritual complex.

This panel aims to explore subregional and local specificities of the conception of this spirit (social and political roles, spiritual characteristics, mythical resonances, attributes, powers, family structure, behaviours, therapeutical issues etc.), of his relationship to humans (as individuals or as a group, male ritual associations, women and uninitiated people, reasons for appealing on him or for him to decide to appear) and his performance when he comes to dance among people (sound expressions, dance, songs and rhythms).

We propose to make short synthetic contributions of 15-20 minutes. This may follow a thread, to be developed once participants are identified.

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21. Ritual Action


Conveners & Abstract
Jerome Lewis, UCL

This panel invites ethnographically informed presentations concerning ritual actions and religious behaviours or performances among hunter-gatherers. These may include, but are not limited to, analyses of particular practices such as animal slaughter, healing, informal practices such as greeting other natural kinds, making offerings, body percussion,or performing music, rituals or masked dances. Presenters are invited to reflect on broader issues such as whether hunter-gatherer ritual practices or behaviours have sufficient unity, stability and coherence to constitute 'religion'? How do hunter-gatherers conceptualise their ritual actions? How do ritual actions relate to economics or politics, or reveal cosmology?

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22. Theories from the Field? Siberian Ethnography of Hunter-Gatherers and Anthropological Theory


Conveners & Abstract
David G. Anderson (University of Aberdeen, UK)
Dmitry V. Arzyutov (University of Aberdeen, UK; Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), St.Petersburg, Russia)

Our panel will focus on 1) field notes taken during field work with hunter-gatherers which have enabled the researchers to conceive new anthropological theories, and 2) how anthropological theories depend on the practices and ideologies shared by the researched community. In this we follow the steps of Apparadurai and Fabian. On the one hand, Arjun Appadurai (1986) and James Fabian (2000) paid attention to the relations between the field and the history of colonization. On the other hand, they focused on the creation of anthropological theory from the materials in the same field site.

Similarly, three Siberian ethnographers (namely, Prince Peter A. Kropotkin, Sergei M. Shirokogoroff, and Ethel J. Lindgren) developed concepts, such as “mutual aid”, “co-evolution”, “psychomental complex”, and “Tungus character” from their work with and observation of so-called 'hunter-' and 'reindeer-' Evenki.

Stemming from this, we would like to discuss 1) how social relations within hunter-gatherers communities in Siberia can influence the creation of new concepts in social anthropology, 2) what is the role of data gathered during field work in the history of anthropological concepts, 3) how anthropologists perceive their continuous living between the “local knowledge” found in the field and the “local knowledge” found in Academia.

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23. A Glimpse into Our Past?


Conveners & Abstract
Reinhard Blumauer & Sarah Kwiatkowski (Vienna)

A Glimpse into Our Past? Studies on Hunting and Gathering Societies in the german-speaking countries in a historical perspective.

In the german speaking countries Hunter and Gatherer Studies have an interesting and eventful history. In Austria in particular early research was closely linked to members of the Societas Verbi Divini and thus to the Wiener Schule der Kulturkreislehre (Vienna School of Culture Circle Theory). From the 1950s onwards Hunter and Gatherer Studies also formed a focus of materialist research in Cultural and Social Anthropology.

The establishment of the “anthropological sciences” as a proper scientific field also led to the formation of anthropological societies, institutes (departments) and networks both within as well as between Germany and Austria. Over time various “schools” with differing paradigmatic approaches developed.

We are therefore looking for contributions that investigate those different paradigmatic and methodological approaches of the past. We also invite contributors whose focus is on the biographies of important researchers of the field. As a third focus we would like to have a look at the networks that existed between individuals, institutions as well as on a larger societal level.

Outside of academic research and teaching Hunter and Gatherer Studies also made an appearence in the wider public: “Volksbildung” (adult education), political discourse and popular culture repeatedly concerned themselves with the so called “primitive peoples” and so became a link between academia and the public. In this context we welcome contributions that examine the visual representation of the studied hunter and gatherer societies as well as the effect of those representations on public and scientific discourse in the past.

But the main task of the session is to build a bridge to contemporary research in Hunter and Gatherer Studies by raising the quesitions of dis-/continuity in research programms and fields.

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24./46.Hunter-gatherer affluence: Social and material perspectives


Conveners & Abstract

Myrian Álvarez, CONICET-CADIC. Argentina.
Ivan Briz i Godino, CONICET-CADIC. Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur.
Argentina. University of York. UK

After half a century do hunter-gatherers once again represent a 'golden age'? Marshall Sahlins constructed hunter-gatherers as being affluent through being economically able to achieve their desires. In recent years however we have seen psychologists, psychotherapists, neuroscientists and medics draw on foragers to represent a style of humanity which 'works' in comparison to modern 'broken' societies. Do representations of foraging as a way of life which is emotionally, socially and biologically 'golden' in comparison to our own have any basis in the reality of a foraging existence?

In this session we combine anthropological and archaeological approaches to the distinctive sociality of hunter-gatherers. We consider how hunter-gatherer societies and dynamics can be understood and appreciated from new social perspectives through a focus on particular anthropological contexts. We also consider how a social approach to the material world can address the issues of the time depth of distinctively hunter-gatherer sociality. To approach this we focus on the issue of material consumption in social reproduction, a topic which remains unexplored in areas other than those related to dietary practices or to faunal exploitation. However consumption and the use of the material world involves a more extensive field of research and encompasses an array of practices related to how societies socialize material objects. We broaden the debate on the multiple dimensions of material consumption in hunter-gatherer societies, discuss the production/consumption dialectic, the role of consumption in human innovations and in identity construction and how symbolic and social values are expressed or materialized in consumption practices.

We take a new look at 'affluence' moving away from economic and considering new approaches to cooperation, altruism and egalitarianism. Is there a certain affluence to a foraging to which we particularly need to pay attention? And can we trace back this affluence to long term evolutionary context though considering how use and consumption in the material world is structured?


  • Changing approaches to what makes hunter-gatherers unique – from economic to social models
  •  Acquisition and consumption of material goods – to what extent social, emotional and economic attitudes are reflected in and can be interpreted from material culture
  • The time depth of hunter-gatherer social adaptations as inferred from material culture
  •  What we can learn from hunter-gatherer societies? (before it is too late)
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25. Challenging Those Who Think Only Advanced Cultures Have Rights or Values


Conveners & Abstract
Peter Gardner

Those who study hunter-gatherers in contact situations often have to deal with arrogant neighbors who take the stance that only people such as they themselves are sufficiently advanced to have rights or values. This frequently puts us in situations in which the neighbors harass and humiliate those with whom we work. I, who had been a Euro-Canadian earlier in my life, found myself testifying to a Canadian judge regarding competition for land use between Native Canadians and those with plans to build a pipeline straight across ancestral (and still used) trap-lines. This was not an unusual situation in today’s world. But we, as ethnographers, may be in a position to correct the ethnocentric assumptions of people who are used to having power on their side. Such situations provide opportunities for us to use our professional tool-kit toward dispelling myths as to the “broken” cultures of contemporary hunter-gatherers. These may actually be perfect teaching opportunities. Several ethnographers are reporting on comparable experiences elsewhere.

Form: Up to five brief presentations, plus at least 15 minutes of general discussion.

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26. Hunter-Gatherers, Archaeology and the Emergence of Symbolic Culture


Conveners & Abstract
Camilla Power, Ian Watts

Palaeolithic archaeologists, palaeontologists and geneticists have made great progress over the last 25 years in identifying


  • the time and place of our ‘speciation’ (c.200 ka in Africa);
  • a minimum estimate for the antiquity of symbolic culture in our lineage (c.100 ka in Africa); and
  • a space-time framework for subsequent global dispersal.


Despite this progress, hunter-gatherer specialists, whether social or evolutionary, have been extremely cautious about engaging with the possible implications of this new understanding (Barnard 2012). Yet, as Marlowe (2005) argues, ‘the ethnographic record of foragers provides the only direct observations of human behavior in the absence of agriculture, and as such is invaluable for testing hypotheses about human behavioral evolution.’

Archaeologists are uniquely placed to inform us about the development of campsites and ritualized behaviours, our shared heritage with sister lineages, the unique forms this took in our lineage and, finally, the comparative record of Neanderthals. Hunter-gatherer specialists are correspondingly uniquely placed to inform us about kinship, childcare, residence patterns, the sexual division of labour, political formations and the whole spectrum of pre-literate communicative strategies – ritual, dance, song, storytelling, adornment, rock-art etc. Given this heritage of historic and present-day hunter-gatherer ethnography, are we in a position to constrain our models of the processes central to the emergence of symbolic culture?

This session invites hunter-gatherers specialists across disciplines – archaeologists, behavioural ecologists, geneticists, social, cultural and symbolic anthropologists – to contribute to the debate on what made us human. We hope to break down barriers between methodologies and disciplines, and we especially invite contributions addressing hunter-gatherer peoples' own discourses on origins.

Barnard, A. 2012 Genesis of Symbolic Thought. Cambridge UP.

Marlowe, F. W. 2005 Hunter-gatherers and human evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology 14: 54 –67.

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27. Oral Tradition, Sociolinguistics, Language Contact in Hunting and Gathering societies. An Ethnolinguistic perspectives on identity matters.


Conveners & Abstract
Ilaria Micheli (UNITS Italy), Antonia Soriente (UNIOR Italy), Maarten Mous (University of Lei-den), Mauro Tosco (UNITO Italy)

Since the founding conference of 1966, “Man The Hunter”, HG studies adopted a multidisciplinary approach, involving a number of experts from different disciplines of the Social Sciences all around the world. Anyway there is still much work to do and, as Alan Barnard suggested in his Introduction to the edition of chosen works of the IX CHAGS in 2003 (“Hunters and Gatherers in History, Archaeology and Anthropology”, Berg), it is now time to adopt a wider perspective, ad-ding, to the traditional six key issues (evolutionism, foraging strategies, woman the gatherer, world-view and symbolic analysis, HG in prehistory and history), other two main themes: relations with outsiders and indigenous voices. These themes should be central also in the linguistic debate, which, until recently, concerning the study of HG languages, adopted a prevalently historic perspective.

What we propose is something new: focussing on the sociolinguistics of HG communities (langua-ge use and language choice, both “at home” and in the transactions with neighbors), on problems of language contact (and therefore of peoples’ contact) and on the contents of oral traditions (the history of the group according to the group itself), this panel aims to propose interesting elements for discussion on the two new issues suggested by Barnard. A second major objective is to discuss another very delicate question: language preservation and revitalization as a key factor to the for-mation of a shared sense of indigenousness, to be conceived in connection with the understanding of the policies of international aid and with the study of the State’s own linguistic strategy.

Panel form: traditional

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28. Hunter-Gatherer Languages in Contact


Conveners & Abstract
Harald Hammarström | harald.hammarstrom@gmail.com
Nadine Grimm

Many hunter-gather (HG) societies are known to live in close contact with non-HGs. A wealth of new empirical data from the past decades enables us to take a fresh look at the dynamics of language contact. In the proposed session, we explore language contact situations of HGs as a window onto the current state of HG societies as well as to address historic relations between HGs and their neighbors. Since HGs and their languages were more prevalent in the past, a better understanding of HG language contact holds the promise of answering many questions about the prehistory of present (and former) hunting and gathering peoples.

Some questions that may be considered include (but are not limited to):


  • Do HGs, as often assumed, readily adapt to non-HGs' languages in contact situations to a point of complete language shift and loss of their own language?
  • Are there common tendencies or differences in language contact phenomena of HGs (possibly contrasted with non-HGs), e.g. concerning elements of borrowing or degrees of shift/retention?
  • Can a prehistoric shift from/to a HG subsistence mode be diagnosed from synchronic linguistic data?
  • What factors condition shifts to/from a HG subsistence mode and the retention of the associated language?


We welcome both detailed case and big-picture studies addressing such questions.

Format: The format consists of 20-minute presentation slots and open discussion rounds. 2–3 presentations will serve as a basis to be followed by an open discussion that links to one of the broader questions. The discussion will be lead by an individual discussant. Discussants will be selected by the organizers from the participants and be given a copy of the presentations in advance. The themes of each discussion round will be agreed upon with the participants beforehand to allow preparation and accommodate participants' interests.

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29. Personal Autonomy among Hunter-Gatherers: Egalitarianism, Relationality, and Personhood


Conveners & Abstract
Sophie Elixhauser, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany
Janne Flora, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Among many hunting and gathering societies the importance of respecting the ‘personal autonomy’ of others seems particularly pronounced. Ultimately a virtue, personal autonomy is a marker for human personhood, mind and reason; one which is learned and managed from an early age. It informs the various circumlocutory and indirect ways in which people approach each other in public meetings, disputes, or in negotiating the elusive balance between expectations and disappointments in interpersonal relationships. Alluding to the commonly held idea that hunter-gatherers do not generally recognize formal authority, are non-competitive, and enjoy a great deal of personal and group autonomy, some anthropologists have related autonomy to notions of ‘personal individualism’, ‘freedom of choice’, ‘equality’, and ‘egalitarianism’ (Gardner 1991, Myers 1986, Woodburn 1992). This autonomy, nevertheless, differs from the western notion of individualism since it is at the outset embedded within social relations. Behaviour by non-human persons (e.g. animals); spirits (internal and external to the human person); and events themselves, may also be rationalised as possessing degrees or forms of personal autonomy, and may further point towards a specific notion of ‘relational’ personhood (cf. Ingold 1991, see also Strathern’s ‘dividual’ person).

This panel focuses on the production and understanding of personal autonomy, and personhood (human and non-human) respectively, and the disparate roles it might play in interpersonal relationships. We invite papers based on ethnographic studies from different regions world-wide as well as papers with applied, historical or theoretical focus.

Possible topics include:


  • Processes and development of personal autonomy
  • Balancing personal autonomy and western values of individuality
  • Personal autonomy and health, legal or law enforcing institutions
  • Personal autonomy and personal well-being
  • Christian notions of selflessness and self-improvement
  • Autonomy of animals and other non-human agents
  • Linguistic expressions of personal autonomy
  • Autonomy and personhood



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30. Is hunter-Gatherer Kinship Special and (how) Does It Change? Perspectives from Anthropology, Linguistics, History and Beyond


Conveners & Abstract
Pat McConvell, ANU, Canberra
Gertrud Boden, Cologne
Bill McGregor, Aarhus University

David Schneider's (1972) provocative question ‘What is kinship all about?’ has led to schisms in anthropology which echo in recent times. The opposite poles are cultural relativism, and the tradition of a human universal set of categories from which typologies of systems can be drawn. Intermediate positions include a hypothesis that links hunter-gatherers with ‘universal kinship categorisation’ in which members of a society or beyond classify everyone as specific kin.

The panel invites contributions on former and current ideologies, practices and categorizations in kinship in hunter-gatherer societies. How are kinship terms and systems used in hunter-gatherer societies and is this distinctive? Does hunter-gatherer kinship relate to an ideology of universal kinship and sharing as proposed by Alan Barnard (2002)? Are ‘universal kinship’ systems supported by other social naming systems such as age grades, ‘namesakes’ in Southern Africa and parts of Australia, or the systems of social categories (sections etc.) in Australia? Are hunter-gatherer kinship features relics of early human society or are they much more recent developments? Does the identification of particular features of hunter-gatherer kinship lead to “othering” (Shapiro 2005)? What are the consequences for attempts at historical reconstruction? How does hunter-gatherer kinship change when livelihoods change? How are kinship categories, ideologies and practices expressed in the hunter-gatherer mother tongues and in other languages encountered, and in the metalanguages used by anthropology and linguistics? What kind of data and data bases do we need to answer such questions? How do academic concepts of kinship in different disciplines, not only anthropology and linguistics, but also political economy or genetics affect academic and self-images as well as real lives of (former) hunter-gatherers, e.g. the use of genealogies and genetics in granting tribal rights and claiming native title? We invite both case studies and theoretical or methodological contributions.

Order of presentations:fileadmin/user_upload/DOEVL_events/Kongressservice/Chags_Final/session30.pdf

115891Boden, McGregor & McConvellBeyond "universal kinship categorisation" in hunter-gatherer research
216144HeadyNetwork, collectivity and culture in the transition from primate to human kinship
315974DoussetThe dangers of mathematical beauty: are 'pure forms' of Australian hunter-gatherer kinship systems really old?
415935ParkinHunter-gatherers and tetradic kinship: why the lack of fit?
515928TakadaKinship and naming practices among the !Xun of north-central Namibia
616043ReadImplications of the generative logic of kinship terminologies for hunter-gatherer societies
715933McConvell & McConvellExtending your family across Australia: Mapping pragmatic equivalence of sections and subsections
815876SercombeThe changing face of Penan nomenclature
916093MilanovaThe Proto-Indo-European kinship terms in *ter as relics of primordial initiation status
1016056Dziebel & PopovAlternate generation merging in the absence of marriage classes: some observations on the chronotope as a dimension of kinship among Hunter-Gatherers
1115943RubelCan hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies have the same type of kinship system: Tlingit and Trobriand societies compared
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31. Boundaries: Encroachment, Competition, Cooperation, and Conflict in the Hunter-Gatherer Past


Conveners & Abstract
Anna Marie Prentiss and Kristen D. Barnett, Department of Anthropology, The University of Montana, Missoula MT 59812

Interaction between neighboring populations has been a fact of life in the past as well as modern times. Anthropologists have theorized extensively regarding mechanisms by which hunter-gatherers maintain boundaries within their life-space, whether by outright defense of territory, social boundary defense, or passive territories. This literature permits significant insight into the means by which these groups maintained stable boundaries and inter-group relationships. We also know that inter-group relationships could be fragile and that periodically, conflict could emerge for many reasons. A more complex scenario could be expected when groups previously unknown to one another came into contact. In this situation, groups often lacked negotiated traditions for maintaining social and geographic boundaries. Indeed, in some scenarios there may have been little interest in establishing such cooperative relationships leading to competition and potentially direct conflict. Archaeologists have developed an extensive literature regarding the historical impacts of colonialism, which may offer some insight and expectations as we imagine such inter-group interactions between hunter-gatherer societies or hunter-gatherers and food producers relying upon domesticated resources. However, many of these histories did not involve true colonialism in the geo-political sense. Thus, it is appropriate that archaeologists interested in theorizing such historical relationships incorporate concepts from post-colonial theory but also explore alternative models drawing from a wide range of social, ecological, evolutionary, and indigenous theory. This symposium seeks to draw together scholars interested in the topic of hunter-gatherer boundary formation (or lack thereof) in contexts of emergent relationships between groups lacking common history. Contributors will discuss theoretical and methodological frameworks along with archaeological case studies emphasizing migrations and transitional periods in world prehistory with the goal of offering new insight into old problems. Time will be allotted for questions and group discussion. Case studies could be drawn globally from the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and later periods.

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* 32. Human-Bird Relationships in the Study of Hunters and Gatherers


Conveners & Abstract
David Anderson (University of Aberdeen); Sara Asu Schroer (University of Aberdeen)

Connecting the spheres of earth and sky, birds and their ability to fly and transcend the human boundedness to the ground, have long fascinated humans and inspired their imagination. Yet the significance of birds in human lives remains an understudied field in anthropological inquiry of human-animal relationships. This panel seeks to address this lacuna. We invite contributors to discuss the manifold ways in which the lives of birds and humans interweave. Birds have always played a significant role in practices of shamanism, as symbols in religious rites and rituals and appear as mythical figures in oral histories. They further may be integrated into human lives as companions, often taking on a liminal position that complicates straight forward boundary drawing between the domestic and the wild. Furthermore, the relationships that develop through the knowledge of birds as well as the engagement with them may reveal interesting aspects on how humans relate to the environment and places in which they conduct their lives. Contributions to this panel may engage with either of these aspects but should not be limited to them.

The format of this panel will be a roundtable. This will allow room for ample discussion of central questions of the papers presented in dialogue with the other participants.

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33. Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Among Human and Non-Human Animals


Conveners & Abstract
Clint Westman, Laura Siragusa

We aim to attract papers which focus on speech data documenting human-animal relationships. Specifically, we intend to challenge evolutionary models of domestication by investigating existing relations between human and non-human animals. We suggest a round table session in which each participant will introduce their work in relation to the topic of the session. After the presentations, the participants will be divided in sub-groups where they can compare their work in more depth and start arranging future publications. Indeed, as a result of our discussion we envision co-authoring one or more major research articles which would document communicative practices as a vital and varied part of human-animal ties. We envision broadly comparative articles based on existing data of contributors, which would show the centrality of speech to project themes involving relationality and respect.

Possible focal areas for discussion include:


  • Lexicons/syntax and knowledge: How do specific lexical/semantic features reflect knowledge, respect, and relations, not only between humans and animals but also between humans themselves?
  • Talking to/about/like animals: How do people show respect for animals in addressing them? Which languages are used efficaciously for this? Do the animals understand? How do people express respect when talking about animals? Which languages are used? What are the social implications of rituals/events when humans represent animals?
  • Discussion of animal calls: How do people talk about animal calls, their speed and loudness, their character and meaning?
  • Nonverbal communication and silence: How are these deployed in instances of human-animal relations and connections? How do people discuss cases of animals “trying to say something”?
  • Dreams: Much of the communication between humans and animals in shamanic worlds occurs in dreams and dream-like states.
  • Music: Although perhaps something of a separate issue, music also provides for communication with and calling of animals. Does anyone have musicological data that could fit with above themes?



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34. Relationships of No Small Significance: Invisibility, Animals, and the Domus

Conveners & Abstract
Jan Peter Laurens Loovers & Rob Wishart (both University of Aberdeen)

There exists a growing dissatisfaction with materialist explanations for Northern gatherer-hunter and animal relationships. The earlier versions have tended to focus on a few choice mega-faunal resources as drivers for adaptation. Coupled with an unease of stripping away local sensibilities in some more recent science studies, this panel raises the question of how people make multiple relationships with a variety of animals in the formation of their domus or home, place, land, etc. This redrawing of attention brings those animals - which have been relatively invisible in academic discourse - back into focus. Moreover, we can examine and elucidate how the strict boundaries between the domesticated and the gatherer/hunter require an artificial shifting of experience which blurs real human and animal familiarity. We are seeking contributions that explicitly address the ways that people form partnerships and other entanglements with animals that sit between the formal understandings of the domesticate and the wild, the hunter and the cultivator.

This panel which is sponsored by the ERC advanced grant Arctic Domus, hopes to include a variety of speakers including academics, indigenous community members, community heritage researchers. We request time not only for paper presentations for 10-12 people but also for an informal, inviting round table discussion on forgotten animals and the politics, and reality, of domestication in the North.

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35. Animal Auxiliaries Among Hunting and Gathering Societies

Conveners & Abstract
Edmond Dounias, IRD, France & Lye Tuck-Po, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang

Many hunter-gatherers have animal companions to successfully conduct some of their foraging activities—whether consistently or opportunistically. Horse riding and hunting with dogs are the best known examples of interacting with animal auxiliaries, but other much less mediated partners should also be evoked in that respect: cormorants and dolphins for fishing, falcons and other raptors for hunting, monkeys for fruit collecting in tall trees, honey guides for wild honey harvesting, nicator bird for wild yam searching, moths guiding to palm trees infested by edible weevil larvae…. Quite a few other partners of this type might exist or have existed worldwide but are only anecdotally described, if not totally ignored, in the literature on hunting and gathering societies. The particular interactions woven throughout history with animal auxiliaries offer totally new insights in the field of ethnozoology among hunting and gathering societies.

Firstly, some auxiliaries are fully domesticated thus raising the issue of domestication processes in the particular context of nomadic hunting and gathering livelihoods. However, many auxiliaries are only pseudo/para/proto domesticates: partnerships with these animals may sometimes result from long co-evolutionary processes in which both partners find strong reciprocal benefit to collaborate. Secondly, the assistance of an auxiliary may intervene in all kinds of activities and not solely for hunting. This collaboration has been poorly explored for fishing as well as for the gathering of non-animal resources. Lastly, the use of animal auxiliaries may encourage us to revisit the usual dualistic human/prey model, and to deal instead with a much more complex ecological triptych, in which human/auxiliary and auxiliary/prey interactions should be considered carefully. This session will be an unprecedented occasion to hear about surprising forms of collaborations between hunter-gatherers and some animal companions. The session should stimulate innovative reflections on foraging activities through the vast continuum of practices bridging the wild and the domesticated.

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* 36. Hunter-Gatherer Ecologies: Paths Forward

Conveners & Abstract
Lye Tuck-Po, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang & Edmond Dounias, IRD, France

Hunter-gatherer societies are among those most commonly analysed using an ecological framework, from the pioneering studies of Marcel Mauss and Franz Boas, through to Julian Steward and his successors, and onwards. Thrilling discoveries about food procurement, work effort, band flexibility, gender, and other standard topics helped to overturn many received ideas about the nature of hunter-gatherer ecologies. The rise of actor-based and processual approaches and the increasing prominence of scientific models from the 1960s onwards brought a new level of methodological rigour to research programmes, as did Marxist and world system approaches, which encouraged more rigorous specifications of terms and contexts. Over the decades since, studies of hunter-gatherer ecologies have also been infused with ethnoecology, phenomenology, optimal foraging theories, sociobiology, historical ecology, political ecology, and other –ologies, while continuing to carve out a well-defined path in human and cultural ecology. Sometimes it has seemed like there is nothing new left to say, yet ethnographic fieldwork continues to uncover hitherto undocumented aspects of hunter-gatherer environmental relations, and archaeologists (ethno- or otherwise) continue to generate new models of long-term human environmental change (among other new developments). However, traditional methods of documentation may no longer be sufficient, with the emergence of global environmental problems that are radically transforming environments and with mitigatory or adaptational measures often requiring cross-regional comparisons and knowledge of long-term processes. Whatever the nature of the environmental problem, localized, regional, or global, short- or long-term, rights and equity issues are often sidelined, and the prospects for maintaining cultural and ecological resilience often under threat.

What are the main research trends across all areas where hunter-gatherers are found? Given the diversity of approaches available now, can we detect common areas of agreement and disagreement about hunter-gatherer environmental relations? How do we continue to undertake interdisciplinary research, in order to create new, socially and politically informed, syntheses? What inspirations and models may we draw from our intellectual antecedents? What are the possibilities for doing participatory research while still maintaining the highest standards of empirical fieldwork? What other contributions can hunter-gatherer specialists make to resolving environmental problems?

This roundtable will begin with discussion points prepared by the speakers (no more than five minutes each), followed by free form debate and discussion. We anticipate having six or seven speakers, representing different generations and theoretical approaches. We invite archaeologists, linguists, and biological anthropologists to join the conversation with sociocultural anthropologists. The objective is to review the state of knowledge, to see how we can move forward.

Following a roundtable format, the session is divided in two parts: a 35-minute presentation of discussion questions by speakers and a 55-minute general discussion in which the audience is a crucial participant. There will be no formal reading of papers. Audience members are strongly encouraged to listen to all the presentations then remain until the end of the session. The first part begins with an overview by Lye Tuck-Po, followed by presentations in the following order: Miyako Koizumi, “Comparative ethnobotany of Bornean groups” (16033); David G. Anderson, “Emplacing human-animal relations” (16120); Bruce Winterhalder, “Hunter-gatherers, anthropology and ourselves” (16071); Tessa Minter, “Hunter-gatherers’ rights in theory and practice” (16091). Edmond Dounias will then review and commentate with “Facilitating continuity and responsiveness in hunter-gatherer research.” We then move immediately to a free-form but moderated discussion based on questions and issues raised by the speakers, and will invite the audience to pose additional questions and comments of their own.

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37. Indigenous Legal Practices and Legal Practices Regarding Indigenous Rights in the Circumpolar North


Conveners & Abstract
Natalia Loukacheva, Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Governance and Law/ Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Northern British Columbia
Mara Kimmel, Doctoral Student, Central European University
Gail Fondahl, Professor, Geography Program, University of Northern British Columbia

The growing magnitude of changes occuring in the North has generated increased inquiry into the role of law and existing legal practices in addressing the many challenges that Indigneous northerners face today. On the one hand, we observe the pluralism of legal orders across the Arctic that may contain innovative solutions to addressing such challenges. On the other hand, the dominanting influence of national legal systems on the state of domestic affairs of sub-national entities and communities in the North raises the question of the role of Indigenous legal traditions, knowledge, ways of dealing with change, and practices in different Northern issues and developments. By focusing on examples from the North, this session shall look at Indigenous “law-ways,” relevant practices, knowledge and traditions, their nexus with legal systems and their role in contemporary Northern developments. This session will consider various national/sub-national legal frameworks affecting hunter/gatherer societies and the exercise of customary law by hunter/gatherer societies.

We invite papers on the following topics, as well as others related to the session theme;


  • Integrating legal pluralism into resource governance structures and institutions
  • Comparative approaches to land and property rights among northern hunter-gatherer societies
  • Operationalizing notions of local self-governance within larger governance frameworks
  • The commons and changing spaces of authority in northern hunter/gatherer societies
  • Law and definitions of hunter/gatherer rights (access)
  • Activism and rights around access to traditional lands and resources
  • Gender and territoriality in hunter/gatherer societies
  • Democracy, private property and collective rights
  • Impacts of privatization and alienation of land on hunter/gatherer societies
  • The social life of laws on hunter/gatherer rights
  • Comparative land claims agreements and ‘zoned’ rights of access across the North


Format: Academic papers of ~15 minutes, with time at end of each paper and at end of session for discussion.

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38. Hunter-Gatherer Childhood

Conveners & Abstract
Darcia Narvaez, University of Notre Dame, Indiana USA

Darwin (1871; Gruber, 1974; Loye, 2000) proposed that humans have a “moral sense” that contributes to their evolution beyond natural selection. He described several evolved characteristics of the moral sense through the tree of life(e.g., social pleasure, sympathy for others, concern for the opinion of others, habits developed for the common good). Small-band hunter-gatherers (SBHG) demonstrate these characteristics (Ingold, 1999). Although often considered innate, the contrast between descriptions of SBHG and trends in the USA suggests that the characteristics may require post-natal support. Konner (2005) observed that SGHG universally provided a “hunter-gatherer childhood model” of caregiving to young children: Extensive breastfeeding, continuous physical contact/closeness, responsiveness to child needs, free play in nature with multiple-aged playmates, extensive support of mother-child dyads and multiple adult caregivers (Hewlett & Lamb, 2005; Hrdy, 2009; Konner, 2005, 2010). Cultures have shifted over millennia but also recently (e.g., infant formula) in terms of how much and what kind of support for child development is provided. Does it matter? The hunter-gatherer model represents a developmental manifold that corresponds to the maturational schedule of neonate development (Gottlieb, 1991). Studies of child and adult outcomes of the practices embedded in the hunter-gatherer model (aka Evolved Developmental Niche; EDN) show that each of the components is related to health outcomes (Narvaez, Panksepp, Schore & Gleason, 2013). Recent studies also indicate that they relate to sociality and moral outcomes in children and adults (e.g., greater social pleasures, sympathy and self-regulation) (Narvaez, Gleason, et al., 2013; Narvaez, Wang et al., 2013; Narvaez, Wang & Cheng, 2014; Narvaez, Wang et al., 2014). Humans are especially immature at birth and, as dynamic systems, require intensive caregiving. Thus, Darwin’s “moral sense” may require EDN-consistent support in early life when early experience established brain and body system functions and trajectories.

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39. Evolution of Inequality (Including Warfare and Violence)


Robert L. Kelly, University of Wyoming

For over 2.5 million years of culture history, there is little or no evidence for any significant socio-economic complexity, hence inequality, in the prehistoric record until the European Upper Palaeolithic, thousands of years prior to the first episodes of plant and animal domestication and agricultural lifeways (e.g. Hayden 2014). It has been argued that complexity appears inextricably linked to rich resource environments and to technologies capable of exploiting, processing, and storing seasonally abundant resources (Hayden 2014). However, competition for and access to key resources are crucial factors in fostering the appearance of social and economic inequality in forager societies (Kelly 2013).

Possible specific aspects to provide focus:


  • what triggered the emergence of complex hunter-gatherers in the Upper Palaeolithic?
  • identifying relevant archaeological proxies for social inequality in the archaeological record;
  • elucidating meaningful and measurable patterns within and between proxies to assess variability within the category of nonegalitarian hunter-gatherers;
  • did special technological and/or environmental conditions led to the earliest development of complexity?;
  • evidence for gender inequalities in the Palaeolithic record;
  • agent-based modelling approaches


Session form:

Different forms can be envisaged:


  • roundtable with 8 to 10 participants, including ethnographers/ethnoarchaeologists and archaeologists;
  • pro-contra presentations related to one specific question, e.g. is violence to be expected in Palaeolithic societies?



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40. Hunter-gatherers Behavioural Ecology & Evolutionary Modelling


Conveners & Abstract
Andrea Migliano & Lucio Vinicius
Lecturers in Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University College London

Egalitarianism, sharing, mobility and cooperation are central topics for understanding the evolution of hunter-gatherer populations, and major developments in those fields have occurred during the past 5 to 10 years. Quality work on this field depends on good-quality but hard-to-obtain quantitative and demographic data. Major advances in data collection methods, the publication of some longitudinal databases for hunter-gatherers, the development of simulation modelling, and a new theoretical framework including the concepts of cooperative breeding, gene-culture coevolution and cumulative culture have opened new venues for behavioural ecologists. This section will focus on the evolutionary aspects of hunter-gatherer behaviour and culture including topics such as: food sharing, cooperative breeding, mobility, co-residence, cooperation, knowledge transfer, life history adaptations, cumulative culture, evolution of egalitarianism and cultural transmission, as well as past and present selective pressures and adaptations to the foraging lifestyle.

We hope to attract scholars working on computational approaches to the study of social behaviour, demography and evolutionary processes in hunter-gatherers, introducing g new technologies and techniques, or working on public available databases and newly collected datasets. Examples include agent-based simulations of mobility patterns, within- and between-camp relatedness, and cultural transmission; Bayesian modelling of survival, reproduction and age estimation; statistical modelling of demographic transitions in pre-agricultural populations; applications of Game Theory to cooperation, reciprocity and altruism in hunter-gatherers. The session brings together field and theoretical evolutionary anthropologists applying new methodologies to the study of the origins and evolution of the hunter-gathering lifestyle.

Format: Includes 8-10 presentations (10 minutes each, followed by 5 minutes of questions), and a final 10-minute slot with general questions to all speakers.

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41. Subsistence Practices and the Ways of their Transmission to Future Generations.


Conveners & Abstract
Alexandra Kim-Maloney, Tomsk State University, Russia

Format: Round Table

Subsistence was and still is an essential part of many communities; therefore knowledge of hunting, fishing and gathering is integrated in peoples’ identity. Many hunting and gathering societies are not able to keep their traditions in the modern world. There are objective conditions for it: loss of hunting, fishing and gathering grounds, governmental laws and restrictions, industrialization, mobility of popula-tions, and so on.

Is this a reason to give up traditions? Observations reveal that the loss of the natural way of life leads to spiritual emptiness and misunderstanding of personal identity. How to keep a balance between traditions and the modern way of life?

This session invites the participants (scholars, indigenous representatives, and educa-tors) who can share experience of subsistence activities, information, knowledge or research of supernatural creatures and rituals relevant to hunting, fishing and gathering.

Round table discussions will also focus on the methods of documentation of traditional knowledge and means of its transmission to future generations.

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42. Aboriginal Whaling and Identity in the Twenty-First Century


Conveners & Abstract
James M. Savelle (McGill University) & Nobuhiro Kishigami (National Museum of Ethnology、Osaka, Japan)

We would like to propose a symposium entitled ‘Aboriginal Whaling and Identity in the Twenty-First Century’ for the 11th Annual Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies. While several sessions in past CHAGS conferences have focused, in part, on hunter-gatherer marine resources and/or associated marine tenure, none have specially focused on whaling, traditional or contemporary. This in spite of the fact that whales, especially large baleen whales, are the largest animals targeted by any hunter-gatherer society, prehistoric or modern, and major facets of subsistence, social structure and ideology are still deeply embedded in past and current aboriginal whaling lifeways. Yet there is probably no other environmental/political issue that has attracted as much attention in the late 20th and early 21st century as whaling practices and policies. These practices and policies have been, and continue to be, increasingly under scrutiny from a number of anti-whaling organizations and governments, which make little, if any, distinction between traditional aboriginal whaling and industrial whaling. Thus aboriginal whaling societies constantly find themselves under pressure between their own cultural and economic justification of whaling on the one hand, and continuing and increasingly vociferous opposition to their whaling culture on the other. This opposition is especially prevalent among Western governments and NGOs, who see whales not only in a metonymic relationship to nature, but also as the epitome of desired human values and qualities.

In order to provide the context within which the whaling: anti-whaling dichotomy can be addressed, we propose a panel of specialists dealing with, but not limited to, the following topics: a) prehistory of whaling, b) socioeconomics of traditional and modern whaling, c) current aboriginal whaling and the International Whaling Commission, d) contemporary issues relating to “whale rights: human rights”, and e) the deconstruction of the anti-whaling movement.

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43. Food Transactions Involving Money among Hunting and Gathering Peoples

Conveners & Abstract
Steve J. Langdon, University of Alaska Anchorage

Type of session: paper delivery followed by discussant comments and roundtable exchange.

Classic accounts of hunting and gathering groups suggest that food acquired by producers was to be allocated through well-understood customary rules grounded in fundamental moral imperatives to distribute and share. One of the most compelling corollary values was that hoarding of food from those in need was not tolerated. When differential productivity occurred, it has been argued that practices known as “demand sharing”, through which those in need could solicit food from others who had food, could be activated. As the result of articulation with complex market-integrated economic systems, general purpose money has become available and in many cases required by virtually all known hunting and gathering groups. Characteristics of general purpose money include medium of exchange, store of value, measure of value and most importantly not consumable. Papers are being sought that address the circumstances of monetary use in food transactions in hunting and gathering societies. Several studies have demonstrated that the presence of money in hunting and gathering groups was problematic and generated conflicts about immediate activities as well as core values and fundamental moral imperatives especially related to food. Studies have found that these problems stemmed from the fact that the characteristic of money, unlike food, allowed it to be hid from general knowledge and made hoarding possible. How money comes to be thought of and positioned in transactions for food in these societies as the central focus of this session will explore and unpack the complexities and variations that have become evident in these relationships. Papers maybe theoretical (addressing topics such as moral economy, gift and commodity, spheres of exchange, delayed vs immediate reciprocity, conceptual construction of money, degree of articulation, temporal change in the position of money, debt), comparative or case studies with an emphasis on recent/current practices and issues in specific cases.

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44. Food (in-)security in Times of Changing Land and Ways of Life


Conveners & Abstract
Norma Kassi, Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research
Gertrude Saxinger, University of Vienna, Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI)

Nutrition is not only an aspect of human physical survival, but also of utmost importance for cultural identity of people. Ways of life are grouped around food gathering and hunting, food production and, consumption. However, ideas about food are also changing through the passage of time as cultures are changing. However, severe changes in nutrition and food production have in particular occurred over the last century. In particular, this has also brought about risk and insecurity in these aspects of life. This may result from impacts of colonization, from climate change or from decrease of the portions of land that has so far fed the people. The latter may result from extensive farming on hunter and gatherers lands, industry land use, legal restrictions such as on natural reserves or from environmental pollution. Food security draws on access for healthy food and the opportunity to live the socially meaningful lifestyle. The consequences of the limited provision of these two moments may be cultural loss over generations in terms of traditional knowledge or poverty through limited access to alternative forms of food and unaffordable food prices and not least negative impacts on health. Therefore, we speak also of provisional risks and food insecurity – involving social and cultural consequences. Nevertheless, humans live in constant social change and people invent new forms of survival: changing forms of nutrition and its adjacent social practices are in the center of this session. We invite papers that cover a wide range of periods and places in the world, tackle “food security & insecurity” and “risk” from different theoretical angles and present methodologies how to do scientific work in and with the communities that is also sustainably meaningful for them. One session of 90 minutes consists of four presentations (including Q&A) and leaves half an hour for an intense panel discussion with the presenters and an external discussant.

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45. The Things We Share: Affordances and obligations


Conveners & Abstract
Thomas Widlok, University of Cologne
Diana Young, University of Queensland

It has been one of the main achievements of hunter-gatherer studies to keep “sharing” on the research agenda of disciplines that seem to be otherwise obsessed with “the gift” and with “the markets”. In this session we want to build on this particular knowledge by looking more specifically at how the things that are shared influence the transaction. Do some things or substances have intrinsic qualities or affordances that make them more likely to be shared with others and that increase the social obligation to share them? Does sharing matter so much for hunter-gatherers because they deal with a material environment that recommends itself for sharing? When looking at the things “we” share, the question is raised whether there are human universals of sharing that may be generated through the materiality of the objects involved and the corporeality of the agents. How can we as observers be sure to have understood the “attractiveness” of objects that may trigger demand sharing? What changes when novel objects enter the scene? To what extent are the material conditions of sharing a safeguard for continuity? And, are there intrinsic properties to items that are less likely to be shared or that fall out of sharing altogether?

We invite contributions that present case studies, irrespective of geographical areas and disciplinary backgrounds, that are investigating the relationship between the affordances of objects or substances on the one hand and the ways in which they influence the obligation or the practice to share on the other hand. We also welcome comparative papers that trace changes of sharing over time or across social and cultural domains.

We aim to pre-circulate draft papers among presenters so that cross-referencing is possible and so that presentations can be be kept short (15 minutes) allowing for discussion time after each paper and at the end of the session.

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* 47. New Tendencies in Gathering Economies: Round Table


Conveners & Abstract
Veronika V. Simonova (PhD, University of Tromsø; European University at St. Petersburg)
Vladimir N. Davydov (PhD, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Kunstkamera)

Gathering practices in Anthropology have a long history and debates. Gathering is usually associated with survival strategies, low income, and various groups of people living on the margins of global economies and highly differentiated societies. Thus gathering is seen as an aspect of indigenous worlds and their specific relations with the environment. However, gathering today encounters numerous challenges, reacts on market dynamics and natural changes. It is highly sophisticated activity which could hardly be attached to our preconceptions of surviving, low budget rates and exclusion out of market economy. For example, groups living in the Russian Arctic gather mammoth bones and sometimes their income could reach a high rate salary of a manager of an industrial company in a big city. Local residents also benefit from cloudberry gathering and their income earned by this strategy solidly support household economy. Hence, we suggest rethinking gathering as a monotonous practice which exists within nonmonetary system of reciprocity and exchange. In a reverse flow, today gathering engages with global market, brings gatherers solid profits. We welcome papers from different corners of the world that can contribute to new approaches to gathering today and bring a strong comparative element to general image of contemporary gatherer.

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48. Extractive Industries: Impacts, Benefits and Participation of Local Communities


Conveners & Abstract
Tatiana Safonova, Centre for Independent Social Research, Saint-Petersburg
Istvan Santha, Research Centre for Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Science, Budapest, Hungary
Gertrude Saxinger, University of Vienna, Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI)
Florian Stammler, Lapland University, Arctic Centre Rovaniemi, Finland

Mining, oil and gas extraction as well as industrial harvesting of renewable resources are usually large-scale activities with high impacts on communities living on the land of extraction activities. While some extraction projects that are committed to local participation in the various ways and legal frameworks allow a flow back of revenues to the communities, in other cases local societies face severe challenges of land degradation and social misery. In worst cases local competition can lead to warfare over the resources etc. and to what is called the “resource curse”. However, in some cases hunters and gatherers as well as other foraging societies are not only secondarily involved in mining but are main actors in harvesting non-renewable resources. “Mining Hunter-Gatherers” sounds like a paradoxical category and this session is a unique opportunity to deconstruct the notion of local communities not only as victims but also as active stakeholders. Furthermore, natural resources and the land are highly symbolically laden. Therefore, in many cases throughout the world extractive industry is entangled with the spiritual world. This session includes perspectives such as from archaeology, anthropology, history, economy, STS, and, geography. We invite papers to provide thick descriptions and analyses of these local representations of human-environment relations in the extractive industries context from various angles: mining hunter gatherers, indigenous oil, gas or mining workers, former industry workers gone native, incomers to extractive industries towns that have become locals, part-time hunter-gatherers and industry workers, and other settings.

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49. Critical Ecology Exploring Civilizing Alternatives to Industrial Modernity


Conveners & Abstract
Daniel Buschmann, Vienna
Gregor Seidl, Vienna

With the term “degrowth” gaining ground in the academic debate, alternatives to industrialized societies become a scientific desiderate. In September 2014, more than 3000 international researchers gathered in Leipzig, Germany, to discuss such alternatives. Here, for many it was obvious that the global socio-ecological crisis is intertwined with the very foundations of our civilization.

With this session we aim to establish an interdisciplinary dialogue between scientists who critically examine the flaws of industrialized societies and those who are experienced with other forms of civilization. In this connection we seek a critical discourse about civilizing challenges and alternatives today, which stems from an intercultural dialogue between different but simultaneously existing ways of living (within a structural frame of contradictory domination) rather than from romanticized ways “back” to hunter-gatherer life. This session is hence of paramount importance to both social sciences and hunter-gatherer studies, because it presents new research avenues for future studies. Our goal is to lay the foundations for a new scientific discourse, which explores civilizing pathways to an ecologically sound and humane future – a good life for all.

Format: During the 90minute session, we first aim to have three short and well-focussed inputs (each 10min) about 1) status quo in critical social sciences 2) status quo in hunter-gatherer studies 3) pillars of an interdisciplinary bridge. Only short comprehension questions will be allowed. Afterwards we will switch to a 30min world café, meaning that each presenter will be the head of one table on which the main ideas of the input will be discussed in a small group. After 15min there will be a signal, giving participants the chance to change the table. The small groups have the mission to discuss specific challenges and opportunities and to collect their findings on a poster. During the last 30min, each table will briefly present their findings to the whole auditorium and discuss them.

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50. Women’s Roles in Contemporary Hunting and Gathering Societies


Conveners & Abstract
Sachiko Kubota (Kobe University)

This panel will explore women’s roles in cultural maintenance, and in negotiating hunting and gathering lifeways, past and present. Most hunting and gathering societies have experienced major changes to their physical, environmental and social situations and as a consequence are facing various crises such as inter-generational conflicts, inability to pursue traditional activities, and loss of traditional knowledges. At the same time, there have been effective projects to revitalize cultural heritage, assert self-determination and create new institutions. Some of these initiatives have been generated internally while others have come about with assistance from external NGOs. Many of the most successful projects of cultural reconfiguration are run by women.

“Woman the Gatherer” (1981) was published as a response to “Man the Hunter” (1968). It had a great impact on gender studies in hunter-gatherer societies. This panel will continue the tradition set by these earlier studies by focusing on the important role of women in fashioning new lifeways in the enormously difficult and challenging situations facing so many hunting and gathering societies today. Papers on the role of women in cultural configurations or reconfiguration in various societies are invited to give a comprehensive understanding from a comparative point of view. And also to consolidate thinking, and revisit discussions on women’s roles in hunter-gatherer societies, and male-female relations socially and politically.

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51. Contributed Papers in Hunter-Gatherer Studies

Sigrid Schiesser, Researcher, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna

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52. Hunter-gatherers in a changing world


Aili Pyhälä, ICTA-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and University of Helsinki
Victoria Reyes-García, ICREA and ICTA-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Far from the commonly held romantic view that hunter-gatherers continue to exist as isolated populations living a traditional lifestyle in harmony with the environment, contemporary hunter-gatherers – like many rural communities around the world - face a number of increasingly pressing ecological and social challenges to which they need to adapt. Contemporary hunter-gatherer societies are increasingly and rapidly being affected by global changes, related both to biophysical Earth systems (i.e., changes in climate, land use, resource exploitation), and to social systems (integration into the market economy, national policies and development strategies, and cultural change). What this means to the present and future of hunter-gatherer societies, particularly in terms of their livelihood, social organization, culture, and identity, but also with regards to the natural environment and resources that these societies have managed for millennia, is by no means clear.
This session continues from the plenary (under the same title), bringing together researchers who have witnessed and documented the impact of such changes in hunter-gatherer populations around the world. The case studies document changes in some of the keystone characteristics that either define or underlie hunter-gatherers’ livelihood and identity. Examples include sedentarization, changes in rights and legislation, adoption of agriculture, integration into the market economy, access to natural resources, and changes in culture, social roles, cosmovision and identity. The plenary is linked to a regular session under the same name that will follow with four additional presentations, including a concluding talk by the chairs.
Form: This session will be 90 minutes, consisting of five short presentations (10-15 minutes each), with 5 minutes of questions after each presentation, ending with a concluding presentation by the conveners and a general discussion. Below are the five presentation abstracts, in order.

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