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

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Hunters and Gatherers in the Modern World

Conflict, Resistance, and Self-Determination

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

512 pages, index

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

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

eISBN 978-1-78238-158-7 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Robert K. Hitchcock is an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Previously he was Professor of Anthropology and Geography and Coordinator of African Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1983-2006). He has worked with San communities in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia since 1975, and he serves on the board of the Kalahari Peoples Fund. He worked for the government of Botswana in the Ministry of Local Government and Lands (1977–79) and Ministry of Agriculture (1980–1982) and has served as a consultant to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in Botswana. He has also worked for the governments of Somalia, Swaziland, and Lesotho, as well as for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Bank. His publications include Kalahari Cattle Posts (Government of Botswana, 1978); Endangered Peoples of Africa and the Middle East: Struggles to Survive and Thrive (co-editor, Greenwood, 2002); Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Southern Africa (co-editor, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, 2004).

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

Subject: Development StudiesEnvironmental Studies (General)Peace and Conflict Studies


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