Groups of hunters can still be found in Canada, North America, South America, Africa, India, South East Asia, and Australia.

 

Spreading the Risk

The point of this arrangement is that it spreads risk over a wide area. If a person has had an unproductive day foraging, he knows he can rely on his hxaro partner for food. If there is a general shortage of food within a group, they will turn to hxaro partners in other groups for support. If the problem is even more widespread, they will disperse to their most distant hxaro partners’ lands, and will stay until the localised crisis has passed. This could be for up to two years, so great is the generosity and hospitality extended to hxaro partners. There is such generosity because in their society to look after others is to look after yourself - if others are happy they are happy too.

Hunter-gatherers know that they live off finite resources. They must never take more from one place in a year than can be replaced naturally in the next.  This means that no one is allowed to acquire too much of anything – food, possessions, power, as this may upset the balance, not only of the group, but also of the environment. If too much is gathered, not enough may be left to enable natural replacement.  So hunter-gatherers have to live not only in harmony with themselves but also with their surroundings.

In our modern society, there is a lot we could learn from hunting people. They could teach us how to take from the land without ruining it for the future. They could teach us to live more harmoniously with one another.   We modern humans have to have more of a sense of conserving our resources for the years to come, rather than taking all we can as quickly as possible.  We need to take less from the planet, we need to find a way of not needing as much stuff.

That's not to say that everything we do is bad.  In some hunter-gatherer groups, young people are leaving their clans to go to college and university. There, most learn about either medicine or law. But after this, many return to their homelands to act as doctors, nurses and legal advisors for their own people. They are learning how to adapt to living alongside modern society, about how they can take care of their own people and how they can use our systems - laws, for example - to protect their way of life for generations to come.

 

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