Foraging societies, or hunter-gathering societies are the oldest form of society. They are thought to have been simplistic societies that didn’t know of any other way of life. As we have recently found though, many of these societies are still thriving throughout the world today. For example, in the Pacific Northwest, some Inuit tribes forage from the land for their survival because the villages are so remotely spaced. Another example is the Kuchi tribe in Afghanistan. Many might see them as a nomadic tribe, but they have foraging techniques that they use: moving from the mountainous regions during the winter to the southern river beds where the wildlife and vegetation are abundant.
Foraging societies existed widely prior to 10,000 years ago before the agrarian revolution. Most of their time spent during the day involved gathering resources either for the day or the entire week. Social roles were already developing this far back in foraging societies, and every person had a role to play to keep the groups normal. The males were responsible for hard labor like hunting, killing, and carrying objects. On the other hand, female tasks were gathering plants, berries, or water. Since the males hunted larger animals they usually involved other men from the tribe, and frequently used large dogs to help track and kill large game. Their dogs were also used for security for the family and as pets. Animals were an essential part of their life, yet if desperate times called for it, they would eat their pet.
Most hunter-gatherers lived near highly vegetated areas in river valleys. When lush fields died, some populations would burn them making the grass grow back greener and in return induce more wildlife to that area. With that said, most societies wouldn’t leave these areas. It was hard for them to travel long distances for food that was not guaranteed. Even so, these groups were quite nomadic and seldom settled for long in any given area. When they did move to another place they had to travel light, packing only the bare essentials: clothes, weapons, or dwelling equipment. Most of their dwellings were made from the resources that were in that location, leaving them to become very adaptive to what was around them. With that in mind, this was another reason they didn’t migrate from location to location.
Dennis O’Neil. “Patters of Subsistence: Foraging.” Http://anthro.palomar.edu/subsistence/sub_2.htm. Last updated on Monday, October 30, 2006. Web. February 22, 2013.