Human Ecology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 219–252

A comparison of the efficiencies of the shotgun and the bow in neotropical forest hunting

  • Raymond B. Hames

DOI: 10.1007/BF00889493

Cite this article as:
Hames, R.B. Hum Ecol (1979) 7: 219. doi:10.1007/BF00889493


Whenever introduced into Amazonia and its neighboring regions, the shotgun has quickly replaced the bow and arrow and other aboriginal weapons of the hunt. The quick and widespread adoption of the shotgun is plainly a matter of its superiority over most aboriginal weapons. This paper compares the hunting efficiencies of the shotgun and the bow by means of a controlled field experiment among the Ye'kwana and Yanomamö Indians of the Upper Orinoco River of southern Venezuela. It also examines the impact of the shotgun on local animal populations and the economic changes brought about by the need to cash-crop in order to purchase Western hunting technology.

Key words

neotropical forest huntingtechnologyculture changeneotropical forest ecology

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond B. Hames
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta Barbara