Human Nature

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 243–268

Food-Sharing Networks in Lamalera, Indonesia

Reciprocity, Kinship, and Distance

DOI: 10.1007/s12110-010-9091-3

Cite this article as:
Nolin, D.A. Hum Nat (2010) 21: 243. doi:10.1007/s12110-010-9091-3


Exponential random graph modeling (ERGM) is used here to test hypotheses derived from human behavioral ecology about the adaptive nature of human food sharing. Respondents in all (n = 317) households in the fishing and sea-hunting village of Lamalera, Indonesia, were asked to name those households to whom they had more frequently given (and from whom they had more frequently received) food during the preceding sea-hunting season. The responses were used to construct a social network of between-household food-sharing relationships in the village. The results show that kinship, proximity, and reciprocal sharing all strongly increase the probability of giving food to a household. The effects of kinship and distance are relatively independent of each other, although reciprocity is more common among residentially and genealogically close households. The results show support for reciprocal altruism as a motivation for food sharing, while kinship and distance appear to be important partner-choice criteria.


Food sharingCooperationReciprocityKin selectionSocial network analysisERGM

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carolina Population CenterUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA