Human Ecology

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 163–187

Early dry season subsistence ecology of Cuiva (Hiwi) foragers of Venezuela

  • A. Magdalena Hurtado
  • Kim R. Hill
Article

Abstract

The subsistence ecology of Venezuelan Cuiva foragers during the early dry season is described. Data on diet, time allocation, demography, and physical measurements are presented. Analyses show that the Cuiva depend primarily on game and wild roots during the early dry season for their subsistence. Sex differentials in productive efficiency, total contribution to the diet, and time allocation to food acquisition and other activities are also examined. As in most other foraging societies, men specialize in hunting while women specialize in gathering. During the early dry season, men provide more calories than women and are the more efficient food producers. However, men spend slightly less time than women in food acquisition. Demographic data show that child mortality rates, female infertility rates, female infanticide rates,and the sex ratio among juveniles are high in the Cuiva population. Comparisons between the patterns found among the Cuiva and other foraging populations are made.

Key words

hunter-gatherers time allocation the sexual division of labor demography 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Altmann, J. (1974). Observational study of behavior: Sampling.Behavior 49: 227–267.Google Scholar
  2. Arcand, B. (1972a). Contribution to Cuiva ethnography. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, England.Google Scholar
  3. Arcand, B. (1972b). The urgent situation of the Cuiva Indians of Columbia. IWGIA Document No. 7.Google Scholar
  4. Arcand, B. (1976). Cuiva food production.Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 13: 387–396.Google Scholar
  5. Bailey, R., and Peacock, N. (1984). Efe Pygmies of Northeast Zaire: Subsistence strategies in the Ituri Forest. In du Gardinne, D., and Harnson, G. A. (eds.),Uncertainty in the Food Supply. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Binford, L. (1978).Ninamuit Ethnoarcheology. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Blydenstein, J. (1967). Tropical savanna vegetation of the Llanos of Colombia.Ecology 48(1): 1–15.Google Scholar
  8. Borgerhoff-Mulder, M., and Caro, T. M. (1985). The use of quantitative observational techniques in anthropology.Current Anthropology 26(3): 323–336.Google Scholar
  9. Brosious, P. (1983). Tropical forest ecology and southeast Asian hunter-gatherer subsistence. Unpublished manuscript, University of Michigan Department of Anthropology.Google Scholar
  10. Butland, G. J. (1966).Latin America: A Regional Geography (2nd Ed.). John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Coppens, W. (1975). Los Cuiva de San Esteban de Capanaparo: Ensayo de antropologia aplicada. Monograph No. 19, Fundacion La Salle de Ciencias Naturales, Instituto Caribe de Antropologia y Sociologia, Editoral Sucre, Caracas.Google Scholar
  12. Draper, P. (1984). !Kung work: A southern perspective. Manuscript, University of New Mexico.Google Scholar
  13. Druilhe, P., Fonval, F., and Fribourg-blanc, A. (1979). Estudio serologico del paludismo en los Indios Cuiva de Venezuela por el metodo de electrosineresis.Boletin de la Academia de Ciencias Naturales XXXIX: 117.Google Scholar
  14. Eder, J. (1978). The caloric returns to food collecting: Disruption and change among the Betak of the Philippine tropical forest.Human Ecology 6: 55–69.Google Scholar
  15. Eisenberg, J. F. (1979).Vertebrate Ecology in the Northern Neotropics. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  16. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) (1964).Reconocimiento Edafologico de los Llanos Orientales de Colombia. Fondo Especial de las Naciones Unidas, Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, Roma.Google Scholar
  17. Fonval, F. (1976). Les Cuiva du Venezuela. These de doctorat, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.Google Scholar
  18. Fonval, F., Le Bras, J., and Geniteau, M. (1978). Estudio inmunologico de la treponematosis, la amebiasis, y antigeno australiano en los indios Cuiva de Venezuela.Boletín de la Academia de Ciencias XXXVIII: 115.Google Scholar
  19. Goodman, M., Estokio-Griffin, A., Griffin, P. B., and Grove, J. S. (1985). Menarche, pregnancy, birth spacing, and menopause among the Agta women foragers of Cayagan Province, Luzon, the Philippines.Annals of Human Biology 12: 169–177.Google Scholar
  20. Gould, R. A. (1980).Living Archeology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  21. Griffin, P. B. (1985). Forager resource and land use in the humid tropics: The Agta of Northeastern Luzon, the Philippines. In Schrire, C. (ed.),Past and Present in Hunter Gatherer Studies. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  22. Guthrie, H. E. (1975).Introductory Nutrition. C. V. Mosby Co., St. Louis.Google Scholar
  23. Hames, R. (1984). Time efficiency, and fitness in the Amazonian Protein Quest. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  24. Harako, R. (1981). The cultural ecology of hunting behavior among Mbuti Pygmies in the Ituri Forest, Zaire. In Harding, R. S. O., and Teleki, G. (eds.),Omnivorous Primates. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  25. Hawkes, K., Hill, K., and O'Connell, J. (1982). Why hunters gather: Optimal foraging and the Ache of Eastern Paraguay.American Ethnologist 9(2): 379–398.Google Scholar
  26. Hayden, B. (1979).Paleolithic Reflections: Lithic Technology and Ethnographic Excavation among Australian Aborigines. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.Google Scholar
  27. Hill, K. (1983). Adult male subsistence strategies among Ache hunter-gatherers of Eastern Paraguay. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Utah.Google Scholar
  28. Hill, K., and Hawkes, K. (1983). Neotropical hunting among the Ache of Eastern Paraguay. In Hames, R., and Vickers, W. (eds.),Adaptive Responses of Native Amazonians. Academic Press, New York, pp. 139–188.Google Scholar
  29. Hill, K., Kaplan, H., Hawkes, K., and Hurtado, A. (1984). Seasonal variance in the diet of Ache hunter-gatherers in Eastern Paraguay.Human Ecology 12: 145–180.Google Scholar
  30. Hill, K., Hawkes, K., Kaplan, H., and Hurtado, A. (1985a). Foraging Decisions among the Ache: New Data and Analysis.Ethology and Sociobiology. In press.Google Scholar
  31. Hill, K., Kaplan, H., Hawkes, K., and Hurtado A. (1985b). Mens time allocation to subsistence work among the Ache of Eastern Paraguay.Human Ecology 13: 29–47.Google Scholar
  32. Howell, F. C. (1978). Hominidae. In Maglio, V., and Cooke, H. B. S. (eds.),Evolution of African Mammals. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  33. Howell, N. (1979).Demography of the Dobe !Kung. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  34. Hurtado, A. (1985). Women's subsistence strategies among Ache hunter-gatherers of Eastern Paraguay. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Utah.Google Scholar
  35. Hurtado, A., Hawkes, K., Hill, K., and Kaplan, H. (1985). Female subsistence strategies among Ache hunter-gatherers in Eastern Paraguay.Human Ecology 13: 1–28.Google Scholar
  36. Ichikawa, T. (1978). An examination of the hunting-dependent life of the Mbuti Pygmies, Eastern Zaire.Kyoto University African Studies 4: 55–76.Google Scholar
  37. Irimoto, T. (1981).Chipewayan Ecology. National Museum of Ethology, Osaka.Google Scholar
  38. Isaac, G. (1977). The Siriono of Eastern Bolivia: A reexamination.Human Ecology 5: 137–154.Google Scholar
  39. Johnson, A. (1975). Time allocation in a Machiguenga community.Ethnology 14: 301–310.Google Scholar
  40. Jones, K. (1983). Forager archeology: The Ache of Eastern Paraguay, in Lamogne, G., and MacEachern, A. S. (eds.),Carnivores, Human, Scavengers, and Predators: A Question of Bone Technology. University of Calgary, Calgary.Google Scholar
  41. Jones, K. (1984). Hunting and scavenging by early Hominids: A study in archeological method and theory. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Utah.Google Scholar
  42. Jones, R. (1980). Hunters in the Australian Coastal Savanna. In Harris, D. (ed.),Human Ecology in Savanna Environments. Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  43. Kaplan, H. (1983). The evolution of food sharing among adult conspecifics: Research with Ache foragers of Paraguay. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation.Google Scholar
  44. Kaplan, H., and Hill, K. (1985a). Food sharing among Ache foragers: Tests of explanatory hypotheses.Current Anthropology 26(2): 223–245.Google Scholar
  45. Kaplan, H., and Hill, K. (1985b). Hunting ability and reproductive success among Male Ache foragers.Current Anthroplogy 26(1): 131–133.Google Scholar
  46. Kaplan, H., Hill, K., Hawkes, K., and Hurtado, A. (1984). Food sharing among the Ache hunter-gatherers of Eastern Paraguay.Current Anthropology 25: 113–115.Google Scholar
  47. Kirchoff, P. (1948). Food-gathering tribes of the Venezuelan Llanos. In Steward, J. H. (ed.),Handbook of South American Indians (Vol. IV). Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 143, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., pp. 445–455.Google Scholar
  48. Leacock, E., and Lee, R. B. (eds.) (1982).Politics and History in Band Societies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  49. Lee, R. B. (1979).The !Kung San. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  50. Lee, R. B., and DeVore, I. (1968).Man the Hunter. Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  51. Lee, R. B., and DeVore, I. (1976).Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  52. Leung, W-T. W. (1961).Food Composition Table for Use in Latin America. National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.Google Scholar
  53. Meehan, B. (1977). Hunters by the seashore.Journal of Human Evolution. 6: 363–370.Google Scholar
  54. Metzger, D., and Morey, R. (1983).Los Hiwi (Guahibo) in Los Aborigenes de Venezuela (Vol. II). Monograph No. 29, Fundación La Salle, Caracas.Google Scholar
  55. Monsonyi, J. (1975).Introducción al Estudio de la Lengua Cuiba. Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas.Google Scholar
  56. Morey, N. K. (1975). Ethnohistory of the Colombian and Venezuelan Llanos. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Utah.Google Scholar
  57. O'Connell, J., and Hawkes, K., (1981). Alywara plant use and optimal foraging theory. In Winterhalder, B., and Smith, E. A. (eds.),Hunter-Gatherer Foraging Strategies. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  58. Peterson, N. (ed.) (1976).Tribes and Boundaries in Australia. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.Google Scholar
  59. Sarmiento, G. (1984).The Ecology of Neotropical Savannas. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  60. Schmieder, O. (1965).Geografia de America Latina (translated by P. R. Hendrichs Perez and H. Schilling). Fondo de Cultura Economica, México.Google Scholar
  61. Schrire, C. (1980). An inquiry into the evolutionary status and apparent identity of San hunter-gatherers.Human Ecology 8: 9–32.Google Scholar
  62. Schrire, C. (ed.) (1985).Past and Present in Hunter Gatherer Studies. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  63. Smith, E. A. (1981). The application of optimal foraging theory to the analysis of hunter-gatherer group size. In Winterhalder, B., and Smith, E. A. (eds.),Hunter-Gatherer Foraging Strategies. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  64. Tanaka, J. (1980).The San Hunter-Gatherers of the Kalahari. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  65. Tanno, T. (1976). The Mbuti net hunters in the Ituri Forest, Eastern Zaire.Kyoto University African Studies 10: 101–136.Google Scholar
  66. Venezuela: Oficina Central de Estadistica e Informatica (1985).Censo Indigena de Venezuela: Nomenclador de Comunidades y Colectividades. Taller Grafico OCEI, Caracas.Google Scholar
  67. Winterhalder, B. (1977). Foraging strategy adaptations of the boreal forest Cree: An evaluation of theory and models from evolutionary ecology. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University.Google Scholar
  68. Yellen, J. (1977).Archeological Approaches to the Present: Models for Reconstruction of the Past. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Magdalena Hurtado
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kim R. Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake City
  2. 2.Depto de AntropologiaInstituto Venezolano de Investigaciones CientificasCaracasVenezuela

Personalised recommendations