Human Ecology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 29–47 | Cite as

Men's time allocation to subsistence work among the Ache of Eastern Paraguay

  • Kim Hill
  • Hillard Kaplan
  • Kristen Hawkes
  • Ana Magdelena Hurtado


Quantitative data on men's time allocation among the Ache of Paraguay are presented. The data indicate that Ache men work almost 7 hours daily in direct food acquisition, which is the major daily activity. The amount of time Ache men work is compared with the amount reported for other modern hunter-gatherers and tribal horticulturalists. The characterization of hunter-gatherers as the “original affluent society” does not agree with currently available data. The results show high variance across societies, both hunting and horticultural, and suggest that time spent in subsistence work is not simply a function of food “needs.” We propose that the value of time spent in potential alternative activities must be considered in order to predict time spent in subsistence tasks.

Key words

hunter-gatherers subsistence time allocation men 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim Hill
    • 1
  • Hillard Kaplan
    • 1
  • Kristen Hawkes
    • 1
  • Ana Magdelena Hurtado
    • 1
  1. 1.University of UtahSalt Lake City

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