Gathering and Hunting Farmers; Farming Gatherers and Hunters: So, What?

Kathryn M. de Luna: Collecting Food, Cultivating People: Subsistence and Society in Central Africa. New Haven, Yale University Press, 2016, 352 pp., ISBN 9780300218534
  • Shadreck ChirikureEmail author
Book Review


From the point of view of a “Bantu” who grew up gathering forest food and farming fields in Africa south of the Zambezi, Kate de Luna’s masterful Collecting Food, Cultivating People is about the obvious. It is a detailed rendition of the daily strategies that are utilized to feed families and communities. In my home area, the landscape is limitless but, based on situation, the activities performed on it are segregated and at the same time integrated. Landscape among the Shona is a single expansive entity—zienda nakuenda—whose stretch is endless. And yet, it is culturally partitioned into forests and fields. Fields become forests, and forests become fields as practices of food procurement are optimized to allow soils to recover and so on. The landscape is the source of livelihoods and subsistence for people—farmers, hunters, gatherers, and everyone. Regardless of label, people collect fruit, honey, vegetables, and mushrooms from the forest. Food too is collected from...



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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