Human Nature

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 620–630

Toward a Reality-Based Understanding of Hadza Men’s Work

A Response to Hawkes et al. (2014)

DOI: 10.1007/s12110-014-9218-z

Cite this article as:
Wood, B.M. & Marlowe, F.W. Hum Nat (2014) 25: 620. doi:10.1007/s12110-014-9218-z


Observations of Hadza men foraging out of camp and sharing food in camp show that men seeking to maximize the flow of calories to their families should pursue large game, and that hunting large game does not pose a collective action problem. These data also show that Hadza men frequently pursued honey, small game, and fruit, and that by doing so, provided a more regular flow of food to their households than would a putative big game specialist. These data support our earlier studies demonstrating that the goal of family provisioning is a robust predictor of Hadza men’s behavior. As before, the show-off and costly signaling hypotheses advanced by Hawkes and colleagues fail as both descriptions of and explanations for Hadza men’s work.


Hadza Hunter-gatherers Provisioning Hunting Costly signaling Show-off hypothesis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Division of Biological AnthropologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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