Population Structures of Ghanzi and Ngamiland !Kung

  • Henry Harpending
  • LuAnn Wandsnider
Part of the Advances in Human Genetics book series (volume 2)


The ways in which ecological circumstances condition and are conditioned by population density, population growth, and vital rates are important current interests in anthropology. We present some data relevant to understanding how mobility, diet, and disease may affect the demography of small populations; in particular we examine the widely held hypothesis that the onset of sedentism among formerly mobile hunter-gatherers permits population growth through an increase in fertility and a decrease in infanticide. In the particular case we will consider, the two major groups of !Kung Bushmen in Botswana, we will show that sedentism has led to decreased mortality but not to a detectable change in natality.


Population Structure Birth Interval Vital Rate Wage Labor Offspring Survivorship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Binford, L. R. (1968), Post-Pleistocene adaptations, in New Perspectives in Archaeology (L. R. Binford and S. R. Binford, eds.), pp. 313–342, Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  2. Binford, L. R., and Chasko, W. J., Jr. (1976), Nunamiut demographic history: A provocative case, in Demographic Anthropology (Ezra B. W. Zubrow, ed.), pp. 63–143, School of American Research, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.Google Scholar
  3. Birdsell, J. (1958), On population structure in generalized hunting and collecting populations, Evolution 12:189–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Birdsell, J. (1968), Some predictions for the Pleistocene based on equilibrium systems among hunter-gathers, in Man the Hunter (R. B. Lee and I. DeVore, eds.), pp. 229–240, Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  5. Black, F. L. (1975), Infectious disease in primitive societies, Science 187:515–518.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Braidwood, R. J., and Howe, B. (1960), Prehistoric Investigations in Iraqi Kurdistan. Studies in Ancient Orietal Civilization, No. 31, Oriental Institute, Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  7. Childe, V. G. (1946), What Happened in History, Penguin Books, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Childe, V. G. (1951), Man Makes Himself, New American Library, Mentor Books, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Childers, G. W. (1976), Report on the Survey/Investigation of Ghanzi Farm Basarwa Situation, Government Printer, Gaborone, Botswana.Google Scholar
  10. Denham, W. (1974), Population structure, infant transport, and infanticide among Pleistocene and modern hunter-gatherers, J. Anthropol. Res. 30:191–198.Google Scholar
  11. Frisch, R. E. (1978a), Nutrition, fatness, and fertility: The effect of food intake on reproductive ability, in Nutrition and Human Reproduction (W. H. Mosley, ed.), pp. 91–122, Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frisch, R. E. (1978b), Population, food intake, and fertility, Science 199:22–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Frisch, R. E., and McArthur, J. W. (1974), Menstrual cycles: fatness as a determinant of minimum weight for height necessary for the maintenance or onset, Science 185:949–951.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Guenther, M. G. (1976), From hunters to squatters: social and cultural change among the Farm San of Ghanzi, Botswana, in Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers (R. B. Lee and I. DeVore, eds.), pp. 120–133, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  15. Harpending, H. (1976), Regional variation in !Kung populations, in Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers (R. B. Lee and I. DeVore, eds.), pp. 152–165, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  16. Harpending, H. C., and Jenkins, T. (1974), !Kung population structure, in Genetic Distance (J. F. Crow and C. Denniston, eds.), pp. 137–165, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  17. Henin, R. A. (1968), Fertility differences in the Sudan, Popul. Stud. (London) 22(1): 147–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Henin, R. A. (1969), The patterns and causes of fertility differentials in the Sudan, Population Studies 23(2):171–198.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Howell, N. (1976a), The population of the Dobe area !Kung, in Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers (R. B. Lee and I. DeVore, eds.), pp. 137–151, Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  20. Howell, N. (1976b), Toward a uniformitarian theory of human paleodemography, in The Demographic Evolution of Human Populations (R. H. Ward and K. M. Weiss, eds.), pp. 25–40, Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Howell, N. (1979), Demography of the Dobe IKung, Academic, New York.Google Scholar
  22. Jeffery, G. M. (1966), Epidemiological significances of repeated infection with homologous and heterologous strains and species of Plasmodium. Bull. WHO 35:873–882.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Konner, M. and Worthman, C. (1980), Nursing frequency, gonadal function, and birth spacing among the IKung hunter-gatherers, Science 207:788–791.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lee, R. B. (1968), What hunters do for a living, or, how to make out on scarce resources, in Man the Hunter (R. B. Lee and I. DeVore, eds.), pp. 30–43, Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  25. Lee, R. B. (1969), IKung Bushment subsistence: Input-output analysis, in Environment and Cultural Behavior (A. P. Vayda, ed.), pp. 43–79, Aldine, New York.Google Scholar
  26. Lee, R. B. (1979), The IKung San: Men, women, and work in a foraging society, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  27. Lee, R. B., and DeVore, I. (eds.) (1968), Man the Hunter, Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  28. Lee, R. B., and DeVore, I. (eds.) (1976), Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  29. Marshall, L. (1976), The IKung of Nyae Nyae, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  30. Peake, H. (1928), The Origins of Agriculture, Ernest Benn Ltd., London.Google Scholar
  31. Powell, R. D., McNamara, J., and Rieckmann, K. (1972), Clinical aspects of acquisition of immunity to falciparum malaria, in Basic Research in Malaria (E. H. Sadun, ed.), pp. 57–66, Special Issue of Proc. of Helminthological Society, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  32. Rowe, B., Taylor, J., and Bettelheim, K. (1970), An investigation of traveller’s diarrhoea, Lancet 1:1–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tomkins, A. M., James, W., Walters, J., and Cole, A. (1974), Malabsorption in overland travellers to India, Br. Med. J. 2:380–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Truswell, A. S. and Hansen, J. D. L. (1976), Medical research among the !Kung, in KalahariHunter-Gatherers (R. B. Lee and I. DeVore, eds.), pp. 166–194, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  35. Weissner, P. (1977), Hxaro: A regional system of reciprocity for reducing risk among the!Kung San, Doctoral Thesis, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
  36. Wilmsen, E. N. (1979), Diet and fertility among Kalahari Bushmen. Working Papers No. 14, African Studies Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.Google Scholar
  37. Yellen, J. E., and Lee, R. B. (1976), The Dobe-/Du/da environment: Background to a hunting and gathering way of life, in Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers (R. B. Lee and I. DeVore, eds.), pp. 27–46, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Harpending
    • 1
  • LuAnn Wandsnider
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

Personalised recommendations