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Where should I go to see modern hunter-gatherers?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 05, 2010 at 9:18 AM

This may sound crazy, but if I wanted to take a 'field trip' to visit a hunter/gatherer tribe practicing their lifestyle somewhere in the world, where would be the most appropriate place to go?

In your opinion, do you think this kind of trip is ethical and do you think there would be as much benefit for them as there would be for me?

Medium avatar

(7073)

on November 26, 2010
at 10:45 AM

I have the book of the TV series already - it is a great book, thanks!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 13, 2010
at 05:26 AM

I was going to be silly and say California! Better not.

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on April 05, 2010
at 11:44 PM

Saami people aren't hunter gatherers any longer, they are herdspeople. They herd reindeer.

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6 Answers

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2
8d84e4580941cad887889de3de56c604

(35)

on May 12, 2010
at 12:47 PM

I strongly suggest you buy a series of documentary called Tribes, filmed by Bruce Parry who visited many tribes all over the world and lived with them for a while. Most of these tribes are hunter gatherers.

You may learn a lot about their lives just by watching, or may want to select which one(s) to visit. It's an amazing experience to watch that.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on November 26, 2010
at 10:45 AM

I have the book of the TV series already - it is a great book, thanks!

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 13, 2010
at 06:20 AM

I Googled this and came up with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinifex_people . This tribe is in Australia.

Their lives have been disrupted, so their hunter-gatherer status has not been continuous, but some may be practicing it today.

Personally, I think you would get far more out of it than they would if you were to 'visit'. By going amongst them you might cause sickness since they would have had minimal exposure to modern germs for one thing.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2010
at 06:50 PM

I'd point to the Hadza.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/12/hadza/finkel-text

Not only is this article AWESOME, the Hadza seem pretty nice.

To answer more generally: Africa if you want warm climates; Northern Asia (Mongolians, Kazahks, etc) if you want colder climates.

0
03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on April 14, 2010
at 01:14 PM

The most isolated people on the planet are the Sentinelese, who inhabit a small island in the Indian Ocean. Virtually nothing is known about them; they are almost completely untouched by the outside world. You might have a hard time observing them, though, as they don't like strangers and will even kill them!

http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/1367

0
711c19a8b034718b127362a72ac631ef

(155)

on April 14, 2010
at 12:56 PM

More likely to find hunter gatherer Australian Aborigines in Arhnem Land Northern Territory I think. I would suggest however that nearly all Australian Aborigines are affected by western foods to some degree, except for the odd individual who rejects it and lives the old way. There are certainly many in Arhnem Land that can still hunt and gather in the traditional way however. Their skills with a spear are unbelievable. New Guinea would be a better bet at seeing untouched hunter gatherers. I saw a documentary on an untouched tribe a couple of years ago on TV here and the thing that struck me was how muscular and lean the men were. They truly were fine specimens.

0
C4d4a9db7ee3b315eae97795555a1177

(623)

on April 05, 2010
at 09:44 PM

Africa as I think some of those tribes are open to outsiders. The ones in South America are more remote and I dont think welcome outsiders. I think the Sami in Northern Norway, Sweden, Finland are the only white hunter-gatherer tribe left if you wanted to observe those with similar heritage (making the guess based on baby picture). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on April 05, 2010
at 11:44 PM

Saami people aren't hunter gatherers any longer, they are herdspeople. They herd reindeer.

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