Though the population of hunter-gatherers have declined drastically around the world, there are some tribes which have managed to maintain much of their identity as hunter-gatherers even in this era. Discuss while citing suitable examples.

Hunter-gatherers engaged in the most primitive economic activity. Although it is argued that the last hunting and gathering societies would  vanish from our world soon, there are few tribes which have managed to maintain their independent identity as hunter-gatherers. Some examples are as follows:

  • Bushmen of Kalahari: The Bushmen of Kalahari desert of Africa are known for “persistent hunting”, which is one of the oldest forms of hunting activity in the world. In this type of hunting, the hunter chases his prey for 2-5 hours (20-25 kilometres) and kills spearing the animal at close range. This method evolved millions of years before invention of guns or other weapons.
  • Pila Nguru of Australia: Pila Nguru or Spinfex people of Victoria desert of Australia are another such traditional hunter-gatherers. In 2000, they were given land rights within a territory in Australia by a federal court of that country.
  • Shompen of Great Nicobar Island: Shompen of great Nicobar Island are primarily hunter-gatherers and also practice little bit of horticulture and pig rearing. They hunt wild pigs, monkeys, monitor Lizard and also pythons.
  • Sentinelese of Andaman islands: Sentinelese of Andaman Islands are believed to be one of the last Stone Age tribes in the world have kept their independent existence. They have not only furious defended their territories for thousands of years but also have survived all kinds of natural disasters including the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.  They resist complete contact with the outside world.
  • Pirahã people of Amazon: The Pirahã people of Amazon mainly live on the banks of Brazil’s Maici River.

Further, there are many examples including Eskimos such as Yupik, Chukchi; Itelmen, Khanty, Nganasan, Evenki, Ket, Yukaghir and Nivkhi  of Siberia; Ainu of Japan; Mikea of Madagascar; Okiek or Dorobo of Kenya; Batak and Jahai of Malaysia and Malay Peninsula.


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