GIVING, SCROUNGING, HIDING, AND SELLING: MINIMAL FOOD SHARING AMONG MIKEA OF MADAGASCAR

Socioeconomic Aspects of Human Behavioral Ecology

ISBN: 978-0-76231-082-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-255-9

ISSN: 0190-1281

Publication date: 30 December 2004

Abstract

Anthropologists commonly accept that generous food sharing is universal to small-scale subsistence populations. This paper uses observational data from a Mikea community in southwestern Madagascar to demonstrate the following: (1) Most foods are rarely shared, i.e. transferred between households; exceptions are prepared food and livestock meat; (2) Clusters of closely related households feed each other’s members reciprocally, and inconsistent with kin selection, unrelated affines are the major distributors; and (3) Tolerated theft and market value explain why livestock meat is widely shared, why scroungers are invited to share vegetal foods but rarely do, and why small game and honey are both actively defended (by hiding, theft) and scrounged (by demand sharing).

Citation

Tucker, B. (2004), "GIVING, SCROUNGING, HIDING, AND SELLING: MINIMAL FOOD SHARING AMONG MIKEA OF MADAGASCAR", Alvard, M. (Ed.) Socioeconomic Aspects of Human Behavioral Ecology (Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 45-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0190-1281(04)23002-5

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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