By Marvin Harris

During this incredible and profound research the celebrated American anthropologist Marvin Harris indicates how the unending different types of cultural habit -- frequently so difficult first and foremost look -- might be defined as diversifications to specific ecological stipulations. His objective is to account for the evolution of cultural kinds as Darwin accounted for the evolution of organic kinds: to teach how cultures undertake their attribute kinds based on altering ecological modes.

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Extra resources for Cannibals and Kings

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The explanation for the near-universal exclusion of women. from big-game hunting appears to lie in the practice of warlare, the male ~upremacist sex roles which arise in conjunction with warfare, and the practice of female infanticide - all of which ultimately derive from the attempt to solve-the problem. of reproductive pressure. Virtually all band and village societies teach only males how to become proficient in the use of . weapons, and frequently women are forbidden even to touch these weapons just as they are generally discouraged or prevented from engaging in front-line combat.

The twin demographic effects that warfare produces among band and village societies are not characteristic of state-level military complexes. For the moment, I will address myself only to the origin of pre-state warfare. Among state-level societies warfare may

If a group is undergoing stress caused by intensification, declining efficiencies and increased abortions and infanticides, the deflection of aggressive behaviour on to neighbouring bands or villages would ~ ORIGIN OF WAR 45 certainly be preferable to letting it fester within , the community. I do not doubt that deflecting aggressive behaviour on to foreigners can act as a 'safety valve'. What this approach fails to explain, however, is why the safety valve has to be so deadly. Wouldn't verbal abuse, mock combat or competitive sports be less costly ways of achieving solidarity ?

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