Event Title

Presentation, "Cooperative foraging networks of Batek hunter-gatherers in Peninsular Malaysia"

Start Date

11-6-2014 2:45 PM

End Date

11-6-2014 4:00 PM

Description

ABSTRACT –Cooperation is important for the survival and reproduction of many species. Humans often cooperate during foraging, yet cooperation networks for human foraging in natural environments have been subject to little empirical study. We used a historical dataset from the mid 1970′s to examine cooperation during rainforest foraging by Batek hunter-gatherers in Peninsular Malaysia. We performed social network analysis to evaluate cooperation during hunting, honey harvesting, fishing, and gathering fruit, tubers, or vegetables. We generated foraging networks for each activity and analyzed network centrality for Batek individuals using eigenvector centrality and betweenness. Although both men and women participate in all foraging tasks, men dominate the central positions in hunting and honey harvesting networks, and women dominate the central positions in fishing and gathering networks. We found significant correlations between eigenvector centrality of hunting/honey harvesting networks and fishing/gathering networks, indicating that the same individuals tend to occupy central positions in those activities. The role of kinship in structuring Batek foraging networks is also discussed. Our results indicate that for the Batek, cooperation decisions are resource-dependent and foraging networks are not strictly egalitarian. Our study also demonstrates the promise of social network analysis for examining the nature of cooperation in pre-industrial societies.

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Jun 11th, 2:45 PM Jun 11th, 4:00 PM

Presentation, "Cooperative foraging networks of Batek hunter-gatherers in Peninsular Malaysia"

ABSTRACT –Cooperation is important for the survival and reproduction of many species. Humans often cooperate during foraging, yet cooperation networks for human foraging in natural environments have been subject to little empirical study. We used a historical dataset from the mid 1970′s to examine cooperation during rainforest foraging by Batek hunter-gatherers in Peninsular Malaysia. We performed social network analysis to evaluate cooperation during hunting, honey harvesting, fishing, and gathering fruit, tubers, or vegetables. We generated foraging networks for each activity and analyzed network centrality for Batek individuals using eigenvector centrality and betweenness. Although both men and women participate in all foraging tasks, men dominate the central positions in hunting and honey harvesting networks, and women dominate the central positions in fishing and gathering networks. We found significant correlations between eigenvector centrality of hunting/honey harvesting networks and fishing/gathering networks, indicating that the same individuals tend to occupy central positions in those activities. The role of kinship in structuring Batek foraging networks is also discussed. Our results indicate that for the Batek, cooperation decisions are resource-dependent and foraging networks are not strictly egalitarian. Our study also demonstrates the promise of social network analysis for examining the nature of cooperation in pre-industrial societies.